Being able to open a bank account, exchange currency, open a credit card or have access to business credit in something that we take for granted in the United States. I know I did before moving to Latin America.
In the US, most people can easily open bank accounts, apply for loans, and transfer money digitally. But that’s not the case for the bottom 80% of income earners in much of Latin America. It took me 3 years to get a bank in Chile to allow me to open a business account when all I wanted to
Village Capital is a global VC firm with offices in Mexico City that finds, trains, and invests in entrepreneurs solving real-world problems, like the Fintech problems I just mentioned. VilCap works to build communities around entrepreneurs and their ventures to improve opportunities for growth and success. In this conversation, I’m speaking with Amanda Jacobson, Regional Manager for Latin America for the Village Capital team. She explains how VC is changing the way people live and work in Latin America and how Fintech in Latin America is one of the biggest areas of focus for them right now.
Juan Vera joins me in this episode of Crossing Borders to talk about entrepreneurial business in Latin America. Juan’s experience as an engineer and CEO has helped him start several businesses, then scale those businesses from Colombia to Mexico and the United States. Listen to hear Juan share how he bootstrapped his early startups to eventually raising several million in venture capital, and everything he learned along the way.
Most people in Silicon Valley would not intuitively think of building startups in Guadalajara, Mexico. But Mak Gutierrez is part of a team working through Hackers and Founders to support and fund startups in one of the most historic cities in Latin America.
In this conversation, Mak and I talk about his background, how Science Fiction has influenced his thinking about the future and the role of tech in the world, and why Guadalajara is one of the best places in Latin America to start a company.
There are many roads to Silicon Valley, but you’ll likely not hear one as unusual as the one my guest today took. Jonathan Nelson started out as the son of missionaries in Honduras and Costa Rica and learned the role of a serving leader by watching his Dad lead a mission organization. But he left Central America for nursing school, a computer science education, and finally headed to Silicon Valley.
Today, Jonathan runs Hackers and Founders, the largest network of entrepreneurs in the world. In this conversation we walk through the steps that led him from nursing school to startup founder, how he created an entrepreneurial meetup in a bar that led to an acceleration co-op, and the ways he’s iterating to bring more funding and more improvement to the cultures of Latin America through his company, Hackers and Founders.