In this episode, I reconnected with my friend Brenna Loury, one of the original founding team members of Start-Up Chile, and the current head of marketing and PR at Doist to talk about her experience of learning a new job in a new country, the challenges and rewards of working across borders, and how she helped bootstrap a tech startup that now has more than 13,000,000 users worldwide.
Brenna shares how her company now manages more than 50 employees in 20 countries, all of them working 100% remotely. She offers tips on how to best position your company to start working remotely, mistakes startups should avoid when pitching ideas or raising funds and a formula for hiring top-notch employees. The conversation is packed with useful information and inspiring stories you don’t want to miss!
I’m excited to introduce the Crossing Borders podcast (iTunes, Stitcher) where I share the stories of top entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the investors who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.
Over the past 6+ years in Latin America, I’ve met entrepreneurs hailing from countries around the world doing business across borders. Some do business in Latin America. Others use Latin America as a base to target the US market.
They’re some of the most diverse, risk taking, trailblazing entrepreneurs in the world. But when I come back to the US, Latin American startups just aren’t on people’s radars.
They’re mostly stuck on stereotypes of corruption, narcos and failed states. They see Latin America as a monolith and couldn’t tell you the difference between Mexican, Chilean and Argentine food, much less the difference between each country’s business climate.
As Magma portfolio companies started to do business in the US and meet with US investors, they came across this same ignorance of Latin America and its entrepreneurs. US entrepreneurs and investors have slept on Latin America and are missing out on some of the most interesting entrepreneurs in the world. And some of the best stories. (more…)
Note: This post originally appeared in spanish in El Mercurio, one of Chile’s largest newspapers with the title Uber contra los taxistas. This battle has played out in major cities around the world and is currently coming to a head in Chile, with the same mass taxi protests and government intervention to ban Uber and similar services.
The national debate has been focused on the battle between Uber, Cabify and “yellow cabs” during the past few weeks. Most people have focused on this battle as if it were the only battle between technology and the status quo happing right now and have only focused on one part of the battle.
As a tech investor and also a foreigner, I’ve seen this battle many times from afar in the US and from close up with companies that we’ve invested in. (more…)
I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon as I’ve worked in Chile more deeply over the past two years building companies. Many, if not most, Chileans believe they don’t have much influence on events in their lives and in their country.
I see it all the time in multiple contexts: business, politics, customer service and corporate bureaucracy. I’m very familiar with this feeling in politics, as I feel the same way about non-local US politics, but at first I didn’t understand it in the other contexts.
For example, in business, if Chileans get screwed over, they are less likely to take to social media or write a blog post detailing their experience than people in the US are. When there was an issue with a Chilean business incubator, it festered for months before a foreign entrepreneur shared his experience and only then did nearly a dozen Chileans corroborate their experiences. I asked some of the Chilean entrepreneurs why they hand’t said anything before, and they all said that they didn’t think they could do anything to fix the situation and that they didn’t want to rock the boat. (more…)