How do you keep a global workforce up to date on daily security threats and confirm people are ok in the event of a natural disaster? Most companies are still stuck in phone call and paper based systems that are extremely expensive and hard to update.
Base Operations’ founder Cory Siskind realized there was a better way than the standard practice that most multinational corporations give to employees who travel abroad for work: thirty page risk reports which mostly don’t even get read. Base Operations is an app that provides just-in-time information to its users in markets with high crime rates but poor access to crime data. Global workforces can quickly get a feel for their surroundings as soon as they touch down in a new city or country with the app’s features: intuitive heat maps, safe routing, geofenced alerts, and check-ins.
Cory has always been passionate about emerging markets, specifically interested in how security and crime affect a country’s growth. But what was the spark that pushed Cory to start the business? A business plan competition while studying for her Master’s degree at Harvard!
I sat down with Cory to talk about her early interest in emerging markets, how she came up with the idea for her company (also part of Magma Partners’ portfolio as of 2018), her experience in Harvard’s business plan competition, and what it’s like to operate between the US and Mexico.
Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to hear more about how Base Operations uses data to help multinationals keep their employees safe in emerging markets.
Welcome to Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig, where I interview entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the investors who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.
My guest today is Devin Baptiste, cofounder and CEO of GroupRaise, a company with more than 50 employees in 3 offices in Houston, Texas, Santiago, Chile and the Philippines. GroupRaise is a platform that allows groups of 15-50+ to book events in more than 6000 restaurants across the united states. These restaurants then donate 10-20% of their bill to the organization or charity of the group’s choice. As Devin puts it, it’s the tastiest way to change the world. Not to mention the most cost effective customer acquisition strategy a restaurant can have.
Devin and I talk about his journey that took him from Houston to Taiwan, Korea, Hawaii, Chile, Germany and back to Houston again, how he thinks about scaling businesses from Latin America to the US, how he raised his recent fundraising round from Techstars Ventures, Kapor Capital and Magma Partners, how he looks at being a minority founder and what its like to run an international business while married with two young kids.
Devin is one of the most interesting people I’ve met in the past few years and I feel lucky to be able to work closely with him on his journey to building a world class business. We had a few sound issues, as Devin was in a target in a thunderstorm and then in his car when we recorded our conversation, but please don’t let my recording issues get in the way of learning everything you can from Devin. Let’s jump right in!
If you liked this podcast, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher and check out the first five episodes with other top entrepreneurs doing business in Latin America.