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The Enthusiast

Author: Pat Alex

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"Amazing businesses can be built from anywhere" - On the Enthusiast host Pat Alex chats with some of the most fascinating founders, operators and investors outside Silicon Valley. 
Every two weeks, he sits down with the likes of Arjuna Costa (Flourish), Paulo Passoni, Jeffrey Paine (Golden Gate Ventures), Gerry Giacoman (Clara) and Monica Brand Engel (Quona) to dissect their challenges around scaling, fundraising, managing boards and company leadership. Taken together, the guests have raised venture capital in the hundreds of millions and are behind their regions' biggest business and venture successes paving the way towards a more equitable and diverse future. 

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79 Episodes
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On this episode Pat sits down with the one and only Ralf Wenzel, Founder & CEO of JOKR. We dive into his entrepreneurial journey from growing up in East Germany to his first entrepreneurial stint with Jamba, conquering Asia with Foodpanda and subsequently embarking onto LatAm with grocery delivery platform Jokr. You will learn aboutWhy Founders and Artists are more alike than you would thinkHow to unlock value in grocery delivery in emerging marketsIt is all about integrating the val...
On this episode Pat sits down with Ali Karabey, co-founder of Türkiye's first institutional VC 212 to dive into building the fund, making the first bets, getting conviction and ultimately turning 212 into a platform of funds that invests beyond its country's borders. On this episode you will learn about:Building a fund from scratch Playing the platform game right without losing focus The Türkiye opportunity and its remarkable roster of talentYou can find Ali on LinkedIn here. S...
On this episode Pat sits down with Hamdi Tabbaa, Co-Founder and CEO of leading MENA edtech Abwaab. We dive into his journey moving from expansion at Uber to building a thriving edtech in the region, expansion into other markets and upselling opportunities. You will learn about:The edtech landscape in MENAExpanding into other geos with a highly localised productFundraising in a challenging industry and regional context You can find Hamdi on LinkedIn here. Support the Show.
On this episode Pat sits down with Dave Nangle, Managing Partner of VEF, a leading VC firm that invests in emerging markets fintech from Latin America to Asia. Dave is a true emerging markets warrior from day one having spent 10 years in Russia in the early 2000s when Tinkoff was getting off the ground and Dave smelled blood, he didn't let go of looking for the future Tinkoff's all across the globe. Fast forward 10 years later VEF has amassed an amazing portfolio of companies including ...
On this episode Pat sits down with Ramiro Lauzan, Partner at growth and private equity investing giant L Catterton to dissect their investment thesis, consumer trends and thematic investing and the playing field in Latin America and why he is bullish on the region. You will learn about:How L Catterton makes long term, thematic driven investment decisionsThe role long-term consumer trends play in defining the categoryThe differences in PE investing in LatAm vs. developed markets and its opport...
On this episode Pat sits down with Carl Fritjofsson, Creandum's partner for the US to dive into what made the VC firm stand out and turn into one of the top European venture firms out there, his take on the future of European tech talent and why he is both optimistic and cautious about 2024. On this episode you will learn about:Carl's journey from former operator to investor Key takeaways for building a lasting VC firm Why he is bullish on the future of European start-ups2024 predic...
On this episode Pat sits down with the one and only Christopher Schroeder, author, investor, operator and advisor of startups in emerging markets. He has worn many heads during his stellar career amongst them CEO and President of Washington Post's online presence , founder of HealthCentral and President of Legi-Slate as well as senior policy positions during Georg Bush's administration.You will learn about: Christopher's journey into the world of startups and why he is bullish on the fou...
On this episode Mikal Khoso joins Pat to chat with Omair Ansari, Founder and CEO of Pakistan Fintech Abhi about his journey into the world of entrepreneurship, scaling the company, going multi-product early on in the company's lifecycle as well as the expansion into the UAE and neighbouring Bangladesh. You will learn about:The state of the financial services industry in PakistanWhere Abhi fits into the marketScaling in a frontier ecosystem and going against the common wisdom Strateg...
On this episode Pat sits down with Endeavor's Senior Director of Research Leah Barto to discuss research at Endeavor, why studies on emerging ecosystems are important and Endeavor's most recent ground breaking research on founder pathways. You will learn about:The setup of Endeavor Insight, the very own research arm of EndeavorWhere successful unicorn founders come from and what they have in common What makes founders from emerging markets different to founders from the USAny future topi...
On this episode Pat sits down with Julian Roeoes, Partner and Head of the Americas for global early stage fund Picus Capital. We dive into his journey into venture, Picus's born global investment strategy, how to branch out into investing in emerging markets and get off the ground and the business models he believes will shape the next wave of emerging markets entrepreneurship successYou will learn about:Global investing with an emerging markets angleDifferences between public vs. private mar...
On this episode Pat sits down with Yana and Yash of Alter Global, a leading early stage investment firm that has backed companies in the seed to Series-A stage in LatAm, Africa, South East Asia, Middle East and beyond. We dive intoYana and Yash's role at AlterHow Alter is set up as a decentralised, global early stage VC with a lean team Identifying founder talent on the ground at the early stage You can find Yana on LinkedIn here and Yash here. Support the Show.
On this episode Pat sits down with Victor Chua, Managing Partner of Southeast Asian venture firm Vynn Capital to dive into Victor's investor journey, lessons learned along the way, raising as a first time fund manager and the evolution of the venture and startup ecosystem in the region. You will learn about:Victor's journey into ventureHis time at Gobi Partners and how it prepared him for launching his own firmFundraising and building LP relationshipsThe state of venture in region and th...
On this episode Pat sits down with Victor Noguera & Bernardo Cordero, Co-Founders at leading Mexican proptech Flat.mx to discuss their founder journey, the evolution of the proptech space in Latin America, how Flat is adding valuable building blocks to a more inclusive real-estate market in Mexico and their angel investing activity through their vehicle Nascent.vcOn this episode you will learn about: Victor and Berni's journey into founding Flat What to look for in a co-founderH...
On this episode Pat sits down with Brazilian investment icon Fersen Lambrahno, Chairman of GP Investments.We dive into his long career, the evolution of Brazilian PE and investment space, what makes PE in Brazil to operate fundamentally differently to the US or Europe and much more. You will learn about: Fersen’s way into investing and lessons learned looking back to a fulfilling careerThe evolution of the Brazilian economy in the last 40 yearsWhy PE in Brazil is a lot more operatio...
On this episode Pat sits down with seasoned entrepreneur and investor Ganesh Rengaswamy, co-founding partner of leading fintech inclusion fund Quona and Kulin Shah, Co-Founder and CEO of Onsurity, a leading Indian insurtech. We dive into the founder-investor relationship, the insuretech space in India and how to manage boards successfully. So much to unpack here with the two of the on the show. You will learn about: Kulin & Ganesh's journey into the world of entreprene...
On this episode Pat sits down with Tunisian tech entrepreneur Karim Jouini, Co-Founder and CEO of Expensya. We dive into his journey into tech, scaling out of his native Tunisia, drivers for M&A success and much more. You will learn about: Building an international company from day oneHow to reduce value destruction that comes with an M&A dealThe latest trends and developments in the expense management space You can find Karim on LinkedIn here. Support the Show.
On this episode Pat sits down with Razaq Ahmed, Co-Founder and CEO of Nigerian Fintech Cowrywise, that is all but revolutionising the retail investment space in the country providing access to investment products to millions of young Nigerians. You will learn about: Razaq's journey into the world of startups and founding Cowrywise after a stint at Investment BankingThe particularities of building a retail investing business in an emerging market such as NigeriaHow to acquire users effect...
On this episode Pat sits down with Sandra Nolasco, CEO and Co-founder of Spain based Twinco Capital, a B2B fintech focused on supply chain financing.On the episode you will learn about:The intricacies of supply chain financing and why the status quo is not helping SMEs in emerging marketsTwinco’s value proposition The role of supply chain traceability and ESG criteriaHow Twinco can become the standard in global trade financingYou can find Sandra on LinkedIn here.Support the Show.
On this episode Pat sits down with one of LatAm Fintech greats, Pedro Conrade, Co-Founder and CEO of Neon, a leading challenger bank in Brazil that serves more than 23M customers and has raised an impressive $700M. We dive into the making of Neon, how the company has scaled, when is it right time to introduce new product features and how to manage acquisitions successfully.On this episode you will learn: Pedro's way into entrepreneurshipLeadership lessons along the way and why it is...
On this episode Pat sits down with Polish IT entrepreneur Wiktor Schmidt, co-founder and executive chairman of Netguru, a IT company that has scaled to 30M in revenues providing its services at a global scale. Aside from his role at Netguru, Wiktor is the founding board chair of Endeavor Poland. We dive into his role in the Polish ecosystem, his experience scaling Netguru and what is next for the country with the arrival of Endeavor. On this episode you will learn about: W...
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