32 episodes

This is a podcast about moving your business to the United States of America. Recorded live on location in Europe and in the US, this is a documentary series as practical as it is informative, as entertaining as it is thought-provoking, but, above all, it is an adventure in sound of one man's quest to make his American Dream a reality.

Move Your Business to the United States Podcast Mount Bonnell Media

    • Business
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

This is a podcast about moving your business to the United States of America. Recorded live on location in Europe and in the US, this is a documentary series as practical as it is informative, as entertaining as it is thought-provoking, but, above all, it is an adventure in sound of one man's quest to make his American Dream a reality.

    James Isilay of Cognism: Moving Company Culture to the US

    James Isilay of Cognism: Moving Company Culture to the US

    Our guest in this episode is James Isilay, the CEO and Founder of Cognism, a B2B sales enablement platform which helps companies find new markets.

    With background in software development, James tells us how he started Cognism, and when, how, and why they expanded to the US. He shares key things that helped his company open an office in New York and acquire new clients.

    From building systems and company culture, to having the right advisors and being visible to foreign investors, James outlines the path that brought success to Cognism in America.

    He also cautions against expanding before a company nails its home market.


    “Sales people in general just want to get rich, so as long as you give them a great product, and they are hitting their numbers, they are happy.” – James Isilay


    Time Stamps:
    01:30 – James’ background and how he founded Cognism

    03:30 – What benefits clients have from using the Cognism system

    05:20 – How Cognism collects all the real-time

    07:00 – When the company was founded and where their offices are

    08:21 – How they expanded to the US by being visible to foreign investors

    10:15 – Why it’s so important to have the right advisors

    13:00 – How investors discovered and approached Cognism

    16:50 – How to transplant the company culture into a new country

    20:36 – The typical hiring mistake that companies make when expand abroad

    24:32 – Why they chose New York as the location for the American office

    27:25 – What are the reactions of customers and employees

    31:10 – How they segment the market in America

    35:56 – Planning is key if you want to expand

    38:10 – What James learnt about systems and processes from living in Switzerland

    39:30 – Do’s and don’ts for expanding to the US: bring your culture, plan in detail, don’t move unless you have a good reason to do it

    Send us questions you want answered to info@mtbonnell.com

    Resources:
    Cognism

    Mount Bonnell Advisors

    Connect with James Isilay:

    LinkedIn

    Connect with Sebastian Sauerborn:

    Website

    Connect with Nastaran Tavakoli-Far:

    LinkedIn

    • 45 min
    Alex Klein, CEO at Kano: Computer Design As Simple As Lego

    Alex Klein, CEO at Kano: Computer Design As Simple As Lego

    Today our guest is Alex Klein, the co-founder and CEO of Kano Computing.

    He invented a computer for kids to assemble when he was challenged by a 6 year old cousin who wanted to make his own computer, but to be as simple and fun as Lego. Although the idea appeals to kids, it’s not the exclusive target of their products. The spirit of the design process is the beginner’s mind.

    The goal of Kano is to tell a story that could be comprehensible to any culture, language, and geography. However, the products are particularly caught on in the US. 

    Alex caught the opportunity and expanded business in the US, from London where the company was set up. Although that was a very successful move for him, he has a lot of advice on how to be careful when deciding to make that kind of move. 

    “If you see an opportunity to do any business in the US, the one that could even be 20-25% of your annual run rate, then take it, because it may expand well beyond that, as it did for us.” – Alex Klein

    Time stamps:


    1:30 What Kano does

    3:10 Where the idea came from and how it developed further

    5:40 Why they set up in London

    9:00 How conquered the US market

    10:20 What type of a person their product should appeal to

    11:23 When is the right moment to go to the US with the business and why do it

    15:57 How they chose the person for running the US office

    18:15 Why the product is more popular in the US than in Europe

    18:55 How they funded the expansion

    19:47 What kind of state you should be in when you want to raise money

    20:25 What are the do’s and dont’s if you want your company to expand

    23:30 How the US customer is different from the rest of the world

    25:10 How things in London were done after the expansion

    Send us questions you want answered to info@mtbonnell.com

    Resources:
    Kano Computing

    Mount Bonnell Advisors

    Episode Transcript

    Connect with Alex Klein:

    LinkedIn profile

    Connect with Sebastian Sauerborn:

    Website

    Connect with Nastaran Tavakoli-Far:

    LinkedIn

    • 27 min
    Alan Donegan: Ins and Outs of a Nomadic Business

    Alan Donegan: Ins and Outs of a Nomadic Business

    Today we are joined by the founder of the PopUp Business School, Alan Donegan.

    Running a nomadic business across numerous different countries, he’s got a lot to share about how to start a successful business, and how to expand and operate in different countries and cultures once you do. 

    Alan is a strong believer in the idea that you don’t need a lot of money to start a business. All you need is a good idea and the right direction. 

    He tells us everything he does to help starting businesses, as well as what his own journey has looked like starting the PopUp Business School. 

    “We go through five different ways to start a business without debt. Because one of the most common beliefs is it takes money to make money, and that’s just not true.” – Alan Donegan

    Time Stamps:


    00:11 – What PopUp Business School is and why Alan started the company.

    01:20 – How it works and where the money comes from.

    02:47 – How long the course is and how many people are involved. 

    03:55 – What kind of businesses have started with the course.

    05:30 – How to get involved with PopUp Business School, and what the curriculum looks like.

    09:09 – Where the business runs its courses. 

    13:36 – Where Alan’s team is.

    15:26 – What it’s like running a company nomadically.

    21:22 – The types of businesses that can be successfully ran nomadically.

    26:45 – How Alan’s friends and family reacted to his idea to run a business nomadically.

    29:42 – The risk involved with starting a business from debt.

    32:49 – Expanding the business outside of the UK.

    35:27 – How sponsorship changes across countries.  

    44:29 – The importance of focusing on the sales.

    45:15 – How Alan has found the opportunities to expand into other countries.

    48:31 – How to deal with different cultures as you operate in different countries.

    50:48 – How people’s reasons to start a business change across different cultures.

    52:51 – Things to avoid when you’re starting a business.

    56:13 – The amount of time it takes to build a business.

    58:04 – Dos and don’ts for starting a company nomadically.

    Send us questions you want answered to info@mtbonnell.com

    Resources:
    PopUp Business School

    Mount Bonnell Advisors

    span style="font-weight: 400

    • 57 min
    Maeve Kneafsey of CloudKPI: A Female Tech Founder in the US

    Maeve Kneafsey of CloudKPI: A Female Tech Founder in the US

    On today’s episode we are joined by Maeve Kneafsey, owner of CloudKPI. Running a company that has teams in both Dublin and America, she knows a lot about what it’s like to be moving your business. 

    From the very start of CloudKPI’s conception Maeve decided to focus on the American market and have a base set up in the States. 

    She had a lot of people help her make the transition from Ireland to America, and now she’s looking to help others who want to do a similar move. 

    We talk about her whole experience moving across, from the different ways she’s treated for being a foreigner and a woman, to how America changes depending on where you are within it. 

    “Don’t go out there, trying to spend any money on lawyers or advisors.” – Maeve Kneafsey

    Time Stamps:


    00:41 – Who Cloud KPI are, and what they do.

    3:02 – Why they decided to focus on the American market.

    4:42 – The logistics involved with moving their company to the US.

    8:42 – What kind of product they had when going into the market.

    9:11 – The network of people that helped them, and why they moved to Connecticut.

    11:25 – Where their team is based.

    12:31 – The logistics involved with moving your operations to America.

    15:25 – The importance of having a physical presence where your market is.

    17:09 – The differences with running a business in America compared to Ireland.

    18:15 – The differences between the East and West Coast in America.

    19:59 – Tips for companies that are looking to make the move across the pond.

    21:50 – How you’re treated differently as a foreigner in America.

    23:09 – The different things that helped them get into the market and understand the culture.

    24:19 – Unexpected reactions she got being a female tech founder.

    27:22 – Do’s and don’ts for startups moving to the US.

    29:54 – The usefulness of having a base, and the hardships of running a business remotely.

    31:55 – When you need to meet people face to face and when virtual meet-ups are adequate.

    33:00 – What makes Enterprise Ireland uniquely useful.

    34:46 – The main pieces of advice for someone wanting to move their business to America.

    36:43 – How to contact CloudKPI.

    Send us questions you want answered to info@mtbonnell.com

    Resources:
    Cloud KPI

    Connecticut Innovations 

    a href="https://www.enterprise-ireland.co

    • 38 min
    Murali Akella of TransferWise: Not a Job, But a Revolution

    Murali Akella of TransferWise: Not a Job, But a Revolution

    In this episode, we are joined by Murali Akella, who has helped TransferWise partner with banks across the globe.

    TransferWise has been a revolutionary form of transferring money overseas at the lowest possible cost. Started in 2011 in the UK, it quickly became popular and now has over 6 million people who use their service.

    Unsurprisingly, to get to this stage they needed to expand. They opened up offices across the globe, including America.

    Murali shares with us what this experience has been like, why it was necessary, and the differences in the American market compared to the United Kingdom.


    “This job is not a job, it’s a revolution.” – Murali Akella


    Time Stamps:
    00:17 – How TransferWise started.

    02:34 – The bank accounts that TransferWise offers.

    05:23 – The number of clients TransferWise have and who they are.

    06:32 – How banks use TransferWise and how it works.

    09:43 – How sending money overseas actually works.

    12:11 – What the average fee is for sending money overseas.

    13:06 – The different exchange rates you’ll get using banks or TransferWise.

    15:41 – The benefits of TransferWise.

    18:33 – How TransferWise has expanded and where their offices are now.

    20:46 – The reasons for expanding to America and the surprising underdevelopment there.

    22:35 – What motivations American banks have for using TransferWise.

    25:18 – The high demand for easy money transfers in America.

    26:49 – How the American market is different from the UK’s.

    30:33 – Where in America TransferWise has offices and why Tampa was an attractive city.

    33:15 – The get togethers TransferWise have for its global force, and how culture can exceed borders.

    35:35 – How to operate within different regulations across different countries.

    37:51 – How running offices in the US is surprisingly similar to running offices elsewhere.

    39:53 – Different expectations American clients have compared to European clients.

    41:06 – Advice for those considering a move to the US market.

    42:42 – TransferWise’s aim to keep their service homogenous for all their customers around the world.

    44:33 – What the biggest challenge is when expanding to the US.

    Send us questions you want answered to info@mtbonnell.com

    Resources and Mentions:
    Transferwise

    Swift

    Slack

    Hangouts

    Zoom

    www.mtbonnell.com

    Episode Transcript

    Connect with Murali Akella:

    LinkedIn

    Connect with Nastaran Tavakoli-Far:

    LinkedIn

    Connect with Sebastian Sauerborn:

    Website

    • 49 min
    Husayn Kassai: Onfido Sets New Identity Standards for the US

    Husayn Kassai: Onfido Sets New Identity Standards for the US

    On today’s episode we meet with Husayn Kassai, the CEO of the identity standard testing company Onfido.

    Founded in 2012, Onfido quickly expanded its offices outside of London, to include San Francisco, New York, Lisbon, Paris, New Delhi and Singapore. Husayn shares with us everything he’s learnt on his journey of expansion, and things he wished he knew before making the move across the pond.

    Having offices on both sides of America gives Husayn two very different perspectives of running a business in the United States. He talks with us about the different benefits both spots have, and the importance of picking the right spot for your business’s headquarters.

    From getting investors in America, to the importance of adapting to American culture, Husayn tells it all.


    “Frequent client feedback matters, and when you can’t deliver something let it be known straight away.” – Husayn Kassai


    Time Stamps:


     01:22 – What Onfido does.

    02:44 – Who their clients are.

    03:32 – How the software at Onfido works.

    06:43 – How money laundering regulations change across the globe.

    08:36 – How the business started.

    09:17 – Why Husayn wanted to open an office in the US.

    11:51 – The importance of doing business in the US.

    12:44 – How operating in America is different to operating in the UK.

    15:22 – The importance of having a trustworthy brand.

    16:45 – How to build trust and the importance of being honest.

    19:12 – The kind of clients Onfido was focusing on.

    21:11 – The importance of being blunt and to the point.

    24:06 – The prevalence of suing in America.

    27:15 – Opening up an office in New York, and how it’s different to San Francisco.

    29:57 – The importance of picking the right location for your headquarters in America.

    31:01 – Advice for companies that are looking for the right place in America to set up in.

    33:57 – Getting seed investors in America.

    37:30 – The key mistakes UK startups make when expanding to the US.

    38:40 – Tips for dealing with American culture, and using your Britishness to your advantage.

    41:05 – The importance of knowing local sports teams.

    Send us questions you want answered to info@mtbonnell.com

    Resources:
    https://onfido.com

    www.mtbonnell.com

    Episode Transcript

    Connect with Husayn Kassai:

    Twitter

    Connect with Nastaran Tavakoli-Far:

    LinkedIn

    Connect with Sebastian Sauerborn:

    Website

    • 42 min

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