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  • 02:19 - Build your startup to be a camel
  • 11:24 - Sustainability and resiliency are critical to startup success
  • 19:39 - Raising money for your startup during uncertain times
  • 24:47 - Balancing social impact with making profit
  • 31:36 - Examples of startups that operate like camels

Even before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic happened, the world was already experiencing an economic slowdown. In South Africa for example, many big corporations were already laying off thousands of their staff.

Interestingly, technology companies, although some were experiencing some downturn in fortunes, weren't exactly the worst affected. But, how does one ensure that their startup can survive tough times?

In this episode of The Tefo Mohapi Show, Alexandre Lazarow, a Venture Capitalist, Adjunct Professor, and Author argues that startups should focus more on becoming camels (to survive tough times) rather than unicorns.

Alex also shares other thoughts on how tech startups should handle other functions such as recruitment, raising money, and more.

Biography: Alexandre Lazarow

Alexandre (Alex) Lazarow has spent his career working at the intersection of investing, innovation, and economic development in the private, public, and social sectors. He is a venture capitalist with Cathay Innovation, a global firm that invests across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.

Previously, Alex worked with Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm that has invested over a billion dollars in hundreds of startups around the world. He has served as a strategy consultant with McKinsey and Company, a financial regulator with the Bank of Canada, and an M and A investment banker with the Royal Bank of Canada. Alex is an adjunct professor specializing in impact investment and entrepreneurship at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He is a Kauffman Fellow, CFA Charterholder, and a Stephen M. Kellen Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.Comm from the University of Manitoba. Alex is a regular columnist with Forbes, and his writing has been featured in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Business Insider, and Insurance CIO Outlook magazine, among others.

He speaks regularly on global innovation trends and has presented at Collision, Endeavor, InsureTech Connect, Harvard Business School, the Social Innovation Summit, SOCAP, and the Corporate Venture Capital Summit.

Podcast notes

Personal Website: Alexandre Lazarow.

Book: Out-Innovate by Alexandre Lazarow.

Company: Cathay Innovation (global venture capital company).

Company: Omidyar Network.


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