Carolina is an entrepreneur, a business developer and an enthusiast of the financial sector. Despite the young age, she has acquired experience founding startups and managing projects at Endeavor. Graduated in business management from Boston University, she has now the challenge to expand EBANX in the US.
BayBrazil: You just moved from São Paulo to San Francisco to expand EBANX in the US. Tell us about your entrepreneurship and business experience in Brazil.
Carolina: Yes. When I finished my degree at Boston University I decided to work in finance. I moved to Miami and started working with Private Wealth Management. Two years later I realized that it was a great experience, but it wasn’t exactly the career for me. I decided to return to Brazil and, as a born entrepreneur, I joined some friends to create a talent agency in the fields of design and architecture, which also provided content in these themes. This business was born from a loophole that we found in the market. We saw that people with artistic talents often lacked commercial skills. So our website, EYE4DESIGN, was a space that offered an opportunity for artists to find customers and expose their portfolio. After a while, the focus of the website changed and I decided it was time to devote myself to new opportunities. Another project which I have on is the George Stone Crab, a crab delivery service that exists in the United States. In Brazil, the business will be running soon.
BayBrazil: You also worked in a leadership position at Endeavor, dealing with different entrepreneurial projects. How did that happen?
Carolina: After leaving EYE4DESIGN, I got involved in another startup for online donations. I was familiar with Endeavor, but never considered looking into working there. While I was searching for a candidate for a job opening at the startup, I came across a person who was convinced that I would be a perfect fit for an open position. I decided to speak to them out of curiosity, and it only took minutes before I fell in love with the cause. I started by coordinating a couple of account managers, and at the end I managed account managers across our 6 offices who, in turn, had the responsibility to help Endeavor entrepreneurs grow and develop their businesses.
BayBrazil: Explain the work that you developed at Endeavor.
Carolina: It was all about the right connections. We diagnosed the companies’ growth needs and introduced the entrepreneurs to investors and mentors, who could help them scale and excel. As the Entrepreneur Services Manager for Brazil, I oversaw ~ 60 Endeavor backed companies.
BayBrazil: And what was the importance of Endeavor in your career?
Carolina: Very important! When we study entrepreneurship, we read many books on the subject, learn the simple rules, but you have to live it in practice. At Endeavor, I had the opportunity to live the experiences of many entrepreneurs in a fast pace environment. During the process, many questions came up: Why has this company grown and the other hasn’t? Why was this business successful in the first phase, during the proof of concept, but is not doing so well now? You understand that entrepreneurs are people and realizes the importance of leadership for the growth of a company.
BayBrazil: How old were you when you took this job at Endeavor?
Carolina: I was 28.
BayBrazil: And how did you feel, taking on a leading position at Endeavor, being so young?
Carolina: Endeavor has an extremely young culture. Most people are hired as interns and quickly grow to leadership positions. I had the luck of being one of the only leadership role hires that did not start as an intern, so I was grateful for the opportunity. I led a team of 12 extremely bright, driven and passionate “entrepreneurs”. Something that we learned from our renowned board members, and kept it in our culture is: hire people who are better than you.
BayBrazil: How did you get to EBANX, your current job?
Carolina: After six years of living and learning in Brazil, I was ready to return to the American practical way of life. As I informed the Endeavor Entrepreneurs about my leave, EBANX offered me the opportunity to help them grow the company in the US and I accepted the challenge firstly because I admired the Entrepreneurs/Co-founders and truly believe in the company, and secondly it was an exciting opportunity to be a key part of an important new strategy within the company.
BayBrazil: What is the problem that EBANX solves?
Carolina: EBANX is the leading payment solution for global eCommerces selling to Brazil. We sign up international online merchants and collects payment on their behalf, enabling the Brazilian consumer to pay using local currency and payment methods- like boleto bancário or in installments, for example. We took care of a repressed demand, by enabling shopping oversees to all- and that’s our biggest success factor for growing at a rate of ~ 400% annually. The two favorite shopping destinations for Brazilians are: China and USA. Given our success with Chinese eCommerce retailers, we now think it’s a good time to focus on helping more American merchants get a better coverage of the market, as well.
BayBrazil: What does Silicon Valley have to offer to EBANX?
Carolina: We are a fin-tech company and both industries, financial and technology, are very strong in the Bay Area. Besides that, the ecosystem is great! People like helping and collaborating around here, and coming from Endeavor, a mentorship based organization, I love that! BayBrazil has also been amazing. Their events are super interesting, the networking is great. I’m a fan, and happy to a be a member!
BayBrazil: According to your experience, how do you think the women stand in leadership positions and how are they perceived by co-workers?
Carolina: I think women are more multifunctional than men and I believe they bring different values to the table. I think some women become cold and too serious, because it is the way they find to impose themselves in this very competitive market. I’m not like that and I believe I’ll never be. I win people over on emotion and passion. When you are looking to enter in a market, for example, you need to have these two qualities. I feel this is my role and maybe a man could not do this so well. Or he would do it differently.