Courtney McColgan of Runa: Navigating Tech in Latin America and What they Don’t Teach you in Stanford Business School

Courtney McColgan is founder and CEO at Runa, a Mexico City based firm that offers a complete cloud-based HR and payroll software solution designed for small to medium-sized companies in Latin America. She previously was Chief Marketing Officer of Cabify a transportation services platform with operations across Latin America, Spain and Portugal.  Prior to that she was CEO and Founder of Yellowsmith a venture backed start up based in New York. She has spent time at Y Combinator and as Entrepreneur in Residence at Morgenthaler. She started her career investment banking and venture capital.

Our conversation starts with Courtney’s journey into tech and her experience in various accelerators which taught her everything she had not learned at Stanford Business School.  We learn about the networks she developed, and her experience both as a founder and in capital raising. We speak in particular about the point at which it might be necessary to exit a start-up and start again, when the odds are actually in your favor depending on the stage you are at in your career.

Given Courtney’s deep experience in Latin America we dive in to the tech ecosystem there and she maps the largest markets, the regulatory backdrop and the state of the infrastructure and she speaks in particular about her own experience as a female founder within it. She also shares her experience as a mother and a founder and the choices that worked for her.