Q&A with Cory Siskind from Base Operations

LatAm List – The travel risk management market is currently estimated at $11B with 10% annual growth as companies continue to expand internationally and employees have to travel more for work. Base Operations provides a solution to this problem by using real-time data on emerging markets to help companies calculate the risk inherent in their employees’ travel.

Cory Siskind, founder and CEO of Base Operations, explains what she has learned from building a company that works across the US-Latin America border and how the Latin American market is an open greenfield for tech startups with the aim to solve local problems.

Q: What is Base Operations?

A: Base Operations is a security and risk management platform that helps individuals navigate emerging market cities with high crime rates and limited access to security data. It is designed to help companies with travel risk management for their employees, which is a growing problem as more companies launch operations overseas.

While their vision is global, the platform is currently focused on Latin America, where there are high crime rates and low visibility, working to provide companies from across the world with accurate data which will help them to keep their employees safe. 

Q: How did Base Operations become the company it is now?

A: Cory worked in the security and risk management industry in Mexico where she saw first hand how companies used antiquated methods like intelligence personnel on the ground to provide data. Alongside a team from MIT, she worked to develop Base Operations, a smart software platform that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to generate more reliable, real-time security data.

The company is currently based in Washington DC and has a presence across the US and Latin America. Base Operations is backed by some of the leading VCs in the security industry, as well as the Techstars Accelerator program.

Q: What has been your experience with Magma Partners?

A: Magma Partners invested in Base Operations in the pre-seed funding round. The company has so far raised $1M in funds from Magma, Good Growth Capital, Glasswing Ventures, and Techstars.

Base Operation is a venture-backed business, so the Magma investment was essential for helping the company develop its tech and scale the business by growing the team of employees and ensuring that the technology was enterprise-ready.

Cory also mentions that the partnership with Magma provided her with an invaluable resource in Nathan Lustig who has provided advice and mentoring when needed. She states that Nathan is very accessible and always willing to help, making him feel like a part of the Base Operations team.

Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned through your experience with Base Operations and as a female entrepreneur in Latin America?

A: In any market, investors are attracted to a company partly by the drive and ambition of the founder. Cory has learned that it is essential to show conviction and a belief in yourself and the company, especially as a woman. She says that selling a company is like selling a dream and if you don’t believe in it then it’s unlikely that an investor will either.

Q: What advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to start their own company in Latin America?

A: Cory comments that establishing a good network really accelerated the growth of Base Operations in the Latin American market. Through Magma Partners she was able to establish important connections with other founders and investors, and she recommends that entrepreneurs also focus on building a similarly strong network.

The most exciting aspect of the Latin American market is the range of opportunities open to entrepreneurs. Cory explains that there is a great opportunity in Latin America for innovative technology to be used to solve real-time, local problems. Cory believes that the focus of Base Operations on solving the localized problem of high crime and low visibility in Latin America is one of the main reasons for the success of the company.

Q: What are the next steps for Base Operations?

A: Base Operations is currently working on the platform’s technology, focusing on visualization and creating a way to help people comprehend a city based on crime data points. The company is also looking to hire and grow the team while continuing to build new partnerships with more customers.

For more of the Base Operations story, listen to episode 81 of the Crossing Borders podcast with Cory Siskind and Nathan Lustig.

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