Tell us your name and a little about yourself.
My name is Aron Schwarzkopf, and I’m a millennial Latino-American entrepreneur, father to two beautiful girls in Brooklyn, by way of Boston. Five years ago, I sold my first fintech venture to Heartland Payment Systems (NYSE:GPN). As a child, I was primarily raised abroad in Quito, Ecuador, where I cultivated a great passion for the region, its various cultures, diversity, and way of life. After my first exit, I began actively investing in technology, and rapidly added Latam ventures into my investment portfolio. As I dug deeper, rediscovered the region, I realized that the technology ecosystem was a hidden jewel soon to become globally recognized. So I decided to co-found and fund Kushki.
What exactly does your company do?
Kushki standardizes local payment infrastructure across Latin America under a single API, built on a new-age tech stack. It allows businesses to rapidly expand throughout the region by using our services to do their billing and accept customer payments. Before Kushki, navigating payment methods, providers, and regulation country-by-country were incredibly complex, consequently creating a major blocker for high-growth companies in the ecosystem.
What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
There are so many recurring challenges when you pick the entrepreneurial road! Both professional as well as personal. That being said, the biggest challenge for Kushki, given its multicultural nature, was to assemble and tailor the team, product, and messaging to each local culture and its idiosyncrasies. Moreover, there was a challenge to consolidate all of the localized expertise, regionally. Each country in Latin America has its own identity, market, regulation, and culture.
What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?
It’s not how you start, it’s how you end.
Who are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?
I’m an avid reader of history. I get inspired and influenced by individuals that favored grit over everything else, and dedicate all of their might towards achieving the goal. Individuals such as Winston Churchill, Simon Bolivar, among others. In today’s world, I have great admiration for people such as Peter Diamandis, you cannot stop that man! Or Jeff Bezos, who materializes the definition of ‘Gradatim Ferociter.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
I’ve been very fortunate to find great mentors along the way to help me grow and maintain balance. But no one more important than my wife, Jessica. She has been paramount to my success, she’s the rock in which I stand on, and my voice of reason.
What do you see as your greatest success in life?
My daughters. Speaking professionally, I believe my biggest achievement is within the teams I’ve been able to assemble, their collective chemistry, and their ambition to change the world.
How can people follow your journey? Please list your social media URLs
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