Florida Funders podcast episode with Elias Torres of Drift

Elias Torres: Elevating Minority Founders

When you paint a picture in your head of the American Dream, what do you see? For many of us, it involves the vision of being ‘self-made’ and designing our own destiny, no matter where we came from.

For Elias Torres, the choice his mother made when she immigrated from Nicaragua to Tampa would prove to be a fortuitous one in helping him realize that dream. After his early start at IBM, Torres became committed to the vision of entrepreneurship. With Drift, his current company, he has proven time and again that Latino founders deserve a place amongst the world’s biggest capital projects.

Torres is the founder and CTO of Drift, the world’s leading conversational marketing and sales platform. Drift helps businesses connect with customers who are ready to buy. After just three years in the market, Drift has become one of the fastest growing SaaS companies of all-time and was named to the Forbes Cloud 100, LinkedIn Top 50 Startups, Entrepreneur’s Top Company Cultures, Boston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work, and SaaS Company of the Year by the NEVCA.  

Listen to today’s episode of Investing in Florida Technology and hear how Elias made the incredible leap from struggling to take orders in English at his fast food job as a teen to becoming Chief Technology Officer of his own company. He also discusses dealing with imposter syndrome, starting with a new company just weeks before the 2008 crash, and the major expansion plans he has for Drift.

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Some Questions Asked: 

  • You came here at a young age from another country, can you tell us about that? (01:37)
  • What was your first entrepreneurial venture? (12:32)
  • Can you tell us about Drift, your current company? (17:30)
  • Can you explain to the listeners the difference between venture capital and private equity? (31:29)
  • Would you ever consider moving Drift’s headquarters to Florida? (39:59)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How and when Torres became interested in tech (03:48)
  • Torres’s early start with IBM (06:42)
  • What the original vision was for Drift (21:43)
  • Why venture capitalists love first generation immigrants (25:49)

Connect with Elias:

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