February Founder Fridays

New year. New name. Same expert content.

We’re kickstarting 2021 by reintroducing First Fridays under its new name: Google Developers Founder Fridays.

And for our first session of the year, we’re bringing you expertise and insights on a timely topic: Growing Across Borders with an International Strategy.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that in an ever-evolving world, going global and diversifying your customer base is more important than ever.

And technology is the toolkit for accessing an entire world of opportunities, allowing you to reach potential customers abroad and to connect with prospective leads at the exact moment they’re looking to discover a product, learn about a service, or make a purchase.

We know it’s a complex journey. That’s why we’re bringing the best of Google’s tools and resources to help you navigate it. Join us to learn from Google’s International Growth team in a series of lightning talks, and hear from founders of global startups in a panel discussion and live Q&A session.


Who Should Attend

This session is for you if you’re a founder, executive, or employee of an early-stage to Series A-funded startup and you want to learn to identify, evaluate, and execute a new market expansion.



Michael Haralambakis

Head of International Growth, Americas Google 

Michael oversees International Growth for Google customers seeking to grow their businesses globally. Prior to Google, he led the U.S. Government's crisis recovery and analytics programs following Hurricane Katrina. He also served as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State overseeing Southern European Affairs. His private sector background includes roles with Intel and IBM. He holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley, an M.A. from Syracuse University, and is a graduate of Harvard University's Leadership in Crisis Program.


Jyll Saskin Gales

International Growth Lead, Canada Google 

Jyll Saskin Gales is an International Growth Lead at Google. In this role, she focuses on helping Canadian companies grow their businesses internationally. Jyll is also a regular speaker at conferences, post-secondary institutions and start-up incubators, educating entrepreneurs about how to scale their businesses through performance marketing. Jyll holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Psychology and Child Development from Tufts University.


Richard Cronin

Localization Lead

Richard is the Localization Lead for the America's International Growth team. Richard is passionate about language and helping advertisers expand their business globally. He supports clients overcoming challenges related to the localization and translation of their product, site, marketing and operations when entering new markets. Previously at Google, Richard worked as a Global Account Manager for large travel brands, developing display and video marketing strategies across multiple markets. 


Kevin Perry

Head of International Solutions

Kevin has been a Googler for 8 years, and is currently the Head of Industry for our International Growth Solutions and Retail Sector. Before this role, Kevin managed a team within Google Finance that worked with Engineering on improving the user experience of our global Payments tools, and began his Google career as a Payments Partner Manager, setting our payments vendor strategy globally and managing Google’s payment processor relationships. He came to Google from Bank of America, where he held multiple roles, including Mobile Banking Product Manager, Payments Strategy Lead, and Product Innovation Manager for Digital Payments. Prior to that, he built and ran the retail business for the Museum of Design Atlanta, a Smithsonian affiliate. He grew up in Atlanta, GA, and has an MBA from Georgia Tech and undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Art History from Dartmouth.


Lauren von Novak

International CX Consultant

With 10 years experience working at the intersection of international & customer experience, Lauren is a solutions-focused CX consultant advising Google’s clients & partners across industries as they launch and optimize global operations.  


Martin Basiri

Co-Founder and CEO

Driven by his belief that education is a right and not a privilege, Martin Basiri approaches every business decision with a student-first mentality. Since launching ApplyBoard in 2015 with his brothers Meti and Massi, Martin has led the company to become the world's largest online platform for international student recruitment, assisting more than 120,000 students with their educational journey to study in Canada, the USA, the UK, and Australia. Under Martin’s leadership, ApplyBoard was named Canada's fastest-growing technology company by Deloitte in 2019 after only four years in business, ranking #1 on the Fast 50™ list.

Martin holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Shiraz University in his native Iran, along with a Masters of Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering from the University of Waterloo. With every strategic direction, Martin prioritizes the success and well-being of students, with the goal of using education to change as many lives as possible.


  • Founder Fridays takes place on Friday, February 5, from 12:00 p.m. until 1:30p.m EST.
  • The session will start with presentations from our experts followed by a live Q&A session 

Questions? Contact us at founder-fridays@google.com