February 24, 2021

Notion’s EMEA GM on how to Grow a Series B Startup Internationally

Michel Gagnon
Michel Gagnon
CEO of Stun&Awe

Notion is on an international expansion path. We talk to General Manager EMEA Robbie O’Connor who's done it before with Asana and Dropbox.

Notion is shaping the work-from-home revolution, by offering an application that simplifies and declutters your digital home office. Think of it as an all-in-one workspace for notes, docs, wikis, projects, and collaboration.

The company is on the fast-track to becoming the new normal and its recent presence expansion in EMEA and APAC is a testament to this.

Here to discuss the company’s growth and how he is pioneering its development in the region is General Manager EMEA Robbie O’Connor, whose career spans across the globe’s most prominent tech companies: Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, and Asana.

In this episode we discuss how to take a series B company and expand it across international boundaries, the elements a startup needs to go global, how Notion drives growth, Robbie’s personal favourite frameworks and the secret ingredients to building high-performing teams.

What you’ll learn

  • Robbie’s background and experience
  • His experience in rapid growth of tech companies, what other companies can do to follow suit.
  • What people don’t know about Dublin’s reputation as a tech hub.
  • His perspective of the EMEA market.
  • How to stay relevant and competitive
  • How to overcome growth challenges in your career

Getting your company from zero to hero has never had a clearer path thanks to Robbie O’Connor’s insights, tips, tricks, trials and tribulations.

The most impactful tools for learning come from other people’s experience. If ever there was a time to unpack an industry leader’s career, this podcast is your blueprint.

A very interesting and insightful interview, thank you Robbie O’Connor!

Happy listening!

Enjoy the show!


"I would ask the question: is the company ready to scale? Because scaling takes on a whole new level of complexity, particularly internationally. Your legal team, your HR team, your culture, your management structure. Is it ready to stretch now that you have new sites around the world?"

You can subscribe to Growth Leap Podcast on Spotify or Apple.

Show Notes

  • Robbie’s journey from Google, to Asana, Dropbox, etc. – [01:13]
  • The generational shift and why Notion was the right next step for Robbie – [02:20]
  • The key elements required to expand a tech company internationally – [04:33]
  • Robbie’s background, his family and how his career kicked off – [05:14]
  • The juxtaposition of preferring the smaller organisations – [7:22]
  • Three elements to ensure expansion is running smoothly – [12:51]
  • The strategies of rapid and successful growth – [16:57]
  • How to plan the next expansion phase – [20:06]
  • Align your team with the Pyramid of Clarity – [26:19]
  • Breaking down objectives the Robbie O’Connor Way [30:08]
  • The crucial elements of building a team [32:55]
  • Parting words of wisdom [40:03]

Selected Links

Robbie on LinkedIn

Robbie on Twitter


Notion startup package

The Pyramid of Clarity