Tapping into Latin America’s Software Engineering Talent | Vince Fassbender from ITJ


In the latest episode of Pathmonk Presents, we are excited to feature Vince Fassbender, the Head of Marketing at ITJ

During this insightful episode, Vince discusses how ITJ is facilitating American life science companies’ access to high-caliber software engineering talent from Latin America

This initiative aims to expedite product roadmaps and overcome obstacles such as time zone disparities and cultural differences, ultimately empowering companies to thrive in the competitive tech landscape.

On all major podcasting platforms

More Sales From Your Website With AI

Personalized interactions based on your users' behaviour to get +50% more conversions.

Pathmonk Accelerate CTA

Ernesto Quezada: Pathmonk is the intelligent tool for website lead generation. With increasing online competition, over 98% of website visitors don’t convert. The ability to successfully show your value proposition and support visitors in their buying journey separates you from the competition. Online Pathmonk qualifies and converts leads on your website by figuring out where they are in the buying journey and influencing them in key decision moments. With relevant micro experiences like case studies, intro videos, and much more, stay relevant to your visitors and increase conversions by 50%. Add Pathmonk to your website in seconds. Let the AI do all the work and get access to 50% more qualified leads while you keep doing marketing and sales as usual. Check us out at pathmonk.com. Welcome to today’s episode. Let’s talk about today’s guest. We have Vince Fassbender. How are you doing today, Vince?

Vince Fassbender: I’m doing fantastic. Thank you so much for having me. Appreciate you.

Ernesto: Nice, great to have you on and a little bit excited to talk about your company, which in this case is ITJ. Well, let’s kick it off with that, right? So that our listeners could get a good understanding. Tell us a little bit more in your own words, Vince.

Vince: Absolutely. So, ITJ. What we’re doing is we are a software engineering service provider really focused on American life science companies. And to break it down a bit more, when you think about the tech industry and driving digital innovation in life science, they’re obviously heavily depending on software engineering resources. And here in America, we do have a severe shortage of software engineers. And obviously there’s a bunch of competition. When you think outside of life science, the Googles, the Metas of the world, there’s a lot of competition for that talent. It’s really hard to hire good talent and retain the talent. As you know, in the industry, we’ve been doing this now for 10-20 years. We outsourced to India, Pakistan, China. And it comes with its own challenges, like the lack of time, language barriers, cultural differences. Nobody really talks about all this great software engineering talent which we have in South America. So at ITJ, we’re a San Diego-based company, but one of our main offices is operated in Tijuana, just across the border. So if you’re familiar with the San Diego area, you fly into the San Diego airport and you literally drive 30, 35 minutes, and you are in the heart of Tijuana in the booming financial district where our office is located. We are helping our clients in the life science space to obtain really, really great talent from all over the place in South America and build strategic teams. The big difference about ITJ is we don’t have a bunch of software engineers. You don’t come to us and say, “Hey, we need five of those kinds of guys, back and front end developers.” What you do with us is we sit down with our clients and understand the challenges you’re facing in your product roadmap. How can we help you to be a strategic partner and accelerate? Then we go out and custom source top talent for you. We put those teams together and they are dedicated resources. All of our clients have dedicated resources and teams. We also differentiate from other players with our build-operate-transfer model. We build your team, operate the team for you. If you say, “I’m so amazed by this beautiful Latin American talent, Mexican talent, and I want to bring them in-house and create an entity anywhere in South America or Mexico,” we let you transfer them to you. So, full ownership, custom-built teams, same time zone, and you’re based in Mexico yourself. There is great talent in Mexico, a lot of software engineers, perfect English, really understanding the American culture, which enables our teams to really work closely and very effectively with our clients in the life science sector in the US.

Ernesto: Perfect. Awesome. Well, it’s great to hear that from ITJ and from you, Vince. So, is there a certain vertical segment? Is there an ideal ICP for ITJ then?

Vince: Yeah. The typical ICP is, we talk to CTOs, CISOs, everybody who’s really in charge of bringing the right engineering talent into play to accomplish the company’s roadmaps. I don’t want to name drop here, but our clients are really, really big players, for example, in the automated insulin pump industry. So the work our engineers do there touches people’s lives all around the world. We focus on people who are really heavy on R&D, digital innovation. When you think about the medical space, there are obviously a lot of hardware pieces to it, but that’s not what we focus on. We focus on innovation in the digital side. That can be machines, tools heavily reliant on software, but it can also be fully digital, doing anything from cancer research, detection, breast cancer early detection, insulin delivery. Our clients and our teams touch lives from young to old all across the world.

Ernesto: Great to hear that. So then, how would somebody usually find out about ITJ? Is there a top client acquisition channel for you guys?

Vince: It’s interesting. We’ve been growing so fast. We got recognized by the Inc. 5000 recently. We’ve been growing tremendously fast, and it was really based on the network of the leadership team. Our leadership team has combined over 100 years of life science experience. Great network. A lot of this network were our first clients, giving us the trust based on personal relationships. Now we are at the stage where we really need to scale. When we think about client acquisition and getting the word out there, we really focus on a heavy ABM strategy. Engaging with the main players in the industry, leveraging a tool like RollWorks, for example. One of the big challenges and the fun in my job is really combining all those digital efforts with real-life efforts. How can we combine targeted advertising, education, together with in-person events? How can we make sure that we’re really measuring our marketing impact and being able to quantify an ROI?

Ernesto: Great to hear that. And so that way our listeners who are tuned in can go ahead and visit you really easily. You can go to itj.com. What role does the website play for client acquisition?

Vince: Yeah, you guys can go to itj.com. Big disclaimer here. We are in the process of ripping it all up and doing it new. As I said, we’ve been growing so fast and it’s great to have growing pains. But the website is definitely one thing we haven’t really retouched yet and which needs to happen. The website is going to be a crucial part of our client journey or prospect journey. The goal is to educate people on the problems we solve in the industry and why we’re uniquely positioned to do so. The website is fundamental in building that trust and respect with the industry. I hope to be relaunching our website in the next two to three months together with the team.

Ernesto: Awesome. Great to hear that. When you do relaunch it, are there any tools or tips or methods that you would recommend to our listeners for website lead generation?

Vince: Absolutely. I think across industries and companies, people are always getting blindsided by what we should be talking about. A lot of companies and leaders like to talk about how great we are. We all think we are the best player in the world. We are so interesting. But you want to flip this around. You want to come from a value perspective. What problems do clients typically have and how do we address the unique challenges? When restructuring your website, you want to come in from the lens of a customer. What do they expect to read? What problems are they facing? The closer you can match the language in their mind around the problems and the solutions they’re seeking and reflect that in the language and navigation on the website, the easier a job you’ll have to create impactful journeys. Is it on the SEM side? Is it on the PPC side? You want to make sure that you reflect the language of your prospects across the advertising and the landing page journey.

Ernesto: Great. Some great tools and tips there, Vince, from you. Let’s switch gears a little bit, Vince, and talk about you as a leader. You being the head of marketing for ITJ, what are some key tasks you focus on in your day-to-day work?

Vince: That’s interesting. I’ve been with ITJ now for about eight months, and as I said, we’ve had tremendous growth. I’ve been brought in to really align the commercial team. Historically, sales and marketing were usually one organization. Then as American organizations grew and became more complex, we split those two functions, which led to a lot of pain. My role at ITJ, my day-to-day focus is how can I really align strategic sales efforts with strategic marketing efforts? Think about being a team and pulling in the same direction. It always sounds easier than it is when you really orchestrate from strategy to tactics to communication and making sure we’re all on the same page. That’s really my key focus here, and that has different components. Let’s first align on the accounts we want to go after and understand the needs they have and how we are uniquely positioned to help them with their pain points. How can we take that language and that value and make sure it’s consistent across every touchpoint? There’s advertising, there’s the website, there are value-added pieces like white papers. But then you also talk to people on the phone, you meet them at events, webinars. How can we make sure that both teams, as part of the entire commercial team, speak the same language so you don’t break trust with clients? You want to make sure that when you talk to five people, all five people give you the same understanding of what the value is and the value we bring to the table for you.

Ernesto: Great to hear that from you. In between the time that you have available from your day-to-day, how do you stay up to date with all the new marketing strategies and trends? Is there a preferred channel that you like to stay up to date with on marketing news?

Vince: It’s a good question. I’m obviously subscribed to a million different newsletters, and I do that. But what I found to be the most effective for me personally is I research or link in with a couple of industry leaders. For example, when we’re talking about ABM, which is one pillar of my strategy, I have a network of a couple of really high-profile ABM experts, and I make sure I build a relationship with them. You would be surprised how generous people are with their time. If you have a specific problem or question, rather than just going and reading an article about it, I like to bring that forward and talk to people and experts in the space. If you’re specific with your outreach, people are often very generous with their time and advice.

Ernesto: I think that’s an approach that a lot of people might fear, but it’s awesome to hear that you’re able to mention that so our listeners can take advantage of that. Let’s jump into our next section, Vince, which is our rapid-fire question round. Are you ready?

Vince: Let’s go. Absolutely.

Ernesto: First off, Vince, what is the last book that you read?

Vince: The last book I read is “The Way to Wealth” by Benjamin Franklin. It’s very slim, probably less than 100 pages. It’s obviously about the way to wealth for you personally, but you can transfer a lot of that knowledge to the business world. One thing Benjamin Franklin calls out is the value of understanding your market and where you’re operating. A lot of business leaders, especially on the executive level, get so busy they lose touch with where the market is evolving, what people are looking for, the new trends in technology. It’s important to stay up to date. Another point from the book is being prudent and financially minded. For example, take a movie reference from “300”: “Give me a handful of Spartans and not an army full of Persians.” When I build my team, I’m not looking to unnecessarily increase headcount. I want T-shaped experts who have one specific skill set where they’re top-notch but also have the ability to venture into other related topics. It’s crucial to think about team building in a prudent way. It’s not about adding headcount and filling a department; it’s about bringing in people with a strong sense of ownership. I love working with people who are outspoken and not yes-men. It’s crucial to have people who understand the problem, bring it forward, and provide different levels of solutions. Lastly, community contribution is super important. At ITJ, we’ve hired over 1000 software engineers in Latin America, increasing their income by five times, which impacts their lives, their families, and their communities. It’s crucial for businesses to be authentic and give back. Working on meaningful projects, like software for early breast cancer detection, is wonderful.

Ernesto: That’s super important and impactful. Lastly, if you had a chance to go back in time, what advice would you give yourself if you were to restart your journey as a marketer?

Vince: That’s a great question. Two pieces to that. First, it’s important to bring mentors into your life early on. Mentors can be at different levels. When I think about mentorship, it’s crucial to start this journey early and build different mentors. I had and still have fantastic mentors who helped me be a better marketer. I can call them up, bounce off ideas, and get great advice on technical and soft skills. Now, being on an executive level, it’s a lot about understanding problems, pitching ideas, rallying support. Shout out to my mentors, Brad La Salle at Seekdermal, Emily Johnson at Lighthouse Global, and Keith Raylan at ITJ. The other piece of advice is to reach out to people. When you’re early in your marketing journey, researching a problem online can give you 40 different answers. It’s helpful to find a credible person, trust their opinion, and reach out. Many professionals are generous with their time if you have a specific problem or need advice. Build your mentorship network early, and it doesn’t have to be only marketing. As a marketer, you need to work with sales. If sales isn’t generating revenue, what are you doing as a marketer? Find mentors on all sides, cross-functional, and in tech fields. Building mentorship relationships with software engineers helps you understand product problems. It has a huge impact on your career and builds great friendships and relationships for life.

Ernesto: Amazing advice, not just for yourself but for everybody out there. Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Vince. We are coming to the end of the show. Before we end, I want to give you the last word. If someone forgets everything about the interview today, what is the one thing they should remember about ITJ?

Vince: The one thing you should remember about ITJ is that we’re custom-building amazing strategic software engineering teams in Latin America. It’s the biggest secret in the software engineering space. Nobody thinks about all those people in Latin America who just want to have an impact, and they’re so skilled and smart. Don’t forget about South America.

Ernesto: Well, there you guys heard it. You can always check them out at itj.com. Vince, thank you so much for being part of today’s episode. To our listeners, thank you so much for tuning in. I’m looking forward to our next episode at Pathmonk Presents. Thanks a lot, Vince.

Vince: Thank you, Ernesto. My pleasure. Muchas gracias.