Santiago de Chile is a city found in South America, in the middle Los Andes, and a busy place for entrepreneurship in Latin America. Chile has the highest rate of Internet users in Latin America and the country ranks 9th in the world for mobile phone use according to the PEW research center.
Last year during the Latin American Techstars Summit, we met a lot of people who help Santiago maintain its position as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. One of those leaders is Rocío Fonseca, Director of Startup Chile, a governmental organization created in 2010 to support ideas and entrepreneurs from all over the world.
At the summit, more than 80 Techstars Startup Weekend and Techstars Startup Week community leaders from Latin America came together to meet, share best practices and learn how to grow startup communities. The summit was possible because of Gonzalo Mena, lead organizer of our programs in Santiago. He has helped re-ignite the Techstars community in Chile.
During Techstars Global Startup Weekend 2017, Santiago held its first ever MEGA event including verticals like video games, social innovation, research and a non-themed vertical.
“The idea of doing a MEGA event– 4 themed verticals within a single weekend– was born because we wanted to celebrate the community. After doing a non-themed Techstars Startup Weekend back in April, we wanted to bring attention to topics that have been growing importantly in the city but that do not get much media”, says Gonzalo. The video games and research themes– which are not super popular– were complemented with social innovation and another non-themed vertical.
The participants’ high energy mixed with the facilitators– who knew each other previously– were the perfect match to make the event a success. “More than 150 participants got to live the experience of going from idea to product in those 54 hours, for most of them it was the first event and we saw an amazing change in them between Friday night and Sunday’s final pitch,” according to Gonzalo.
A grand prize of mentorship from the commercial area from the Ministry of External Relations of Chile will help the winning team to get their project ready to launch abroad.
When asked about the upcoming plans for the community in Santiago, Gonzalo says that thanks to the exposure that came with Techstars Startup Weekend MEGA and the participation of high profile Judges, they will start pushing to make more events that support different thematics around tech entrepreneurship in 2018, collaborating with other communities that include Startup Grind, Emprendedores Anónimos, Founderlist and more.
To connect with the Startup Weekend Community in Santiago, you can visit their website or their Facebook Page. To learn more about Techstars Startup Programs or to find an event near you, go to techstars.com/startup-programs
We are honored to support the largest celebration of entrepreneurship in the world, Global Entrepreneurship Week. We will hold over 200 events, in over 60 cities this year over in just two weekends!
As part of the celebration, Techstars Global Startup Weekend comes with a Regional and Global Showcase, with prizes from Google, Amazon, .CO, and more.
Local winners from each event have the opportunity to submit their startup and our regional judges will select the best team regionally. Regional winners go on to the finals where our global judges panel will select the winner. The global winner will get additional exposure and perks, but the other competitors will not be left empty-handed.
The Global Judges
David Cohen is the Founder and co-CEO of Techstars. David has been an entrepreneur and investor for his entire life. He has only had one job interview in his career, successfully got that job but then quit shortly thereafter to start his first company. Since then, he has founded several companies and has invested in hundreds of startups such as Uber, Twilio, SendGrid, FullContact, and Sphero. In total, these investments have gone on to create more than $80B in value.
David is the co-author (with Brad Feld) of Do More Faster; Techstars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup.
Mary Grove is the Director of Google for Entrepreneurs, leading Google’s efforts to support startups and entrepreneurs in more than 100 countries around the world. Mary is passionate about building community and has worked with groups of entrepreneurs in Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza, and Afghanistan, and previously led numerous international partnerships for Google.
Mary earned her BA and MA from Stanford University. She is the co-founder of Silicon North Stars, a nonprofit that connects youth from the Midwest to Silicon Valley. She has served on the Board of UP Global, the Techstars Foundation and the Stanford Alumni Association.
Debbie Levi is part of the Venture Capital Business Development team at AWS managing relationships with top tier VCs and their portfolio companies on behalf of AWS and broader Amazon. Prior to joining the team in 2016 she was part of the Israeli VC community for about 5 years (most recently at Viola Ventures (FKA Carmel Ventures) and JAL Ventures).
Before becoming a VC Debbie managed marketing teams at a series of start-ups (Mytopia, mySupermarket and Kasamba (acquired by LivePerson) and spent time in corporate America (News America Marketing, a division of News Corp). Debbie holds a MBA from Bar Ilan University and a BA in Psychology and Communications from the University of Michigan. Debbie is a NYC native and an alumna of Stuyvesant High School.
Fadi Ghandour is the Executive Chairman of Wamda Group, an organization consisting of a Venture Capital fund that invests in technology-enabled companies in the Arab world. He is also the Founder and a Board Member of Aramex, a global logistics and transportation provider.
Fadi is a member of the Board of Abraaj Capital, the Board of Endeavor Global and the Board of Trustees at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Additionally, he serves on the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab. He is also the Founder and Chairman of Ruwwad for Development, an initiative that helps disadvantaged communities across the region overcome marginalization through activism, civic engagement, education and financial inclusion.
Rocio is the Executive Director at Start-Up Chile, one of the biggest and most diverse startup communities in the world. She has a MS in Management at MIT, is a Master in innovation and entrepreneurship and Biotech Engineer. Her passion is to help people to transform their ideas into business.
Check out more about our regional judges on global.startupweeend.org/judges
With still one weekend left in Techstars Global Startup Weekend, you have the opportunity to participate and be part of the celebration!
We recently held Global Startup Weekend (GSW) to connect entrepreneurs, organizing teams, and startup communities around the world from November 11th – 20th. During the weekend, attendees received access to exclusive resources to help prep for success at Startup Weekend and make connections to mentors and other startup teams. After GSW, we asked founders from the local winning teams to tell us about their experiences. We recently talked with Stefanie Karp, participant of Startup Weekend in Washington, D.C. where her team won first place. Read below to get a behind-the-scenes look into the weekend and their journey to winning.
What is the name of the company you formed at Startup Weekend D.C.?
“Unbound Art” is the name of our company. We came up with the name on Saturday around midnight in a flurry of text messages among our team. We had spent the afternoon brainstorming some pretty awful ideas.
What did you expect going into the weekend?
Mainly, I wanted to learn about the lean startup methodology after it had come up in conversations with two different potential employers. I come from a background of traditional strategic planning with 5-year plans, so this is a radical departure, going out and testing a “half-baked” idea with consumers right off the bat.
I did have a business idea that I had been developing with a friend for 6 months, but until the GSW, that idea only existed in our evening talks while power-walking the streets of our neighborhood.
So your idea is pitched and chosen – what was it like forming a team?
My idea was the last one chosen, I think number eleven out of approximately forty ideas. The recruiting was really tough, as the first few people who interviewed me about my idea decided to pass on working with me.
I started feeling really insecure, thinking I wouldn’t find a team. Luckily, Alyson, a developer, put her name on my sheet immediately when voting began, and then mysteriously left (it turned out later she was sick). So I had only this one “ghost team member,” and people were asking me if she was real!
Then, just before the recruiting ended, Tom, Raj, and Dustin (all General Business types) decided to join the project, and I was super grateful. In retrospect, a team of five, while small, is really ideal. Decision-making was really fast, and we were the epitome of “agile.”
How did you feel about your idea and new company over the weekend?
Truthfully, we were always on the brink of thinking “no way is this going to work,” as we were eliminating customer segments instead of validating them.
One of the coaches pointed out that there is value to knowing who is NOT your target. We then started focusing more on the artists themselves, and the value proposition to them. An artist friend of mine joined our team half-way through Saturday and that helped propel us forward as he became our “archetype.” It helped so much to bring in outside people and their viewpoints along the way.
So the weekend is over – what’s next!?
The team got together via conference call the night after our win; we talked about what each of us wanted out of the startup weekend, and about our expectations going forward. I’m happily surprised that all members are committed to continuing developing the project, and we have a work plan for our next stage of customer validation.
Any tips for others about to head to Startup Weekend?
Definitely study up on the lean startup methodology, so that the concepts are readily available to you. The framework, like the business model canvas tool, really works! It provides focus when you get stuck.
Any other comments?
Your team is ultimately the key to success, not the idea.
Global Startup Weekend was an opportunity for entrepreneurs, like these founders, to begin begin building their innovative ideas. Startup Weekend events continue to happen year-round, around the world, find one near you!
November is a busy time for the Startup Weekend community around the world! For the past 5 years we’ve seen startup teams from over 65 countries battle it out for top spots and their communities come together to support them in Global Startup Battle. This year, we’re welcoming a different type of celebration – Global Startup Weekend!
As our community around the world continues to grow and evolve, we’ve switched up our annual initiative to provide even more value to organizers, attendees, and communities. During Global Startup Weekend, 15k entrepreneurs will come together for events in over 50 countries during November 11-13 & 18-20! We’re excited to provide exclusive resources for attendees to help prep for success at Startup Weekend and make connections to mentors and other startup teams. To help continue your growth, the winning team of each event will gain access to helpful perks for building your startup.
If you haven’t been to a Startup Weekend yet, this is the time to do so! We’ve got the virtual workshops to get you started and Startup Weekends to bring your company to life. Now’s your chance to build that idea you’ve been thinking of! Find a Global Startup Weekend event near you!
Virtual Workshops & AMA Sessions
November 2, Wednesday – 9:00AM PST
GSW Insider: What to Expect at Startup Weekend – Past Attendee AMA
November 3, Thursday – 9:00AM PST
GSW Insider AMA with David Cohen: All Things Startup
November 7, Monday – 11:00AM PST
GSW Insider: Prototyping for Speed & Scale
November 8, Tuesday – 8:00AM PST
GSW Insider: Developing your 60 Second Pitch
November 8, Tuesday – 2:00PM PST
GSW Insider: AMA with Tallis Gomes, Founder of Easy Taxi
November 9, Wednesday – 8:00AM PST
GSW Insider: How to “Hack” LinkedIn for Connections
November 10, Thursday – 11:00AM PST
GSW Insider: Finding Your Revenue Formula
Thank you to our sponsors for helping to bring Global Startup Weekend to entrepreneurs around the world:
November sure is a special time of year! Not only did President Obama officially declare it National Entrepreneurship Month, but the largest startup competition in the world, Global Startup Battle (GSB), is just nine days away! Taking place November 14-23rd, GSB 2014 marks the first time education entrepreneurs will have their own track within the competition to showcase their latest and greatest innovations. Titled Education, Empowered Track, nine of the biggest players in the edtech industry will be joining the public to determine the most promising new edtech startup of the competition.
The Largest Startup Competition in the World
Every year during Global Entrepreneurship Week, UP Global, gives entrepreneurs in over 250 cities around the world the opportunity to compete for prizes designed to help them move their startup forward. The competition is called Global Startup Battle (GSB), and past and present partners include Google, Coca Cola, Amazon, Sprint, Bigcommerce, and more. With over 30,000 people taking part this year, it will easily be our biggest GSB ever! Check out last year’s winners, as well as the GSB 2013 infographic, and be sure to visit the website to find out more about what you can expect from GSB this year.
The Education, Empowered Track is GSB’s First Education-Focused Contest
This year, Education Entrepreneurs and General Assembly are proud to be co-hosting the first ever Education, Empowered Track within GSB. Thousands of people at 10 Startup Weekend Education (SWEDU) events and over 200 general Startup Weekend events will be participating, and we expect more than 300 teams to be building solutions for education over the span of just 10 days. Ideas will be judged on four categories: Education Impact, User Experience, Execution, and Validation. (See here for full judging criteria). If you’re feeling disappointed by the current education offerings, have an idea to make things better, or want to contribute to the movement to innovate and improve education, then participating in the Education, Empowered Track is a great step for you to take.
Powerhouse Sponsors, Judges, and Prize Packages are Included
This year, we’re excited to announce that General Assembly is the official sponsor of the Education, Empowered Track. As one of the largest and most successful education organization’s in the world, General Assembly is excited to work with education entrepreneurs during GSB to improve the way people learn, increase access to education, and ensure that everyone is empowered to be a thinker and maker.
The Judges are also incredible! New Schools Venture Fund, Pearson Affordable Learning Fund, Edsurge, Class Dojo, and the Institute for Global and Online Education have all joined General Assembly to ensure participants get the opportunity to showcase their products to some of the biggest influencers in the space of education innovation. (See the full list of judges here).
$20,000 USD in General Assembly Courses, $5,000 USD Living Stipend, One-on-One Mentoring Sessions, 40 Hours of Support, Legal Startup Kit, and Social Media Super Powers. This is the current prize package, and there’s still more coming in every week! Organizations are eager to reward the brightest minds coming together to improve education, so be sure to check back before November 14th to see what awesome prizes are added!
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Anyone Can Participate
The GSB competition begins with a Startup Weekend event taking place during the 10-day span of GSB (November 14th-23rd). Dispersed throughout the world, these events welcome anyone and everyone to dabble in the world of entrepreneurship and work as a team to build an innovating new product and startup. Startup Weekend is known as the weekend-long experiential learning event that helps people turn their idea into a startup in less than 54 hours. The motto is No Talk, All Action, so if you have an idea that you want to pitch, or a desire to contribute your skills and ideas to an existing team, be sure to sign up to participate, before spots run out.
10 Startup Weekend Education (SWEDU) Events Are Taking Place During GSB
Anyone participating in a Startup Weekend event during GSB, who builds an edtech startup over the weekend, is eligible to participate in the Education, Empowered Track. It’s important to note that there are two types of Startup Weekend events: general Startup Weekend events are referred to as such, whereas Startup Weekend Education events are often times referred to as SWEDU. The elements that make a SWEDU event different from a Startup Weekend is that 25% of the participants are educators, all the Coaches and Judges at the event are experts in education and education technology, and all ideas being worked on over the weekend are specifically focused on solving an education problem. Both types of Startup Weekend events will be taking place during GSB, so irrespective of which type you sign up for, as long as you’re developing an education solution, you’re automatically eligible to participate in the Education, Empowered Track.
Here is a list of all GSB events, and below you’ll find the 10 events that are specifically SWEDUs.
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Education Entrepreneurship is Year-Round
Anyone who wants to innovate education gets a unique opportunity to participate in a Startup Weekend or SWEDU event during GSB and compete for awesome prizes and major international exposure! However, we want to make sure you know and understand that the opportunity to utilize entrepreneurship to solve problems in education is something you can do year-round. Education Entrepreneurs is the official community within UP Global that specifically focuses on leveraging entrepreneurship to improve education outcomes.
Recognizing that people aiming to innovate education face unique problems that require unique solutions, Education Entrepreneurs has created a suite of programs to specifically help education entrepreneurs along their journey. Programs include SWEDU, Startup Digest Education, bootcamps, meetups, resources, and a global network of Community Leaders who are eager to help. Located in all six major continents, Education Entrepreneurs makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to play an active role in shaping the future of education.
Learn more about the Education, Empowered Track
Check out what else is going on at Global Startup Battle
Follow all the Education, Empowered action on Twitter using hashtag #GSBedu
Got questions? Email EducationEntrepreneurs@up.co