South American Adventures

Taking flying leaps into the unknown

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JWEF, Brazil and Clients!

Lots of positive things happened in the last 5 days. Firstly we (Planet Expats and Fundacity ) held the first Junior World Entrepreneurship in Chile. It was great. Workshops, panels, speeches by leaders in the Chilean entrepreneurship ecosystem.

As part of the event we also organized a startup pitch contest for 15 teams from 6 universities. The panel, made up of investors, used Fundacity to evaluate the projects in the cloud real time! We invited some experienced investors as judges.  However there was no internet! So the Fundacity team sat right behind the judges sharing internet using their phones. Look at the photo…their faces reveal the nervousness :D.


Judges left to right: Paul O’Tool (UDD Ventures), Sebastian Vidal and Horacio Melo (Startup Chile), Diego Torres Aguirre (Emprende FCH) and Eduardo Amadeo (Nazca Ventures)…with nervous Fundacity team right behind them hoping Fundacity won’t crash

Anyway it was great marketing for us that also won us Startup Chile as a client!

As I haven’t seen Gabi for 3 months I wasted no time. Straight from the 2 day event to the airport, sharing a cab with Eduardo Amadeo Nazca Ventures partner who was a judge at the event. My flight. Horrible. Santiago 10pm to Sao Palo Guarulhos 2am. Then commute to Sao Paolo Campinhas airport at 3am and wait for airport to open. Followed by 2 hour flight to Port Alegre where I landed at 9am to encounter Gabi and enjoy our Sunday! Landed rather exhausted.

After a bit of rest and food we went to the park in the center. As you would expect in Brazil we encountered a Samba party in a clearing in the park. These Brazilians….no fun at all 😀

Yesterday we reached an agreement to supply Claro and Startup Chile with the Fundacity DealFlow. Startup Chile is interested in Fundacity because it gives them the ability to do evaluation real time at their demo days and Claro is drawn by how Fundacity is one tool that replaces the need for email, excel and notepads in their mentoring/incubation process. Both love the design of Fundacity and how it is customizable to their unique deal flow process. These clients are really important for us as in Chile and in the region they are very well known.

In my opinion, to go global you need to have support from your hometown and we are on the right track. I hope we continue to impress and deliver value…if that happens the rest will take care of itself.


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End of a long weekend

In Chile September 18 is a public holiday to commemorate the war of independence. Its a week where Chile goes on holiday, heads to the coast to grill meat and drink piscos, beers and terremotos. imagesWith Fundacity we did the same and all 6 of us could make it. Fantastic time. We bought almost 10kg of meat and alcohol. 2 days straight we grilled for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was quite an epic holiday. It was also a great bonding experience for the team. I used to always view team building days as totally corporate BS but I now realize that it is great and essential for a healthy team dynamic.

Terremotos deserve their special mention. Terremoto literally translates as ‘Earthquake’…the name speaks for itself. It’s made of pipeño (a type of sweet fermented wine) and pineapple ice-cream served in a one-litre glass. Yes it sounds quite ridiculous I agree but be forewarned: it must be handled with care. 🙂

We came back on Friday and I literally spent the whole weekend relaxing and keeping away from emails. This is the first time in a year that I managed to do this. Frankly I really needed it as I feel very low on energy since coming back from Europe. The Europe business trip left me completely spent. I am still trying to get back on the energy wave with vitamins, exercise and better diet. The temporary living conditions aren’t helping, but only few days left in this apartment.

Today, Sunday, making use of the fantastic weather, I charged my phone with some itunes podcasts on the new startup fad called Growth Hacking, and biked for 1.5 hours. I covered 21km. It was pretty epic.

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The coming week is going to be very busy and I am not looking forward to it. The Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum is taking place on Fri/Sat. We have been planning this event for months and expectations are high and I am getting quite anxious. With Fundacity we need to:

  • finalize our contract with our incubator as we are doing a group structure reorganization;
  • finalize our new budget with CORFO as our cost structure has changed along with our pivot;
  • organize a workshop we are holding on Thursday called “Hacking your Fundraising”;
  • finalize our client terms and conditions and have it signed by our first client;
  • test and validate our monetization model;
  • finalize the next fundraising with 2 new investors;
  • and request our next drawdawn from our government grant; and
  • launch a new product offering related to crowd funding that we developed last week.

Oh, almost forgot, I am flying to Brazil on Saturday and I need to move out of my flat and pack!!….Jeez