Project Participants Tag

Harvard Business Hosts Start-Up Chile

Last week, Steve from CruiseWise visited his Alma Mater, Harvard Business School, to give a presentation about Start-Up Chile to eager students interested in following the footsteps of CruiseWise and the other 24 teams here in Chile.  There were nearly 30 alumni present from various student-run organizations such as the Energy & Environment Club, the Social Entrepreneurship Club, the Entrepreneurship Club, the TechMedia Club, the Latin America Club, and the Latino Student Club.

While giving a short presentation about the details of the program, Steve, joined by Diego May, CEO of Junar (the second team to arrive to Chile), expounded upon the unique experience of bootstrapping a business in Chile and how their company’s have drastically advanced during their short time with Start-Up Chile.  The pair was also joined by Nicolas Ibanez and Joseph Nejman from Tomorrow Ventures, helping to field some of the inquiries.

They were answering questions for nearly an hour after their presentation, most boiling down to the following inquiries:

“Do you need to be Chilean to be part of the program?”
“Do you need to focus on the Chilean market?”
“Why is the Chilean government doing this?”
“What strings are attached to the funding?”
“What have been the best parts of the program?”

To follow up a bit, we’d like to offer the responses corresponding to those questions.  Firstly, you do not have to be Chilean to participate.  In fact, you cannot participate if you are a resident of Chile and, currently, the 25 teams in Chile represent 14 different nationalities.  We enthusiastically encourage diversity.  Second, the idea of Start-Up Chile is to attract globally thinking business to Chile– it is fundamental that those who apply to the program be oriented towards the global market, focusing on expansion, not isolation.

Next, the Chilean Government has created Start-Up Chile in hopes of converting Chile into the innovation hub of Latin America, also with the desire to inspire local entrepreneurs to conceive their businesses, again, by thinking globally.  Participating in the program does not incur any strings attached.  Equity is not asked for, which has turned out to be one of the more attractive aspects of Start-Up Chile.   One of the few obligations is the the participating teams interact with the local entrepreneurship and innovative ecosystem by attending events, holding workshops, etc.  Finally, the best parts of the program are numerous– the inspiring synergies between participating teams and the local community, the jobs that are created, the advancements that are made, and the essential tools that are provided to the team in order to ensure their success.  CruiseWise put it best when they said: “Chile is taking this program very seriously. In two weeks we were able to create a network here which has already proven itself. The caliber of the people who are opening doors for us cannot be matched in our own home countries.”

To be sure not to miss these kinds of events that will be taking place around the world, please subscribe to our Twitter account and, of course, if there are any other questions, please feel free to send them to


Participating Teams Sign First Partnership

Yesterday the Start-Up Chile participants and staff celebrated the partnership of two teams taking part in the 2010 program– Entrustet and Vendder, from the United States and Portugal respectively.  It is the first time in the short history of Start-Up Chile that a legal link has been made between a set of entrepreneurs and, surely, it will not be the last.  The partnership was chosen as a celebratory focus for the meetup event that is hosted every Thursday, this time in their name.

For a bit of background, Entrustet is a startup company made up of Nathan and Jesse, from Madison, Wisconsin, that deals with digital estate planning after one’s death and has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, and Mashable.  Their new partner, Vendder, was started by Tiago and Filipe and is a unique e-commerce solution for small businesses that is looking to expand into the Spanish speaking market after already having created the tools in English and Portuguese.  They have teamed together so that, in the case that one of Vendder’s store owners dies, their site will be protected by a digital will, created and insured by Entrustet.

Entrustet and Vendder, partners in life (and death)


Breakfast with SOFOFA » High Powered Entrepreneurship

In this video that was taken at a special welcome breakfast held by SOFOFA, the Chilean Federation of Industry, Cristobal Philippi, the CEO, welcomed the Start-Up Chile entrepreneurs by explaining what exactly the Federation entails, why they were invited, and how anxious the Chilean business and innovation community is to have them working in the country. Along with Mr. Philippi, at each table sat some of the most important businesspeople in Chile who attended from companies such as Telefónica, Coasin, Micrológica, and CAP Inc., who were all eagerly looking to network with and get to know the Start-Up Chile participants.

It was a fruitful event that allowed the entrepreneurs to see different lights of Chilean industry and for the CEOs to get back into touch with their entrepreneurial roots.

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Raj, Eximforce, Welcome to Chile

As the 12th team to arrive in Chile to participate in the Start-Up Chile program, Raj touched down in Santiago with ease, barely showing signs of having flown from London and through Sao Paulo and onto the final destination.  He was selected on October 4th and has spent the time anticipating his arrival by contacting various Chilean developing and design firms to speed along his project’s process.   His week is already packed with meetings.

Raj + Eximforce Touch Down in Chile

The project that he will be developing during his time with Start-Up Chile is called Eximforce and is a real-time solution to shipping problems stemming from paperwork and ever-changing international legal frameworks that guide such large scale transactions.  He has been dutifully working on this idea since January and has chosen Chile as his launching pad, after having considered Singapore as another option.  It is his first time in South America, after having lived in Milan and London, and it is looking as if he will not have the slightest problem kicking off Eximforce and utilizing Start-Up Chile’s networks to get it off the ground.


Arrival of Teams 7+8: AndroidIM, Entrustet

Narrowly escaping the quickly plummeting temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, Shahar, Nathan, and Jesse arrived to Santiago on the morning of Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 to participate in the 2010 Start-Up Chile program.  As teams numbers seven and eight, they will start work on their projects immediately and will join the other teams in various activities such as the Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Nathan, Shahar, and Jesse-- Welcome to Chile!

Shahar, the first to land in Chile, is a Tel Aviv native who was previously living in San Francisco after living in New York City and various cities throughout Europe.  He is a former Microsoft employee, having worked with them for four years, and is here in Chile to develop his project called AndroidIM.  As explained by Shahar, the project’s aim is to facilitate the Android application world for developers and, thus, clients.  He and his soon-to-arrive business partner, Dan, are looking to create a specific platform that will facilitate the marketing and money-making process for Android developers.  For those interested, they are looking to add front- and back-end developers to their team.

Second to arrive to Chile were Nathan and Jesse who make up the Entrustet team, originally from Madison, Wisconsin.   The project is rooted in securing one’s digital assets after death, which, as noted by the team, can at times be a bit of a downer, but is a necessary job that is new to the online world.  Jesse explained that the idea occurred to him after reading The World is Flat and was thus inspired to continue on with its execution, mentioning that “three Facebook users die every minute, yet Facebook has no idea who’s dead”– which is where Entrustet comes in.  Having been featured in Mashable and WIRED among others, Entrustet has a potent board of advisors that will help guide them, along with their Start-Up Chile mentor, during their time here in Chile.

These teams add to the diverse bunch that will be even further rounded out by the end of the month, with arrivals nearly every day until the end of November.  To keep up-to-date on the upcoming arrivals and their subsequent progress, please subscribe to this blog.

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Project Update: Junar

Logo Junar

Junar, the team comprised of Javier, André, and Diego, have been making impressive headway during their short time here in Chile. They have met with a large number of Venture Capital firms, Angels investors, and interested financiers, all looking for a chance to be the one to tip Junar into global success. One of the most exciting advancements they’ve made is contracting a new employee to help take on the challenges of launching their startup, that was conceptually born in 2006.

André, in charge of Business Development & Product Management, tells us that the “Junar family keeps growing” now that they have just hired Ignacio (better known as Nacho) to fill the Front-End Developer position they had been searching for. Nacho originally hails from Argentina and will cross the border to Chile to begin to working physically with Junar this coming January. Among his technical and computational talents, the Junar team says that he is a “very talented designer and skateboarder who will boost [their] capabilities even more.” Though after having brought Nacho to the team, they are still very busy with interviewing other candidates to complete their development team.  To see the specific job descriptions, click here.

Besides expanding their workforce, they have also been heavily occupied recruiting college students in the Santiago metropolitan region. Those enlisted students will form a force called the “Junar Beta Testing Unit”– created with the goals of having the students test the Junar platform, attaining valuable feedback, and thus being able to improve upon their product. According to André, the first Unit meeting will take place next week and will be comprised of around 20 students. Without a doubt, this is a major step for Junar and it is no surprise that they say that they are “really excited.”

André says that the doors to participate in the Junar Beta Testing Unit are always open to students (only) and, for those who are interested in participating, all that is required is an email to:  The address also serves as the main point of contact with the Junar team in the case that anyone wants to learn how to use Junar, or anyone with questions regarding the team or project wants to get in contact.

Finally, they have created and launched their Facebook Fan Page that will allow all those interested in Junar to “keep up with [their] news and adventures,” which, undoubtedly will be unfolding day-by-day. You will want to keep tabs on them, great things are coming their way.

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Agile World Tour Visits Chile

Andre Explains Junar, Agile Lean Day Chile 2010

Taking cue from the growing method of Lean Startups and adding Chile to the worldwide list of Agile Day participants, Agile Lean Day Chile completed its fourth annual conference on October 18th with a record number of attendants.  The University of Chile‘s Computer Science Department was the host of the full-day event that included talks covering subjects from agile thinking after the major earthquake in Chile this past February to Software Craftsmanship to What We Hate about Agility (playing the devil’s advocate, of course).

Accompanying the more than 260 participants, Start-Up Chile entrepreneurs from each project attended the event to network with professors, community leaders, and fellow startup hopefuls.   Organized, naturally, by Agíl Chile and the University of Chile’s Computer Science and Mathematical and Physical Science departments, and sponsored by companies such as ACTI (Chilean Association of IT Businesses), Digitales Chile, and Agile Tour 2010, there was never a shortage of both technical and social interest when it came to the Start-Up Chile entrepreneurs.

Andreas with Agile Lean Day Chile Participants

Paige, CEO of Tripeezy, the third program participant to arrive to Chile, commented that the event “was great to network with software engineers that use lean and agile startup techniques.”  As one of the few female entrepreneurs in technology, she adeptly manages an in-depth knowledge of these sorts of topics and technical tools, adding: “since I practice lean startup techniques in the development of my company it was great to meet software engineers who follow similar practices in agile development.”

Though the presentations were given in Spanish, the dominant conversational language was English– which made pitching their projects a breeze.  Paige, along with the rest of the Start-Up Chile participants, had various opportunities to speak with interested parties during an exclusive lunch the team was invited to at Club Hípico, just off the campus of the University of Chile.  Business cards were exchanged, ideas were tossed around, and everyone left with full stomachs and buzzing brains.

It was one of many events in which the Start-Up Chile team will participate during their time here in Chile.  To keep up-to-speed regarding upcoming events that we will take part in, please subscribe to this blog and you will receive constant updates sent directly to your email.

**Special thanks to Agustín Villena, professor at the University of Chile and Leader of the Chilean Agile Software Development Community, for the invitation.

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Power Lunch with the Start-Up Chile Entrepreneurs

Closing out the successful month of September, the Start-Up Chile team celebrated with lunch at the renowned Peruvian restaurant, El Aji Seco, in the heart of downtown Santiago.   It was the first time all of the entrepreneurs who are in Chile have been in the same place at the same time (they’re so busy!), and where they got to talk about their various progress stages, strategies, tactics, and about life in Chile.


And talk about international: an American, Costa-Rican, French, Argentinian, and Israeli, eating a Peruvian meal… in Chile!  Just the cross-cultural dynamics Start-Up Chile was built upon.

Start-Up Chile Team

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Welcoming JUNAR to Start-Up Chile

Slightly less than a month after the arrival of Amit and Nicolas from CruiseWise, Javier, the CTO of has been incorporated  as the second team to take part in the 2010 Start-Up Chile program.

Javier, an Argentinian computer programmer, came up with the idea for Junar nearly four years ago when he noticed a gaping discord between online search results and relevant corresponding information.  He decided to take it into his own hands and began to research into how this disconnect could be solved and henceforth put into practical, everyday use.  In doing this, he conglomerated several data trends such as DaaS (data as a service), SaaS (software as a service), Wikis and social networks/social media.  Javier then discovered that, by compounding these sources, information could be made to tailor exactly what one is searching for without having to swim through seas of useless information.   Once this base was molded, he added Diego and André to his team and, just like that, Junar was born.

Now they are hoping to scale Junar to a level where all internet users can benefit from their innovative approach to data acquisition.  Not to mention, one of their most captivating tools is the “smart” spreadsheet that allows a user to search and input data without leaving their Excel spreadsheet, thus removing the copy/paste annoyance.  To try Junar for yourself, click here.

Joining Javier in Chile this Saturday is André, another Junar business partner, who hails from San Jose, Costa Rica and is in charge of business development and product management.  And, like many of the Start-Up Chile participants, Junar will be looking for local Chilean talent to add to their already stellar team.   The positions they are seeking are as follows:

Front-end Web Developer

Back-end Web Developer

Microsoft Sr. SW Architect and Developer, Junar

Make sure to check back frequently for more information about the Junar’s process throughout the Start-Up Chile program.

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