Startup Chile: Week 1

We've been in Santiago for one week now. So, what do I think so far?

Well, it reminds me quite a lot of Japan.

Busier, with more people.

Tiny apartments.

Some strange food. Like crazy hotdogs. 

And I'm a little bit embarrassed to say I ate this. Needless to say there was no picture of the item on the menu.  

I am calling this Santiago poutine.

It's all about the people

The program began on Wednesday. The best thing so far has been meeting people from absolutely everywhere: Thailand, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Romania, Peru, Argentina, Sri Lanka, India, and on and on.

There are a few Canadians here too which is nice.

On the first day everyone did a brief introduction about themselves and their startups. It's a mix of things (mostly web and mobile)  and there seem to be a few good ideas. Even more interesting are the backgrounds of the people here: Harvard and Stanford graduates, doctors, lawyers, VCs. But the best is Jeff, an American, who used to work at SpaceX. How awesome is that? 

Pitch time!

On Monday and Tuesday everyone did 5-minute pitches and we got to learn more about what everyone is working on. 

Peter and I decided on the Friday before to kill our initial idea, Fit with Friends. The main reason being that we saw revenue generation to be a major challenge. It's important to us to come out of this with some means of revenue otherwise the startup will die.

So I printed my file of ideas and Pete went through them, finding a few that resonated with him. We settled on My Elephant Brain. The name and URL finding took about an hour. It's an online memory game for remembering the names of people important to you.

We spent some time creating a slidedeck and I arrived Monday morning hoping to pitch on Tuesday. But of course we were scheduled for the Monday. So I did some frantic editing and cutting and moved our presentation position from 6 to 24 (thank you to Lavan from Pace4Life who moved his slot to Tuesday :)

Me explaining that we killed our initial idea. Thanks to Didi from Suitfly for the photo.

The pitch went pretty well. Peter and I both presented. I have in the past been extremely nervous speaking publicly, but I wasn't, which was great. We got some interesting feedback too. Already, others in the program are extending our vision of the product, which is a very cool thing. 

So, all in all, it was a great week! I'm super jazzed about our new idea and the program overall. And the 30 degree weather? Not bad at all.

Weekly Summary

High of the week: Registering My Elephant Brain.

Low of the week: My climbing friend Emil, visiting here with his wife Christina, got pickpocketed. :(

Lesson learned: Be prepared to pitch at all times.

Interesting thing: Three of us went looking for coffee during a break, and I said, "How about that place over there?" We went in, sat down, and ordered some food and drink. It turned out to be a Cafe con piernas. Piernas means legs. Enough said.