Startup Chile Week 4: Same same, but different

If you've ever been to Thailand, you know the saying, "same, same but different," referring to similar things with differences between them. 

"Same, same but different" is pretty much what life feels like right now. 

I'm in a startup community (same, same) in another country (different).

I'm helping entrepreneurs (same, same), while trying to be one (different, very different).

I'm playing soccer (same, same), on pavement (different).

I'm eating lunch (same, same) as the biggest meal of the day (different).

I'm working Monday to Friday (same, same), often into the night (different).

So, "same, same, but different". I would also add to that, "good". 

Weekly Summary

Wow, has it been a month already? It's just as everyone said: six months seems like a long time but it will go by fast.

Pete and I are pretty focused on the next internal demo day which is happening December 3rd and 4th. He is indeed writing code, I've started doing customer interviews and we are both keeping up with regular exercise. Actually, Pete might be winning in this department. He ran a half marathon on Saturday.  

We both got our first RVA points. RVA stands for "return value agenda" which is what Startup Chile calls our participation in the startup community. Points is how they track what we've done. As a team, we need to amass 4,000 points by the end of six months.

Events are worth different point amounts depending on how much work is involved. Attending a networking event is worth 50 points, while putting on a workshop is worth 350 points. It seems to be a pretty fair way to keep track of activities. 

Last week Pete gave a talk to a university class about Startup Chile, and I attended a pitch day for a university's engineering class. These were both done in English but one of the challenges we are finding is that many events are in Spanish. This makes it hard to quickly get the low-down what the startup community here is like compared to Toronto. We want to provide something useful that fulfils a real need for the community. We are both making efforts to learn Spanish but it will take a bit of time.

Weekly Summary

High of the week: Customer interviews are fun! 

Low of the week: Sprained my ankle again for the third time after my original injury in August. Oh, sports, after 30.

Lesson learned: There is something to be learned from every pitch you see.

There are probably very few people here that have seen more pitches than me. I suffered from "pitch fatigue" well before arrival. As keen as I was to learn what everyone else was working on, seeing about 50 pitches from my fellow entrepreneurs was quite tiring. So although I was curious, I definitely had some reservations about going to see student pitches. 

But the winner actually did something I had never seen before: he used an animated, automated pitch which he had evidently rehearsed many times. He spoke in perfect time to the automated pitch; it was really well done. His project, Diza, is a platform for the customization of shoes, such as color and heel height. Given the amount of work this team put into the pitch, I think they will go far.  

Interesting thing: Robot thing on a bridge, on my way to work. I don't know why he was there, but he looked cool.

Cardboard robot climbing a bridge.

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