AndesBeat X Games: Startup Gladiators Inquire Within

Today Sir Richard Branson arrived in Chile (Bienvenido)!

So we decided to publish this post, that was actually inspired by his blog post Life Begins at 60 (a video of him kitesurfing in Necker Island). This along with an email from one of our AndesBeat fans who really dug the concept of how at AndesBeat we are promoting entrepreneurship and the startup life like an “extreme sport”, accelerated our motivation to share why:

AndesBeat is on a serious mission to become the

Sports Illustrated for Latin American entrepreneurship.

Having been born and raised in the U.S.A. entrepreneurship is in our genetic makeup. You see genius‘ ideas for business everywhere in everything and over time you start to see its potential in everybody.

But after moving to South America, I quickly noticed it was a completely different world here. If you are an entrepreneur, it often means its necessity based or because of your family name.

From our earliest days of working together, co-founder boy and I often brainstormed and thought of how we could make getting connected to the world of entrepreneurship and startups more ‘interesting’ for the rest of the population. How could we create something that if any person heard about it, they would ‘get it’ right away and would start on the ground ‘running’ if they wanted to?

How in the heck do you create a startup movement, anyway???

With nearly the entire middle class more or less missing from the entrepreneurship and startup equation, some by choice and others because [fill in the blank], it makes the environment not so ‘dynamic’. Although I must applaud the Chilean government for their continued efforts to bring entrepreneurship to the masses.

Do you feel the rhythm??? We do!

So given all these factors, we started masterminding more formally about how to shift the thinking of the culture and ‘bridge‘ the slowly emerging Latin America startup world with the English speaking one.

We wanted people in other parts of the world to get it and also here in Latin America.

In the states they had a lot of great programs for training, events and other things. We could try to bring that programming here, but at the same time we did not want to get into the same situation as every other organization trying to replicate methodologies from abroad and ultimately having to dissect and make exceptions to every concept that didn’t translate contextually.

We were never able to really get the right vibe we were looking for….until one day….

….And just how ‘extreme’ is Chile?

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We ended up getting a little cross-over inspiration from several places, and you know those moments when seemingly disconnected thoughts start to gel together and make perfect sense. And watching the video of Chile’s Insane Downhill Bike Race put an exclamation point on it – there was almost a direct parallel between the startup lifestyle and that of those who participate in extreme sports.

Chile definitely seemed to be the perfect place to test this concept since it is without a doubt a place of many extremes from the blazing hot desert in the north to artic Patagonia in the south. We believed that by nature, the people not only in Chile but in South America have a taste and interest in ‘adventure’ given their natural environment and their distance from the rest of the world.

We spoke to a few ‘branded’ people and high profile professors working in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation in top universities in the U.S. known for their entrepreneurial programs, but funny thing is they didn’t seem to ‘get it’….likely because it’s so simple (and might I add genius) that it is complex…!

So we have broken it down below….to help decrease the learning curve.

And regardless of the feedback, the vision was born from us and thus we have decided to take it…..ALL…..THE……WAY…..!

10 reasons why AndesBeat is promoting the startup life like an extreme sport:

1. There is an inherent risk/danger involved – O-B-V-I-O!

2.  When you first learn about it, you love it or hate it.

3.  The sport can easily turn into an ‘expensive’ but serious hobby as it is ADDICTIVE. And most people bootstrap their initial costs to participate.

4. Even if you are warned against it, you will usually test the waters and see how far you can go before you are ‘fully trained’. And its usually not until you make your first big ‘ooopsie’ that you start to spend a lot of time learning the craft and trying to increase your level of expertise.

5. You make a lot of research in the beginning and join networks to learn the language, terms, get immersed in the culture, meet like people, etc.

6. ‘Strangers’ in your peer group usually look out for each other…and in many cases you would trust them with your life…even if your relationship was built with them ‘virtually’ or if it is your first time meeting them!

7. Those who become ‘famous’ usually only do so within the sport.

8. Every time you get out there on the ‘big stage’, it can be life or death.

9. Your ‘war scars’ are something to be celebrated.

10. It’s life changing and evolving every time you do it and gives you a natural high that cannot easily be compared to any other experience in your life.

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These are just the humble beginnings of our latest adventure (which we will announce in T-30 days) when we formally introduce our first initiative to kick off this journey. Stay tuned!

  • Jaap Haitsma

    Nice post guys. I like the way you compare entrepreneurship with extreme sports

    • http://www.AndesBeat.com/ Shonika Proctor

      Thank you, @google-7e63c4911c93f6ee2e8abbe36caa0cee:disqus !

      Glad you enjoyed and could appreciate our little analogy.