Santiago Chile’s soon to be legendary MakerSpace featuring its Atari 2600 consoles (RIP Atari Founder), classic pinball machines and 3D printer machines provided yet again ‘the perfect venue’ for bringing together timeless classics with timely visionaries here at the edge of potential in Chile, South America.
On its signature day of the week, First Tuesday (Chile) in collaboration with Founder Institute (Silicon Valley) hosted an invitation only gathering to celebrate the success of its inaugural graduating class of the first Founder Institute in Latin America and set the stage for what to expect from their partnership in the year ahead.
The new First Tuesday programs are designed to take Latin American entrepreneurs beyond ‘networking’ and build a more comprehensive and integrated entrepreneurial experience for them. The three programs they announced were:
- First Tuesday Bootcamps for new entrepreneurs to get their feet wet.
- Founder Institute for entrepreneurs looking to grow, internationalize or strengthen their business networking outside of Chile.
- First Tuesday Showcases which was developed for entrepreneurs looking for funding.
They hope to add value to the ecosystem by helping local entrepreneurs to take advantage of the most experienced local and international mentors.
Who was there ‘first’?
The Founder Institute launch was well-attended with about 100 people in attendance including a number of familiar faces and entrepreneurial advocates.
But one familiar face that was missing was First Tuesday’s fearless leader and the man who brought Founder Institute to Latin America, Tim Delhaes. In his defense, he was not surfing in Pichilemu (Chile)!! Just one week ago at a smaller and more ‘intimate’ event ‘Founder’s Institute Barbeque’ which was hosted at the First Tuesday Chile Headquarters, he made a classic Tim debut appearance, asking during introductions ‘Anybody wanna beer?’ He announced at the event that he was headed back to San Francisco to complete some work in his new startup, Mon.ki.
Nevertheless, in true First Tuesday style, the pisco sour and decadent little passed appetizers circulated freely throughout the night along with the lively conversation and business cards from a number of Chile’s power players including, CORFO’s Deputy Director of Entrepreneurship, Juan de Dios Carvajal; CORFO’s ‘Entrepreneurship Cheerleader’, Josefa Villaroel; Endeavor’s Executive Director Julie McPherson; and the usual startup and entrepreneur suspects such as Max Morales (Andes Wines), Nico Orellana (Welcu), Sergio Lopez (Proactive Office) and STGO MakerSpace Co-Founder Tiburcio de Carcova (Atakama Labs). And let’s certainly not forget Start-Up Chile’s founders buzzing about, including Agent Piggy’s Pablo Ambram, a Founder Institute (California) alumni and huge advocate for the program.
The event served a dual purpose, first to celebrate the successful completion of the first graduating class of Founder Institute in Latin America. And second, to provide updates on First Tuesday (Chile) new markets and expanded program offerings.
First Tuesday Chile expands in 6 countries
First Tuesday has established offices and activities in 8 cities in Chile: Concepción, Antofagasta, Santiago, Valparaiso, Melipilla, Rancagua, Talca and Temuco, where they have created networking events attracting up to 200 entrepreneurs which is validating the “hunger” that has yet to be addressed in the respective regions outside of Santiago.
Additionally, they have launched First Tuesday in Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Ecuador, with incredible success. In each of these cities or countries they have sought to establish relationships with strategic partners to conduct their activities, in order to have a real impact on societies and cultures.
This year they are hoping to incorporate Colombia, Paraguay and Costa Rica into their network.
Founder Institute Sets Pace for Latin America
At the Founder Institute barbeque Tim Delhaes wanted to know if people wanted to joy ride their bicycle or ride competitively. If you want to joy ride, go hop on a trail in one of Chile’s many beautiful national parks. But if you want to ride competitively gear up and get ready for your intense training at the Founder Institute!
The purpose of Founder Institute is to help local entrepreneurs launch sustainable and high potential technology companies through a program that leverages mentoring and networking with other top level founders like Nico Orellana and Wenceslao Casares, who will both serve as mentors this year in Chile. The program runs 4 months and is highly selective (selection is based on founders aptitude through various online assessment tools and not on projects).
Founder Institute will begin its second semester in Chile on 17 May.
Applications are now open until 6 May.