Could it really be ‘the end of the world’ in DC?
Sitting in the auditorium of the Carnegie Library (Historical Society of DC) in my hometown of Washington, DC I could not believe my eyes when I saw Founder Institute alumni, Pablo Ambram from the multi Award Winning Agent Piggy pitching at Distilled Intelligence 2.0 (probably he was surprised to see me outside of Chile too, haha). And as it turns out it was not just him who had traveled from Chile ‘The End of the World’ South America – 6 other startups had made the trip as well. They were each competing against 99 other teams for seed capital + 6 months mentorship at The Fort Accelerator in Washington, DC.
And for good reason, according to Fortify.VC co-founder Jonathon Perelli, last year’s inaugural teams from DI 1.0, 9 in all, have raised US $30 million and created 200+ jobs. This year, from preliminary numbers they are anticipating DI 2.0 teams to achieve at least double the success.
It’s kind of like the Olympics, a fraction of a point is the difference between whether you win or lose.
– Pablo Ambram, Agent Piggy, after hearing he had just missed advancing to the finals
Coincidentally, all of the Chilean teams represented were part of the government sponsored Start-Up Chile program. And to my surprise and sheer delight, a quick peek on the Start-Up Chile website showed that they had not yet broke the story (brouhaha, evil grin), so I worked all the night to hurry up and build my story before news got back to Chile this morning – sorry Horacio Melo, you are still totally my favorite Start-Up Chile director, ever!
At the event, taking matters into my own hands (sound familiar???), I formally introduced myself to all the teams and gathered them for a group photo for the story (although I was quite impressed how almost all of them already knew of the work of AndesBeat, woot, woot). I then took over the DC Mayor’s Television crew as Oprah Winfrey for a few minutes as I interviewed Pablo. He sent some shout outs to Start-Up Chile and Chile’s start-up community as well as got in a little plug for Agent Piggy. To make sure his clip doesn’t get edited out, I made sure he included a nice plug for Washington, DC and his experience at the event. After his interview, he asked if he said ‘Chile’ at least 6 times….Si po!!!
So aside from Agent Piggy who else was reppin’ Chile at Distilled Intelligence 2.0?
The Social Radio
The Social Radio lets you listen to your tweets (timeline, TT, Lists or searches) mixed with your favorite music on your iPhone, Android and on the web. Currently in San Francisco by way of Argentina, co-founder Roberto Gluck was trying to raise some money. Oddly enough, he said he found it challenging to raise money in South America because local investors thought his company was too ‘globalized’….that’s definitely one for the times. With part of his team in San Francisco and part in Argentina, he will go where the money is – investors, holla!!!
Sidebar: Big love at The Social Radio co-founder Roberto Gluck for being my networking guinea pig today. I was giving him a crash course on startup gangsta networking and tips for ‘owning the space’. If you are not sure what that means, just hop on the Chilean metro at rush hour and after getting tackled and rugbied a few times by 4 foot high little old ladies trying to get a seat, you’ll understand perfectly.
Tourist Link targets the rapidly growing middle class in India who are looking towards travel leisure experiences. Tourist Link President David Urmann states that Indian Travelers spent $22 billion in the past year and his company is uniquely positioned to respond to this huge opportunity. Prior to founding this startup he lived in India where he founded GotripIndia in 2006. They developed a network of SEO optimized travel sites which enabled them to grow their company to over 100 people. He has visited over 45 countries and believe that he is his own best customer having lived the problem he is solving firsthand.
Agent Piggy is an online virtual piggy bank designed to help kids 5-12 learn to be financially responsible with their money in a practical way. While it is always nice to see Pablo and his friendly face, I was really hoping to see Ms. Agent Piggy, Maritza Lanas. We missed ya’ today, next time, ok?
Although I originally connected with Beatriz Cardona through her work at Ellas 2.0 (the Spanish version of Women 2.0), today I saw her in her role as CEO and Co-Founder of Kuotus. This online reservation system was built for and with local tour providers. Their platform helps them to get more customers with less effort by connecting them with online travel outlets in real-time.
Leila Golchehreh and Steven Raposo were representing the team from Lexplique and they were so darn sweet and cooperative with me, as might be expected given their work. Lexplique believes that a problem doesn’t have a nationality and neither should its legal solutions. And they definitely validate this with 5 language options on their website including Portuguese and Chinese! Lexplique uses mobile and web technology to connect businesses and lawyers from around the world with the aim of simplifying the process of understanding foreign legal and economic systems.
I am not sure if Sebastian Perez Saaibi was working on Latino time or what (-: but unfortunately he did not arrive early enough to be included in the picture. Simply put, Aentrópico democratizes access to data-driven decision making. They offer tailor-made business intelligence using high-level quantitative and reporting tools that exploit and unravel hidden structures and patterns in data, in order to facilitate the decision making process.
Kedzoh is a mobile authoring tool for enterprise clients to create and take 3-5 minute lessons on a mobile device. While they were not presenting at DI 2.0, Kedzoh founder Patrick Kedziora was generous to allow us to use his camera to take our group photo. Mil gracias!
And while he was not representing Chile, I still wanted to give a shout out to Ricardo Leon from Knackmaster. They publish early education apps out of Mexico. We talked about his travels to Chile and first exposure to Castellano (with a Chilean taxi driver no less) and I was able to practice my Spanish a little with him.
Many thanks to all the teams who made the trip and represented the Chilean startup ecosystem while supporting the work of Fortify.VC