Syrenaica, a chilean gaming company, rocks Kickstarter!

The Chilean gaming company Syrenaica is being funded via Kickstarter and is hoping to follow the success of other Chilean companies like Puzzle Me!, which was one of the first Chilean companies to be funded that way.

Kickstarter is a funding platform primarily for creative and technology based projects. Each project creator has to decide on a certain amount of money they want to fund until a certain deadline.

If the goal is not met, nothing will be funded. So it is an “all or nothing” funding program – very challenging!

Syrenaica creates groundbreaking Games, sometimes as a natural result of a proactive culture that encourages fun. Lots of fun! They believe they ARE that kind of culture, so they are dedicated to develop games that bring the only real value that matters.

… And that is natural entertainment, brought to you by their new game called “Evilot”!

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Startups seek to support and motivate young Chileans in improving their English

English as a lingua franca.

Is that what it really is?

Of course, also Spanish is a widely spread and spoken language, especially in LatAm, but in some situations we must realize that being fluent in English is extremely helpful.

And sometimes even required!

Some days ago, the British Council and Trabajando.com, published alarming statistics about the level of English of Chilean professionals, emphasizing that about every fourth job, and that is a quarter, required knowledge of the English language.

Nevertheless, the Chilean reality demonstrates that 80 % of the professionals in fact only has an insufficient level in this area.

Besides, 55% of young people had to admit that they are not able to have a fluent conversation in English, while 91% of them indeed stated that English is relevant and essential for their professional development.

For the future it is estimated that by 2020, 3 of every 4 jobs, so 75% will require you to be bilingual.

Two Chilean startups in conjunction with EF Chile are now addressing this problem by launching an interesting solution. These two brilliant startups are Sensication, founded by Gonzalo Torrealba and José Miguel Calderón, and iKwest, also founded by Gonzalo Torrealba and his partner Heiko Linn to develop cell phone technology for big companies.

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New pipeline technology seeks to bring water to remote areas in Chile/LatAm

Innovative ideas come to exist in all places of the world basically every day, but this one caught my attention:

TOHL is a project conducted by Benjamin Cohen and his group of Tech grads from Atlanta, Georgia that deals with the installation of a disruptive pipeline technology.

It aims at revolutionizing disaster relief efforts as well as water delivery infrastructure to the most remote areas, especially in Chile and all of LatAm.

So far our imagine of pipeline has not been very positive. It has actually been quite the contrast, because we think of pipelines as very expensive, difficult to install and destructive to the environment. Not positive at all!

It is important to note that they don’t always carry oil, but they can carry essentials like water, power and information to “the end of the world”! After the earthquakes in Haiti, the team decided that we really need this solution now. Here is TOHL’s pipeline technology:

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Student housing search platform, Uniplaces, raises 200,000 Euro!

Going abroad as a student can become really frustrating when it comes to finding a place to stay in the foreign country you go to. I had to experience that myself, when I came to Chile …

No fun at all! But you don’t have to face that challenge anymore, because also Mariano Kostelec and his team (Leo Lara, Miguel Amaro and Ben Grech) realized that this is indeed a problem for many students and therefore created Uniplaces.

Developed in Portugal at the end of 2011 and 100% bootstrapped, Uniplaces is an online platform for finding rental housings near universities, but not only in Portugal, but now also in Chile.

And given that Santiago has an uncountable amount of universities, imagine how convenient it would be to be able to find university accommodation so easily.

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Brazil’s Spotwish Go! ready to show DevCup why they are the people’s choice!

DevCup’ is an annual competition hosted by Evernote, a U.S. founded company, which allows users to capture, organize, and find information across multiple platforms.

Recently their 2nd annual competition was launched, aimed at discovering developers and inspiring new apps based on Evernote software and supporting new features within the Evernote platform.

One of the winners in this competition was Spotwish Go! from Brazil. Unlike the other 5 winners, this team was actually voted for by the public, meaning the public already loves Spotwish Go!

And they hope, so will you!

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Are you ready to face the “Key Challenge”?

The “Desafío Clave” (Key Challenge) is a development of the platform Socialab, an independent initiative of TECHO Chile.

It seeks to support products, services and business models which provide an efficient solution for solving the problems of all the people who are permanently excluded by the society, be it due to the lack of opportunities or resources.

It aims at motivating specifically young people to contribute their creative ideas in order to overcome poverty in Chile.

What is so striking about Desafío Clave is that unlike other competitive funds, this one actually monitors and follows up with each one of the ideas contributed to the contest.

It all starts with basic concepts, but with the help of professionals and the community, the ideas will develop until they finally, over time, convert to sustainable projects.

The second version of this contest was launched last Friday, August 17th, 2012 by INJUV with a public opening ceremony in Santiago de Chile. Continue reading

Deal or no deal?! Know when the price is right!

Imagine this:
You are sitting in the most comfy armchair in your living room, the sun is shining but still you are slowly but surely getting upset.

Just because you are trying to find the place where to get a certain product, let’s say a cell phone, for the least amount of money.

Easier said than done – we all know that!!

And of course we don’t want to end up paying much more money than you would have had to.

With regard to product search, LatAm is still a little bit behind Europe and the US, so this is the perfect time to start using the brandnew product search and comparison engine Compara.la, which was publicly launched 2 weeks ago.

Compara.la was founded by Jorge De Ossó and Josefina Concha and believe it or not, it is 100% bootstrapped.

Jorge admits that this was hard and they have been working on it for over a year now, but simultaneously running a small mobile software development shop it is possible to pay for all the expenses – and it is worth it!

Your life will become so much easier when it comes to online purchases!

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Epistemonikos – The most efficient health search engine in 9 languages!

Medical care and information is usually needed immediately, or at least as soon as possible.

But also as convenient and easy as possible.

So how do I obtain the best information that I can really rely on?

This challenge is being addressed thanks to non-profit start-up Epistemonikos which seeks to provide the best evidence-based health care combined with information technologies, making it so much easier for people to make decisions with regard to clinical or health-policy issues.

The easily accessible and free collaborative public beta version of this search engine in Spanish was officially launched on August 20th, 2012 with great success.

They are working to better support and aggressively build on the more than 32,000 users from all the continents that have visited the platform since April 2012.

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Be different! Why not bootstrap your start up company in Latin America?

Why would you ever bootstrap an online company in Latin America?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Did other people ask you? Or did you ask other people?

Hernán Amiune has probably asked himself this question about a million times, but the difference maybe is that he has found his personal explanations for why he did indeed take that risk of bootstrapping in LatAm.

Continually asking himself why led him directly into an entrepreneurial path and ultimately inspired him to found elMejorTrato, an Argentinian online comparison site that helps people to save time, money and effort in finding the best deals on financial services in just a few seconds.

Hernán states that his biggest achievement to date as an entrepreneur has definitely been making his very own company profitable. CONGRATS!!!

If you want to know what Hernán thinks of the rarely used alternative of bootstrapping among Latin American entrepreneurs, read his tips below of how he did it!:

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The coolest places might be closer to you than you think!

“I need food. Good food. Right now!” – To be honest, I have often caught myself saying that. Probably more to myself than to others…

But still, the only solution to solve this “problem” is finding a good place to eat, right? Sometimes, depending on where you are, this is not even an easy task to accomplish.

That is why you should try paOnde, because it is such an easy and fast way to find exactly the place you want to go eat at.

And even if you’re not a big fan of eating, you will definitely love paOnde, because it can also give you a list of places to go out in general.

And not just some places, but the best rated ones around you. That way you will never be bored at home not knowing what to do!

This cool app, created by Matías CastroMatías Rubio and Ignacio Badilla, was just recently (August 9th) made available in the Apple App Store, without any press releases.

But nevertheless, paOnde can proudly state having more than 5000 downloads already, in just a week – that is incredible.

Even better: This app has become the 4th ranked free app en Chile and 1st in the category of “Food&Drink”.

I think that really speaks for itself!!

So what is so cool about this app and how does it work? Why is it not like all the other apps?

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