So, it’s been almost four weeks now that we have been down here in Chile. Time to wrap up some first impressions! We hit the ground running and – supported by the amazing StartUp Chile-Crew – managed to make our way the bueraucratic jungle astoningshly fast. Yet, the bueraucratic jungle was also surprisingly big. Santiago itself is a great place: the Andes hovering right over your head (if the smog permits to enjoy the view) give it an amazing environment, Chilean people are very welcoming (granted that you are well equipped to understand their Spanish which is a lot tougher to understand than the Spanish of neighbouring Argentina for instance) and very interested in the world beyond the Andes.
The entrepreneurial eco-system (both social as well as “classical”) is still in its infancy but well, that’s what StartUp Chile with the help of young founders from around the world wants to change. In our generation (every four months some 100 organizations are brought to the country) there is an exciting mix both in terms of what the organizations do as well as where the founders are from. There are for example Fred, Giacomo and Paolo from Italy/ Portugal whose venture Memeoirs prints individual books from emails (still looking for that perfect anniversary gift for your fiancee?). Then there is Greg Tao from the US who invented a solution to use pressure cookers for sterilizing medical equipment in hospital in developing countries at a fraction of the cost that typical eqipment would cost. Or Omar who builds a location-based messaging app. So that you could ask people in your direct environment for directions virtually or invite your neighbours for a Sunday afternoon football match.
Exciting ventures, great people: we are looking forward to our Latin American experiences and have great plans, so stay tuned. Oh, and as a first step to make use of being based on the other end of the world, we recently scouted a Quechua teacher and will be working on adding more local languages.