Maximiliano Pallotto is an Argentine entrepreneur who applied to Start-Up Chile during 2011’s first round, was selected, and is now in Chile participating in the program. From his personal blog, he tells of his experience applying to Start-Up Chile and gives advice to startups who are interested in applying to the second round that is open as of July 11th (until August 11th).
After getting the letter of acceptance from Start-Up Chile, several people asked me questions about how our experience was with the admission process. I think that there may be a lot of people asking themselves these same questions and searching for more information, so here it is a review of what happened with us:
What was the application process like for you?
Well, it was fun! We prepared our application to the Start-Up Chile program in two days. At that time Roberto and I were very busy with our jobs and we met on Friday to do some work and finished on a Saturday (after lots of hard work!). To be fair, I had written HomeViva business model after three months of brainstorming and work to make the blocks of the business model canvas to have sense as a whole. This was key because we had most of the information needed in the admission already processed, so all we had to do was to garnish it, make some spreadsheets and fill the forms.
Key success factors
According to Start-Up Chile, to be admitted you must fulfill three evaluation criteria: Participants (33%), Projects (34%) and International Networks (33%). In our case we are a interdisciplinary team with strengths in business from me and tech from Roberto and, according to some feedback we received, this looked very attractive to our judges [keep reading].
Any tips on types of businesses they are looking for (if you have any insight)
Scalable business. Tech, bio or other kind of business with potential of high impact.
How long was the process for your idea (from initial idea to point where you sent in the application)
As I stated, HomeViva was already there a couple of months before the Start-Up Chile program. The process of transforming from idea to opportunity to business model/plan in my view depends on how much are you dreaming (creativity) and how much business experience (pragmatism) you have, so it is very personal.
How many people are on your team?
Two. Me and Roberto.
What are details around what program provides you ($40k USD, visa, anything else?)
This info is very detailed at startupchile.org. I asked some previous participants and they were very happy with it, they received all the organization compromised and even more. We hope to have the same succes!
Any other general advice
These people actually care about the projects they are funding, so if you want to be selected make something appealing. Forget about competing with others, the real deal is to try your best. This worked for us!
I hope you find this information useful, Please don’t take this as a guide nor review, all the answers are from our experience which surely will differ from you and all others. Lastly, if you want to start your business and have a good project, this is an incredible opportunity. Go for it. Don’t hesitate that much. Don’t wait to have all the answers.