Guest post: DI 2.0. and suppers rockin´it!

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We are thrilled to announce that today we have a guest blogger! Shonika Proctor y the cofounder of Andes Beat, where she is devoted to “change the way people inside and outside of South America see and do business in the region” through blogging and consulting. She spent the last few days at Washington DC supporting several teams of suppers who were taking part at Distilled Intelligence 2.0, and she took the time to write down everything she saw for you to know. If you are starting up on your own, I´m sure what she is sharing will be useful. Get on it!

Six Start-Up Chile teams pitch at Washington, DC’s Distilled Intelligence 2.0

Distilled Intelligence 2.0 pitch competition in Washington, DC brought 100 start-up teams from Indiana to India. The grand prize – a chance to win 1 of 10 coveted spots in Washington, DC’s ‘The Fort’ technology accelerator, along with investments, mentorship and prizes.  The Fort accelerator was launched in January 2012 by early stage venture capital firm Fortify.VC.

Now in it’s second year, the first generation of Distilled Intelligence 1.0 winners are enjoying great success and 9 of the start-ups currently being incubated at ‘The Fort’ have collectively raised over USD $30 million and created 200+ jobs in about 1 year.

All about Founders Funding Founders, Fortify.VC, practices what they preach in terms of their partners being hands-on with their start-up founders. Eric Ayala, a partner at Fortify.VC serves as Director at its São Paulo, Brazil office and is also a mentor for Start-Up Chile.  He was a judge at the August 2012 Start-Up Chile Demo Day and encouraged SUPPER’s to apply for their Distilled Intelligence 2.0 competition.

Several Start-Up Chile teams applied and 6 participated in the competition, The Social Radio, Tourist Link, Agent Piggy, Kuotus, Aentrópico and Lexplique. Kedzoh made the trip to gain exposure, network and get new ideas. The 6 SUPPER’s joined 94 other startups from around the globe related to the themes of e-commerce, mobile and big data among others.

SUPPER’s had these things to share about the experience and lessons learned from the experience:

  1. Perfect your pitches: ‘It’s so easy to get caught up in backend development stuff’, stated Beatriz Cardona co-founder from Kuotus, ‘that sometimes you lose focus in marketing.’ She along with several SUPPER’s say that they really underestimated the pitch part of the competition – in addition to your elevator pitch, you need a clever one sentence media pitch, a 1 minute pitch that quickly makes the point without technical lingo and a 3 minute ‘investor pitch’.
  1. Hecho in Chile: With Start-Up Chile gaining international recognition, The Social Radio co-founder Roberto Gluck, quickly learned the advantages of pitching that his start-up was launched in Chile. On some occasions he pitched that he was based in San Francisco as that is where he is currently based while raising money, but found that more people were interested to talk about what’s hot in South America verses what’s hot in Silicon Valley.
  1. The Sharing Economy: Founder Institute alumni Pablo Ambrams from Agent Piggy and Steven P. Raposo, CTO at Lexplique, both shared the sentiment that in the world of start-ups in networking it is better to pitch someone else than yourself. The culture and very nature of start-ups is sharing expertise, sharing leads, sharing resources and sharing life hacks. And the more you give without an agenda or expectation of repayment the more you will gain respect and validation in the industry. 
  1. Mom knows best: Sebastian Perez Saaibi, co-founder of Aentrópico learned that from crafting your pitch to building a user interface, he definitely needs to involve his mother a little more. While he said that she is business savvy, having run her own small business for many years, she still doesn’t quite get what it is he does. And at the point she understands then he will know that he has made it. 
  1. It’s all in the cards: Patrick Kedziora, Founder & CEO of Kedzoh was quick in terms of passing out business cards to pre-qualified leads and/or entering names and sending emails right away from his iPhone when people were requesting follow-ups. He along with other SUPPER’s definitely realized that you can never bring too many business cards. Investors, Start-Up founders, media, documentary filmmakers, sponsors and representatives from the DC Mayor’s Office, including DC Mayor Vincent Gray, were all in attendance and stopping by and chatting with the start-up founders at their booths. Whatever number of business cards you think you will need, bring double!
*Pics: featured image is from team at Lexplique while the image displayed at the top of this post shows Patrick Kedziora, from Kedzoh.