New Participants, New Voices: Amir + Marshall

Projects & Participants

After announcing the newly selected 110 startups, many of the soon-to-be participants have been eagerly sharing the news of their acceptance through various social media outlets, namely their Twitter accounts and personal blogs. Here, two of the chosen entrepreneurs share their thoughts (excerpts from their blogs) about coming to Chile and becoming part of the world’s foremost startup program.

Amir Salihefendic

I am happy to announce that I will be participating in Start-Up Chile this June. I am thrilled to have such an opportunity.

I have chosen to participate with Wedoist — which until now has mostly been a side-project that I have worked on in my spare time. Wedoist is out and you can try it out — this said, it’s only a very small fraction of what’s to come. But even this minimal release of Wedoist is growing, has thousands of users and is already profitable, so I have high hopes for the future.

My first startup Plurk.com is a top 1000 site in the world, has millions of users and over the years we got copied by Microsoft and recently Baidu (China’s Google). Given this record I aim even higher with my new venture and I want to invest a lot of time into something that has a very positive impact on the world. Generally, I want to change how people collaborate and improve productivity and communication for the better.

My main reasons why I have chosen to participate in Start-Up Chile and not in one of the many bootstrap programs in Europe and US are, among others:

  • Chile has one of the best economies in Latin America and one of the fastest growing economies in the world — which means they must be doing something right and I want to explore their society and culture more.
  • I can connect with some of the best entrepreneurs and hackers — not just Chilean, but from around the world since this is a global program.

Remember that you can apply for Start-Up Chile— the next round begins in July!

Marshall Haas

After the Fall 2010 semester, I heard about a program by the Chilean government called Start-Up Chile. They were bringing in new companies from around the world as part of a beta group. The participants receive $40,000 and a 1 year visa to come and build their companies in Chile.

With the success of the beta group, Start-Up Chile opened applications in February of this year to bring in an additional 100 companies. By this time I had already formed the new company (Obsorb, Inc) and raised some cash for it from an angel investor. One of my mentors, Shonika Proctor, had moved to Chile a few months back to work with some of the university entrepreneurship programs over there. I kept hearing all sorts of awesome things about the country from her and others.

On February 15th, they opened up the applications and I applied with my new company, Obsorb. After a long wait, I got an email with an acceptance letter. I’m beyond excited. Things are going to start moving incredibly fast. I haven’t picked an exact date yet, but I will be moving there around the end of May or the beginning of June and I won’t be back until at least December.