Progressing from a basic alpha product to a highly functioning beta was just one of the accomplishments Kurt Avarell, CEO of Rocket Relief, was able to achieve during his laborious, yet fruitful participation in the Start-Up Chile program. As the second startup to “graduate” from the program, he, in reflection, looked back upon the immense advancements that he made as he visited the Start-Up Chile HQ for the last time.
“Five months ago, I didn’t know anyone in Chile. I arrived here without connections to the country. Now, I feel like on almost any level, I have numerous industry contacts, especially in Venture Capital. And if they aren’t the person who can help me, they’ll know someone who knows someone who can,” states Avarell. He adds: “Start-Up Chile opened my understanding of Chilean business culture and introduced me to connections that I, otherwise, never would have made.”
As one of the few entrepreneurs to arrive to Chile with a family (his wife, Ashley, and two daughters), he notes that “it was far easier than [he] would have thought because Chile is very family friendly. It was easy for Ashley and the girls to go out without having a safety problem and get around sufficiently without knowing much Spanish.”
In terms of project development, the young CEO is proud of the hours of arduous work he dedicated while in Chile. Before arriving, Rocket Relief was a true alpha that, with the influx of the Start-Up Chile subsidy, turned into a “built prototype that generates revenue, that is a working beta product.” With the funds he received, Avarell built the company’s software that “reduces attorneys’ work loads from 40-50%” in the burgeoning tax collection industry. And “with that traction, [he] has met with numerous investors in and outside of Chile about raising a second round of funding,” notes Avarell, who is noticeably spirited about his advancements and about continuing along to Rocket Relief’s upcoming stages.
For the future, Kurt is undoubtedly optimistic. His next step is to “build strategic alliances with other companies in the industry” while working to turn Rocket Relief into a full-fledged business. Upon his return to the States, he will establish his headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
To hear more about Kurt’s experience in Start-Up Chile, you can see him (the one in the middle) along with Corey Wride from Movie Mouth on this video from KSL News in Utah.