Start-Up Chile: California Campaign, Notes from the Road (2)


Start-Up Chile’s presence in the Bay Area is growing exponentially thanks to Diego Alcaíno, Start-Up Chile’s California-based voice, and his non-stop energy and zest for entrepreneurship.  Here, we take another look into his life on the road as he continues to meet with the best of the best and spread the Start-Up Chile word.

Days go by, and Start-Up Chile continues being an unstoppable icebreaker here in the Valley, with meeting-upon-meeting flowing between Palo Alto and San Francisco.

Before presenting at The Hub - SoMa

We met with Vivek Wadhwa, who has personally taken on the role of Start-Up Chile’s vocalist, where we learned more on how to start an entrepreneurial revolution—and from this seasoned expert, our heads were left aflutter.

Next, Marta Bulaich from the VC firm DFJ took us under her wing and generously explained the emerging market’s startups scene, giving us a personalized presentation fit for the best startups looking to garner venture capital.

The same day, we had a great discussion with Mike Hennesy and Justin Kuykendall— entrepreneurs both with strong ties to Chile.  Justin is the CEO of Pulpo Media, the leading Hispanic online media provider, which, as a growing company, is currently looking into starting business in Chile in order to enhance their operations, and Mike was living the vida Chilena couple of years ago.

Another interesting connection was Pedro Moneo and Shaherose Charania from the international network, Oppino. Opinno is rapidly growing throughout the world and will soon be landing in Chile. Pedro will be visiting Chile later in November and will get to see all the Start-Up Chile entrepreneurs hard at work.

Before saying goodbye to Amit, he invited us to a TechAviv meetup at Stanford. Mixing with the creme-de-la-creme of Silicon Vallye’s Israeli entrepreneurs, we formally invited their startups to join Amit and do an aliyah to Chile.

At the end of the week, we took part in the Dangerously Ambitious event hosted by Sparkseed, promoting social entrepreneurship. Thanks to Mike del Ponte.

Dangerously Ambitious

During the weekend, even though we were unable to attend physically, we held a Skype conference call with the entrepreneurs from Start-Up Weekend San Diego. Thanks to Bryan for the arrangements.

We were the lucky recipients of tickets to the Investor Summit held by The Founder Institute, which, as always, didn’t disappoint as we listened to many interesting startup pitches throughout the event. Dave McClure, founder of, who is planning on visiting Chile with Geeks on a Plane, concluded the summit with a fantastic speech that left everyone motivated to continue charging ahead with their entrepreneurial dreams.

The highlight of the week, was the final demo day of YCombinator,  where we listened to over 30 projects from the coolest minds in the Valley, exchanged ideas, and invited them to be part of Start-Up Chile.

Over the weekend that followed, we completed the Startup Weekend hat-trick, taking part in the Startup Weekend focused on Education (thanks Franck, see you in Chile soon!). There, we met people from the Kaufmann Foundation and discussed the motivation and goals of the Start-Up Chile program.

Start-Up Weekend Education

After several Education-focused Startup PowerPoints, we finally completed the visit to the mother of all incubators in San Francisco: Inveneo, i/o Ventures, kicklabs, dogpatchlabs, the hub, soma central.  We are officially out in the open.

Coming back to Singularity U, we pitched the program to all the outgoing Summer School projects, asking the question: How will you improve the lives of a billion people? The main topics were Water, Food, Energy, Space, and Recycling.  There, we snagged another candidate for Start-Up Chile, and a NASA tour, for free!

Thinking of space sciences in Chile?

This leg of the Start-Up Chile promotional tour ended on a sunny day in Palo Alto with Paige Brown, the first female entrepreneur to be accepted to the Start-Up Chile program who gave us a free Tripeezy t-shirt and told us about all her ideas for her time in Chile.

See you soon!