WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network is excited to announce the opening of Startup Huddle in Santiago, Chile, to help local entrepreneurs hone their pitch skills and discover solutions to the challenges they face.
Startup Huddle is a program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. As an experiential learning opportunity, the Startup Huddle format is consistent in each location: on a given morning, one or two early-stage startup founders give a six-minute presentation of their companies to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Each presentation is followed by a 20-minute question and answer session.
Connection is something entrepreneurs in Chile very much need, explained Cristobal Duran, cofounder of Becarius for Impact. He said being an entrepreneur in Santiago is difficult and expensive. As a result, entrepreneurs are spread out and have difficulties connecting. Chris hopes Startup Huddle can bring these entrepreneurs together.
“We want people to share their experiences and impact individuals,” said Duran. “We are looking forward as a team to be the an open place were entrepreneurs feel free to share their experiences, their failures and success stories.”
The culture surrounding Startup Huddle is that of a supportive, neutral space, welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face. Each event is organized by local entrepreneurs and community builders who volunteer their time to secure a venue, vet and select presenters and publicize the event.
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, Startup Huddle was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather for the presenters to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community.
Since his completion of the U.S. State Department’s Young Leaders of the Americas Professional Fellowship, Duran has had a stated commitment to support his community and encourage others to do the same. This drive helped him create his organization Becarius for Impact, and it’s the same motivation that pushed him to launch Startup Huddle Santiago.
“If we create a network that contains nothing but support, passion and commitment, we are on the way of making Startup Huddle Santiago a great experience for everyone,” said Duran.
Startup Huddle is an educational experience for both the audience and the presenters. Presenters are given resources and support to prepare for their presentation and surveyed after their presentation to see what they’ve learned.