I’m moving to Santiago, Chile for 6 months in two weeks to run Entrustet.
About six weeks ago, I saw an article in Forbes by Maureen Farrell that talked about a program launched by the Chilean government to attract startups to Chile. As I read, I found out that the Chilean Government was offering US startups $40,000 to move operations to Santiago for up to six months. Startup Chile’s goal is to attract 25 high tech startups to Santiago for 6 months, put them in free office space and connect them with Chilean entrepreneurs, VCs and potential employees.
Members of the Startup Chile program, along with the Chilean Minister of the Economy, fanned out across the US to try to recruit startups. They went to Stanford and Berkeley and met with Vivek Wadhwa and Mike Arrington of Tech Crunch. They met Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook and countless valley VCs. Next, they crossed the country to talk with entrepreneurs in Boston and NYC.
As soon as I saw the program, I knew I wanted to apply. I love to travel and my biggest regret of college was not studying abroad in a Spanish speaking country because I had to pass up a semester abroad to run exchangehut. Convincing Jesse was easy. We both love to travel and do new things and we’ve both worked on Entrustet all over the country for the past year and a half.
On September 20th, we submitted online applications and hoped for the best. Two days later, Startup Chile told us to be ready for Skype interviews. Our Skype session went really well and we were told we had to create a 3 minute video that showed why we wanted to be selected.
We wanted to do something to stand out and Jesse and I love to cook, so we did 1 minute on Entrustet and then shot a Chilean cooking show. I had seen Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations that featured el lomito, a slow braised pork sandwich with crushed avocado, lime mayo and a huge slice of tomato. We also picked cold avocado soup as our starter and cooked a Chilean dinner at 10pm after I got back from reffing soccer. Evidently, Startup Chile liked our video, because four days later, we got an email saying we’d been selected.
Now we had to decide if we really could go. We wrote out all of the pros and cons and then drafted emails to all of our investors, mentors and advisers. Next, we talked to everyone individually to hear their concerns. We got tons of support and most people were very excited.
For us, the decision was easy. We spend most of our time each day online or on the phone. We rarely have in person meetings and we travel to the east or west coast every six weeks or so. Entrepreneurship is an adventure every single day. You never know what kind of challenge you’ll deal with or what kind of surprise each day will have when you flip open your laptop. We feel like going to Santiago for Startup Chile is just another adventure that will help us concentrate on creating an awesome product that people want to use.
I’m really excited to move to Santaigo to run Entrustet. I can’t wait to see the city and meet the founders of the 24 other companies that were selected. We’ve been location independent many times before, and we don’t think this will be any different. For us, the pros outweigh the cons by a longshot. We also know that if anything happens or for whatever reason it’s not working, we are only an $750 plane ride home.
Jesse and I both keep active personal blogs, so if you want to keep up with what we’re doing in Santiago, make sure to check back here often. I also update my Tumblr mini blog pretty much everyday and it’ll be the place where I’ll share short observations and pictures. If you want to learn more about what we’re up to in the Startup Chile program, make sure to check out the Entrustet Blog.
I’m really excited to go and can’t wait to write my first post from Chile!