We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of Generation 11 of Startup Chile. We were able to take advantage of the resources the program provides like great presentations, encouragement and motivation to meet milestones, peer-to-peer feedback and collaboration, and just enough money to keep you going for another six months.
The purpose of the program is to bring entrepreneurs from all over the world to Chile to help boost the country’s economy and awareness of entrepreneurship. And to attract entrepreneurs from all over the world, Startup Chile gives each team about $35,000 US. Most of this money goes back into the Chilean economy for rent, bills etc, so the program’s goals are a success.
For us, it was perfect. It gave us a 6-month runway to continue with developing Spark Game Engine and getting some marketing done, and avoid having to go back to work even on a part-time basis.
Money wasn’t the only thing that we gained from Startup Chile. We met a lot of great people, entrepreneurs, indies, and much more. Relationships and networking that we will attempt to continue to nurture even after having left Chile.
Money and meeting people weren’t the only things we gained, either. We were lucky to take advantage of the startup ecosystem overall. US VCs giving us advice on what they look for, how to pitch, what you need to start making connections to VCs, and the details in between; marketing experts giving us advice on how we can succeed in marketing our products with very little to no money; workshops on various skills an entrepreneur should have or should enrich and how to do so; and so many other similar presentations and events that bettered our skills and knowledge.
Money, networking, and the startup ecosystem were not the only things we gained (didn’t see that coming did you :P). Giving back to the Chilean ecosystem was what was most rewarding. As part of the program we had to collect a certain amount of points by the end of the program, and we collected the points by giving back to the community, either by doing presentations, being part of workshops, organizing events, etc.
One of the events we helped organize was a gamedev meetup for the local gamedev community. A monthly meetup where gamedevs, artists, designers and anyone interested in games get together and discuss what they love. Presentations on various aspects of game development, presentations on games created by members of the community, feedback sessions and networking.
The Chileans were so hungry and in need of such a meetup, that it was a success. The best part is that even after leaving Chile, these meetups continue to this day including an active Facebook group. Who knows teams may be formed, friendships, and maybe even a few big, successful ideas. Success!
This is one of the things that I’ve learned over the last couple of years while working on Spark. The gamedev community is big, but the best part about it, and what I love about it, is that when we get together things start to happen. If we just stick together, help each other out even just a little bit, like sharing a promo post on social media, we can do so many things…so many! This is another way Spark will help the gamedev community…but that’s for another blog post.
If you have the opportunity, you should consider Startup Chile…and of course, if you need help with an application or a reference, we’re here to help.