When you think of startups and venture capital investing, the last thing you’d probably think about is Colombia and for good reason. Although a local gaming company recently received a respectable investment from a local VC, that’s been the exception rather than the rule. Nevertheless, after spending some time with Adeo Ressi here, it is quite apparent that his company, the Founder Institute, could have an incredibly large impact on the local startup/investment ecosystem.
Although other countries are further along in building up their startup ecosystems, Colombia has some interesting raw talent that is open to getting guidance on how to grow and develop their startups and a dearth of quality accelerator programs. It’s within this vacuum that the Founder Institute enters the scene. I’ll be discussing this further at the SxSW Tech Summit on March 16th. For now, I’d like to talk more about Adeo’s visit to Colombia.
First off, after talking with Adeo over the phone several times during the past months, it was really great meeting him in person. As the below photos show, we were able to talk with a diverse group of people and had some fun at the same time. We were able to meet with some applicants to the Founder Institute, the local mentors, a radio interviewer and some government officials.
For the most part, entrepreneurs have been slogging away without much interaction with Silicon Valley and that has left Colombia a bit behind in terms of development in digital startups (with a few exceptions). Hence, it’s no surprise that a program, such as the Founder Institute’s, that guides founders and connects them with networks of mentors and investors, is generating so much interest. In the process, getting a solid team of mentors and other players together for the program has done wonders to get this small group of players organized.
It certainly feels like some subtle though powerful things are happening that can create a big impact on this country. Time will tell, but I’m pretty confident that things are going to get a whole lot more interesting down here.
Finally, as the below video shows, Adeo held one of his Ideation Workshops for about 70 potential and current applicants: