Colombia Startup Initiative Launching in 2011

It’s been a wild ride this past year and, now, in 2011, I feel that a lot of things will come together. My mantra for the coming years is helping get Latin America, as a region, competing at the highest level. This means, working with startups (getting them off the ground, giving them visibility, etc.) and working with established technology companies, training traditional companies in Digital Innovation, evangelizing the need for all of this, and, finally, actually executing (hands-on) some amazing strategies for companies.
With respect to the first objective (getting world-class startups off the ground), I’ve been insinuating for a while that I’ll be launching something in Colombia, where I see a major need for this. I’m finally ready to pre-announce what it is I’ve been working on.
Here’s the pre-announcement: On February 25th, we’ll be executing the first program for Startup founders in Colombia connecting successful international founders (especially, from Silicon Valley) and successful local founders with promising future entrepreneur/founders here in Colombia. We won’t be reinventing the wheel since we’ll be bringing an established program called the Founder Institute (created by Adeo Ressi) for the first time to Latin America. I have a counterpart in Chile who will be executing it there also.
I’ve seen a lot of initiatives here in Colombia and many of them have merit, but I haven’t seen initiatives which, in my opinion, take startup space (specifically, startups that make use of technology to innovate) to level that’s really required to get Colombia more competitive (especially when compared with Chile, Argentina and Brazil). I’ve gotten some criticism down here for saying that Colombia isn’t on a par with the aforementioned countries, but none of this criticism was based on sufficient objective arguments to convince me otherwise.
I’ll be writing more about this initiative in the following weeks. If I’m able to get sponsors on board, they will help tremendously in making this initiative much less costly for entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, I’ve already met with quite a few people that represent large organizations (government, companies and universities), which would benefit greatly from co-sponsoring this type of initiative, but that doesn’t mean that they actually will do it.
Ok. That’s enough computer work today. Now it’s time to have some great wine with a great pal named Guido…

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