Santiago Shows Startup Muscle with Mega Event for Techstars Global Startup Weekend 2017

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Santiago de Chile is a city found in South America, in the middle Los Andes, and a busy place for entrepreneurship in Latin America. Chile has the highest rate of Internet users in Latin America and the country ranks 9th in the world for mobile phone use according to the PEW research center.

Last year during the Latin American Techstars Summit, we met a lot of people who help Santiago maintain its position as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. One of those leaders is Rocío Fonseca, Director of Startup Chile, a governmental organization created in 2010 to support ideas and entrepreneurs from all over the world.

At the summit, more than 80 Techstars Startup Weekend and Techstars Startup Week community leaders from Latin America came together to meet, share best practices and learn how to grow startup communities. The summit was possible because of Gonzalo Mena, lead organizer of our programs in Santiago. He has helped re-ignite the Techstars community in Chile.

Photo from Techstars archive.

During Techstars Global Startup Weekend 2017, Santiago held its first ever MEGA event including verticals like video games, social innovation, research and a non-themed vertical.

“The idea of doing a MEGA event– 4 themed verticals within a single weekend– was born because we wanted to celebrate the community. After doing a non-themed Techstars Startup Weekend back in April, we wanted to bring attention to topics that have been growing importantly in the city but that do not get much media”, says Gonzalo. The video games and research themes– which are not super popular– were complemented with social innovation and another non-themed vertical.

The participants’ high energy mixed with the facilitators– who knew each other previously– were the perfect match to make the event a success. “More than 150 participants got to live the experience of going from idea to product in those 54 hours, for most of them it was the first event and we saw an amazing change in them between Friday night and Sunday’s final pitch,” according to Gonzalo.

A grand prize of mentorship from the commercial area from the Ministry of External Relations of Chile will help the winning team to get their project ready to launch abroad.

When asked about the upcoming plans for the community in Santiago, Gonzalo says that thanks to the exposure that came with Techstars Startup Weekend MEGA and the participation of high profile Judges, they will start pushing to make more events that support different thematics around tech entrepreneurship in 2018, collaborating with other communities that include Startup Grind, Emprendedores Anónimos, Founderlist and more.

To connect with the Startup Weekend Community in Santiago, you can visit their website or their Facebook Page. To learn more about Techstars Startup Programs or to find an event near you, go to

The Amazing Judges Joining us for Techstars Global Startup Weekend

We are honored to support the largest celebration of entrepreneurship in the world, Global Entrepreneurship Week. We will hold over 200 events, in over 60 cities this year over in just two weekends!

As part of the celebration, Techstars Global Startup Weekend comes with a Regional and Global Showcase, with prizes from Google, Amazon, .CO, and more.

Local winners from each event have the opportunity to submit their startup and our regional judges will select the best team regionally. Regional winners go on to the finals where our global judges panel will select the winner. The global winner will get additional exposure and perks, but the other competitors will not be left empty-handed.

The Global Judges

David Cohen

David Cohen is the Founder and co-CEO of Techstars. David has been an entrepreneur and investor for his entire life. He has only had one job interview in his career, successfully got that job but then quit shortly thereafter to start his first company. Since then, he has founded several companies and has invested in hundreds of startups such as Uber, Twilio, SendGrid, FullContact, and Sphero. In total, these investments have gone on to create more than $80B in value.

David is the co-author (with Brad Feld) of Do More Faster; Techstars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup.

You can find David tweeting at @davidcohen and blogging on the web at

Mary Grove

Mary Grove is the Director of Google for Entrepreneurs, leading Google’s efforts to support startups and entrepreneurs in more than 100 countries around the world. Mary is passionate about building community and has worked with groups of entrepreneurs in Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza, and Afghanistan, and previously led numerous international partnerships for Google.

Mary earned her BA and MA from Stanford University. She is the co-founder of Silicon North Stars, a nonprofit that connects youth from the Midwest to Silicon Valley. She has served on the Board of UP Global, the Techstars Foundation and the Stanford Alumni Association.

Debbie Levi

Debbie Levi is part of the Venture Capital Business Development team at AWS managing relationships with top tier VCs and their portfolio companies on behalf of AWS and broader Amazon. Prior to joining the team in 2016 she was part of the Israeli VC community for about 5 years (most recently at Viola Ventures (FKA Carmel Ventures) and JAL Ventures).

Before becoming a VC Debbie managed marketing teams at a series of start-ups (Mytopia, mySupermarket and Kasamba (acquired by LivePerson) and spent time in corporate America (News America Marketing, a division of News Corp). Debbie holds a MBA from Bar Ilan University and a BA in Psychology and Communications from the University of Michigan. Debbie is a NYC native and an alumna of Stuyvesant High School.

Fadhi Gandhour

Fadi Ghandour is the Executive Chairman of Wamda Group, an organization consisting of a Venture Capital fund that invests in technology-enabled companies in the Arab world. He is also the Founder and a Board Member of Aramex, a global logistics and transportation provider.

Fadi is a member of the Board of Abraaj Capital, the Board of Endeavor Global and the Board of Trustees at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Additionally, he serves on the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab. He is also the Founder and Chairman of Ruwwad for Development, an initiative that helps disadvantaged communities across the region overcome marginalization through activism, civic engagement, education and financial inclusion.

Rocío Fonseca

Rocio is the Executive Director at Start-Up Chile, one of the biggest and most diverse startup communities in the world. She has a MS in Management at MIT, is a Master in innovation and entrepreneurship and Biotech Engineer. Her passion is to help people to transform their ideas into business.


Regional Judges:

Check out more about our regional judges on

With still one weekend left in Techstars Global Startup Weekend, you have the opportunity to participate and be part of the celebration!

Top 7 Themes in Techstars Global Startup Weekend 2017

You’ve been hearing a lot about Techstars Global Startup Weekend lately… and rightfully so! With 200+ events in 60+ countries, this is the world’s largest entrepreneurial celebration. Odds are there’s going to be an event taking place in a city near you.

With all of the entrepreneurship events going on during Global Entrepreneurship Week, the motives behind the local community leader’s ambitions and efforts are fascinating. After all, it’s the organizer’s passion for community building, innovation, and entrepreneurship that brings each Techstars Global Startup Weekend event to life. These are the top themes organizers picked this year.

1. Uni (University)

Are entrepreneurs born or made? With so much interest in entrepreneurship around the world, universities are consciously making an effort to be part of the entrepreneurial journey of their students. With Techstars Startup Weekend being held on college and university campuses in 8 different cities this year, Uni is our most popular theme.

2. Women

The main goal of having a women’s edition event is to encourage and inspire more female leaders in startup teams, and to connect more women to the resources and mentors available in startup communities. Organizers set out to actively recruit more women in the roles of participants, mentors, organizers and judges. Men are also welcome and are encouraged to bring a female friend or colleague to the event.

3. Youth & Kids

Exploring different themes around Techstars Startup Weekend doesn’t always mean reaching a new industry or vertical. In this case, it means reaching a new age. Youth events are aimed at 5th-8th graders and are similar to a typical Techstars Startup Weekend, but with more materials and guidance geared towards kids and young teens. Youth events are fun to watch and it’s pretty inspiring to see all the kids doing work, collaborating, and bringing ideas to life.

4. EDU (Education)

EDU events empower educators to collaborate with developers, designers, business experts, & other entrepreneurs passionate about education to build the next generation of education startups. The events also change the conversation in communities to not just identifying problems in education but also designing & developing real solutions.

5. Social Innovation & Sustainable Development

There is a perception floating around that only nonprofits can do social good. That is changing with an emerging type of business called a social enterprise. Entrepreneurs are creating solutions to improve everything from an individual’s quality of life to the state of the planet. At Techstars Startup Weekends the best and brightest are coming together to make the next big change.

6. Smart Cities & Smart Solutions

Everything is getting smarter. The tools we use at work, the products we use every day, so why not make the places we live smarter, too? Smart Cities are an urban development vision where cities are connected through information and communication technology, seeking to improve quality of life through these technologies. This is what the smart city movement happening around the world is looking to do. Check out the cities that are working on this theme:

7. Fintech

Fintech is permanently shaping the way that consumers and financial institutions are interacting. It’s a move from closed to open, from centralized to distributed, and from ‘in a few days’ to now. If you’re thinking about machine learning, lending, digital banking solutions, trading, cyber security, data analytics, payments, cryptocurrency, insurance, wealth management and beyond, these events are for you:

You can also attend a non-themed Techstars Startup Weekend! Check out the full list here.

It’s Almost Here: Techstars Global Startup Weekend

With more than 200 events lined up, Techstars Global Startup Weekend is the biggest entrepreneurial celebration happening during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Spanning the globe, our events will take place during the weekends of November 10-12 and 17-19.

How does Techstars Global Startup Weekend work this year?

Ask Me Anything:

To help our attendees get the most out of their 54-hour experience, we have put together an AMA (Ask Me Anything) series that will cover topics like Design Sprint, How to Get First Customers, Prototyping during Techstars Startup Weekend and more.

Take a look at the schedule and save your spot!





How to Get First Customers

Jaqueline Ros, Revolar


10 am EST

How to develop your product?

Jesse McCabe, Techstars


3 pm EST

AMA: How to apply Design Sprint to Startup Weekend

David Sandoval, iTexico


7pm EST

AMA: Best Practices for Incorporating your Startup

Sarah Heck, Stripe Atlas


2pm EST

The Global Judges:

For our Global Showcase, our amazing judges will select the best teams from our top local events around the world to highlight globally after Techstars Global Startup Weekend.


A global showcase wouldn’t be complete without some prizes to help the winning teams move forward with their startup.

At Techstars we praise our network as the # 1 tool to help you succeed after an event. In addition to this perk, here are the other prizes this year’s Techstars Global Startup Weekend winners will receive:

1st Place at each local event:

F6S Alpha Card:

SW Winners will each receive an F6S Alpha membership which gives you exclusive access to $600k in free benefits from 500+ companies, including American Airlines, InVison, Intercom and many more.

Regional Prizes:

  • Google: 5 Winners get $20K in GCP Credits
  • Amazon Web Services: $5k in AWS credits for regional winners

Global Prizes:

  • Google: $100K in GCP Credits
  • Sphero: 3 Star Wars robots
  • AWS: $10k in AWS credits for the global winner. The global winner also gets 1:1 sessions with the AWS Startup team. AWS Startup Solution Architects advise top funded CTOs around the world, helping them build technologies that scale in order to become the next Airbnb, Netflix, Slack, etc.
  • a year of premium
  • .CO: swag packet

Are you ready to be part of the biggest entrepreneurial celebration around the world? Find a Techstars Startup Weekend near you!

Global Techstars Startup Weekend AI is Coming to a City Near You!

At Techstars Startup Weekend our community drives us to be at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship. Never has this been more true than with the most recent community driven global initiative, Global Techstars Startup Weekend Artificial Intelligence. Eleven cities across the world are coming together in the last two weekends of September to build, innovate and create new startups by leveraging AI.

The world needs more vibrant deep tech startups. This can be done if we work together to build a more distributed global startup ecosystem that is educated and prepared to tackle innovation challenges with AI. That’s what the team behind the AI initiative wants to achieve, bringing together innovators from all around the world to create the next big thing in Artificial Intelligence.

The global AI organizing team, founded by Laura Calmore & Josse Blais, previously organized their first Techstars Startup Weekend AI in Paris in October 2016. With over 100 attendees they saw the demand for events focussed on artificial intelligence where attendees can make an impact in only 54 hours.

At the end of each Techstars Startup Weekend AI a winner will be announced from all of the companies created. Those 11 companies will then go on to be judged by our global judging panel who will announce an overall winner. The winning team will then be flown to Paris to attend the Hello Tomorrow conference and experience the next generation of AI first hand.

Not only will attendees be working alongside other developers, designers and innovators to create the next big thing but they will have free use of Snips. The Snips Voice Platform allows anyone to integrate AI powered voice interaction in their devices with ease and all teams participating in Techstars Startup Weekend AI will get to use the platform. Further to this, Recast.AI giving free access for one year for each team to their platform Recast is a collaborative platform to build, train, deploy and monitor intelligent bots. All participants will all get free access to google cloud. Alongside the fantastic platforms participants will be able to leverage to develop their products, the global event is sponsored by L’oreal and le hub France IA.

If you’re interested in participating in any of the Global Startup Weekend AI events register below.



Register Now

Douala, Cameroon

September 22


Guadalajara, Mexico

September 22


Lima, Peru

September 22


Montreal, Canada

September 22


Bangalore, India

September 29


Beirut, Lebanon

September 29


Carthage, Tunisia

September 29


Hong Kong

September 29


Mexico City, Mexico

September 29


Paris, France

September 29


Istanbul, Turkey

September 29


Can’t see an event in your region why don’t you apply to organize a Techstars Startup Weekend in the future? Apply here

Welcoming Global Startup Weekend 2016!



November is a busy time for the Startup Weekend community around the world! For the past 5 years we’ve seen startup teams from over 65 countries battle it out for top spots and their communities come together to support them in Global Startup Battle. This year, we’re welcoming a different type of celebration – Global Startup Weekend!

As our community around the world continues to grow and evolve, we’ve switched up our annual initiative to provide even more value to organizers, attendees, and communities. During Global Startup Weekend, 15k entrepreneurs will come together for events in over 50 countries during November 11-13 & 18-20! We’re excited to provide exclusive resources for attendees to help prep for success at Startup Weekend and make connections to mentors and other startup teams. To help continue your growth, the winning team of each event will gain access to helpful perks for building your startup.

If you haven’t been to a Startup Weekend yet, this is the time to do so! We’ve got the virtual workshops to get you started and Startup Weekends to bring your company to life. Now’s your chance to build that idea you’ve been thinking of! Find a Global Startup Weekend event near you!

Virtual Workshops & AMA Sessions

November 2, Wednesday – 9:00AM PST
GSW Insider: What to Expect at Startup Weekend – Past Attendee AMA

November 3, Thursday – 9:00AM PST
GSW Insider AMA with David Cohen: All Things Startup

November 7, Monday – 11:00AM PST
GSW Insider: Prototyping for Speed & Scale

November 8, Tuesday – 8:00AM PST
GSW Insider: Developing your 60 Second Pitch

November 8, Tuesday – 2:00PM PST
GSW Insider: AMA with Tallis Gomes, Founder of Easy Taxi

November 9, Wednesday – 8:00AM PST
GSW Insider: How to “Hack” LinkedIn for Connections

November 10, Thursday – 11:00AM PST
GSW Insider: Finding Your Revenue Formula


Thank you to our sponsors for helping to bring Global Startup Weekend to entrepreneurs around the world: gsw-sponsors-1