20 million pesos and half a year in Chile: how SmartProgress won a grant to the other end of the world

    This post is about one of the most important and pleasant news of our project: on Saturday, December 6, SmartProgress was among the winners of the Startup Chile program . This means a grant of 20 million Chilean pesos ($ 33,000), which we will need to “work out” after spending 6 months in Chile, participating in IT events and telling local startups about their project as master classes. However, for us it is also a bonus.

    Our first video application

    About Chile, we first spoke last spring when our programmer, Nikita OneArt , sent this message:

    Freelancing as a basis for obtaining a residence permit for a year, and immediately extension to permanent residence, and subsequently citizenship.
    A passport (permanent residence including) gives a visa-free entry to Schengen and plans to visa-free entry to the United States.
    Paperwork in the company costs around $ 2000. No extra costs, buying real estate, etc.
    Plus in this country, there are beach resorts and ski resorts and big cities.
    Guess the country?

    Of course, we are interested. Having become interested, they found information about the state program Startup Chile. This is a project to support startupers from around the world who receive grants from the Chilean government, and in exchange for this they live and share their experience with the local IT environment for six months. Thus, Chile strives to become the main technological hub of South America and create its own Silicon Valley.

    By the 11th round of the program, which started in early June, we prepared a video pitch. It was necessary to shoot it ourselves, and my English is very bad, so we decided to split the text into several parts, and make cuts from video fragments with each of the participants in different countries: Montenegro, Thailand, Russia. The video of the first attempt is higher.

    On August 30, we received a refusal, which, as they say, “cut it off” - we were sure that we had good chances of success. Fortunately, on September 9, we received a second letter from the organizers in which they wrote down the reasons for the refusal, for which they are very grateful: the market strategy and competitive advantage are not clear. This information gave us hope for a second chance, because now we knew what the judges did not like. Rounds are held twice a year, and at that moment the filing of applications for 12 rounds began.

    In a new application, I detailed our market strategy and competitive advantages. After watching the winners pitches, I saw that they were demonstrating their project in them. Therefore, we also added a demonstration of the project in the video:

    This time we were calmer in our expectations, and even forgot a little about the project. Therefore, the answer that came three days ago, on Saturday, came as a surprise. An even bigger surprise was its contents: we went to the 12th round of the Startup Chile program! It was nice, very nice ... yes, I was just happy! “Is this definitely not a mistake?” - With this in mind, I climbed onto the program’s website and saw the name of our project among hundreds of selected projects from 25 countries from around the world:

    The SmartProgress task and achievement service helps to formulate tasks and allows you to blog on their implementation. The project brings together people with similar goals for the exchange of experience and mutual assistance.

    - and I was happy again!

    Our round begins on February 23. The three of us will go to Chile, and we plan to take this opportunity and the money of the Chilean government to launch a mobile application, expand the team, enter the Spanish-speaking market and pay for the next period of the corporate account on Habré and Giktayms :)

    Well, finally, wishing to try their luck in the 13th round, we want to say that the acceptance of applications begins January 13, 2015 - useful info can be read here and, of course, on the program’s website - and wish good luck!

    SmartProgress - Achieving Goals

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