Gracias, Startup Chile!

We are now back in San Francisco, after a six month stay in Santiago.  The time went by quickly, but we are glad to be back in the USA.  We hope to continue to work on RahRah4Good and get the website off and running! We now have inventory for several major universities  ... the next steps will be marketing and sales!

RR4G Collection

We'll always think fondly of our time as "SUPPERs"  (the affectionate name for Start Up Chile folks).  Even though we were twice the age of most of the participants, the "kids" treated us well and we made some new friends from all around the world.

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We loved our apartment in Las Condes, and were very impressed with our 25-year old landlord.

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What were the highlights of our stay? Did we effectively spend our $40,000 grant from the Chilean government?  Well, we:

*Traveled to Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda to develop our supply chain.  Along the way, we were fascinated by visits to gorilla families in Uganda and Rwanda.gorillas 308 - version 2

*Enjoyed traveling on the Nile by boat and sampling the local brews.P1070931

*Reconnected with friends in Accra. And, were constantly amazed by African ingenuity.P1070939

*Traveled to the US to investigate retail opportunities for RR4G. Along the way, we visited GG in California, and Nancy and family in Boston.

*Explored new regions of Chile, including Concepcion and Toquihua, Vina del Mar and Valpariso.  Enjoyed skiing at Valle de Navarro in July.IMG_6877

*Connected with AGEP, the group of women entrepreneurs in Vina who are supported by a group of women in their sister city Sausalito.photo 3 (6)IMG_7085

*Cycled through Santiago on its numerous bike paths.IMG_7011

*Made friends with our 8 doormen who informed our Chilean guests, "those people in 507 don't speak Spanish very well!"

*Navigated through the Chilean banking system. We were sad when we had to cut up our Chilean ATM cards! IMG_7094

*Made friends with entrepreneurs from Austria, Germany, Argentina, Canada, Russia and more.  Enjoyed learning about their businesses and maybe gave them a bit of counsel.IMG_6792

*Became experts at navigating the awesome Santiago subway system.

*Enjoyed tasting Chilean wine at various wineries , including Kingston Family Vineyards, founded by Courtney and Andy Kingston, Stanford MBAs.IMG_7020

*Learned Spanish using the online program "Start Spanish" and the in-person classes at SUP

*Got to know Marcelo and his family. Enjoyed the rodeo!

*Enjoyed seeing Chile through Leslie's eyes.  Amazed at her flexibility and versatility in Spanish! Enjoyed meeting some of her friends. IMG_6855

*Cheered for Chile during their numerous World Cup matches! (When we weren't cheering for Chile, we also cheered for the US, Ghana, and Brazil!) photo 2 (7)

Did the Chilean government benefit from our stay in Santiago? (We got asked this question frequently.)  We hope so! We:

*"Gave back" to the local entrepreneurial community by networking. Ed delivered a "Crossing the Chasm" presentation in Concepcion to entrepreneurs at a co-working space.IMG_6739

*Presented in Leslie's entrepreneurship classes. Helped the students learn about US perspectives and social businesses. They were especially interested in the ZBoard!

*Provided a bit of "grey hair" to add diversity to the SUP community.

*Met with the AGEP entrepreneurs in Vina del Mar and gave a brief presentation on Marketing tips.photo 2 (10)

*Delivered the SUP presentation in both Accra and Kampala ... thereby spreading the SUP "love"  in both West and East Africa. We taped a testimonial from our friend, Kojo from Ghana, and showed it at both events.P1080085

*Hopefully added a bit of "wisdom" and "business experience" to the SUP crowd. One 30-year old kid was asked by his mother, "Are you the oldest person in the program?" He replied, "No mom ... there's a couple who is even older than you!  You could do this too!

While in Chile, our "Tripit" app considered our six-month experience to be one trip, since it was bookended by SFO - SCL - SFO flights.  We loved the graphic that showed the journey:

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So, Gracias Startup Chile!  Thanks for the great six-month adventure.  We are grateful for this experience and will evangelize the opportunity to other entrepreneurs.  Who knows, we may even recruit another pair of "grey hairs"!

Chiflon del DIablo 9

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