WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network is excited to announce the opening of Startup Huddle in Bogotá, Colombia, to help local entrepreneurs hone their pitch skills and discover solutions to the challenges they face.
Startup Huddle is a program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. As an experiential learning opportunity, the Startup Huddle format is consistent in each location: on a given morning, one or two early-stage startup founders give a six-minute presentation of their companies to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Each presentation is followed by a 20-minute question and answer session.
The sense of community created by the Startup Huddle program is something Flor Liévano, solutions creator at OrangeUp and Startup Huddle organizer, said entrepreneurs in Bogotá really need. She said most entrepreneurs struggle or don’t know how to run a business. They also struggle with administrative challenges, including how to navigate government and financial organizations. By sharing their experiences through Startup Huddle, Liévano is hoping entrepreneurs can learn from each other in order to overcome these challenges.
“Through this program in Bogotá, I hope the entrepreneurs get the confidence and knowledge necessary to put into their business and make it accelerate,” said Liévano. “Finding that they are not by themselves and gaining through each event a group of friends and people that understand their problems” is very important.
The culture surrounding Startup Huddle is that of a supportive, neutral space, welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face. Each event is organized by local entrepreneurs and community builders who volunteer their time to secure a venue, vet and select presenters and publicize the event.
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, Startup Huddle was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather for the presenters to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community.
Liévano is hoping the Startup Huddle program in Bototá, and the community it creates, will help more entrepreneurs turn their startup ideas into viable businesses.
Startup Huddle is an educational experience for both the audience and the presenters. Presenters are given resources and support to prepare for their presentation and surveyed after their presentation to see what they’ve learned.