WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network is excited to announce the opening of Startup Huddle in Beaga, Brazil, 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.
As the third largest city in Brazil, Beaga is a major center for innovation and entrepreneurial activity. But Felipe Maia, Startup Huddle organizer from FactualVC, said many of the entrepreneurs in the region still feel incredibly isolated. He said Startup Huddle will play an important role in eliminating the silos that exist in the ecosystem. By doing so, Maia hopes Beaga becomes a hub for ideas that create positive solutions for Brazil.
“I am sure we will be able to transform good ideas into great solutions, helping not only Beaga, but the whole country,” said Maia.
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. Maia hopes the program will also bring larger community support to Brazilian entrepreneurs, helping facilitate new business and economic growth.
“We want to have a united community around the startups, creating a center of ideas and solutions, having better entrepreneurs and businessmen generation jobs and sustainable profit,” said Maia.
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.