David Truong is the Head of Business Development at App.io, the Founder of Broccol-E-Games, and an organizer of Startup Weekends in both Santiago, Chile and Adelaide, Australia. As an entrepreneur involved in the startup scene across three continents, he’s definitely someone whose brain I wanted to pick about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chile, so I was really excited that he agreed to be interviewed. Since he’s currently splitting his time between the U.S. and Australia and I’m currently a nomad in South America, there’s no video this week, but he did answer some questions I had for him about his experiences as an entrepreneur and the similarities and differences he sees between the entrepreneurship scenes in different parts of the world.
Check out what he had to say below and then let me know what you think in the comments!
Tell us a little about yourself and about the projects you’re currently working on.
I’ve have always been trying to create ‘successful’ businesses since a young age. From selling my drawings, to music, to tutoring, my first ‘real’ business was a vocational training company during university. After that I founded Broccol-e-games, which went through the AngelCube accelerator in Melbourne, Australia, then Startup Chile. I now work with App.io, who have an incredible tech that allows any iOS app to be played in any browser. I’m also an organiser and facilitator for Startup Weekend.
How did you find yourself in the world of entrepreneurship?
I just did things that I loved and that would also create value for someone else. Then I realised that I could sell it and wrap a business around it.
Why/how did you get involved with Startup Weekend in Santiago, Chile?
I am one of the organisers and facilitators for Startup Weekend in Australia. Being in Chile, I thought it would be a good idea to also organise an event there, since there was a lot of entrepreneurial activity happening in the region. I brought together a fantastic team for the event and we organised and executed the event successfully.
What’s your take on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chile as compared to other parts of the world?
I can only comment about the tech entrepreneurial ecosystem: Compared to the rest of Latin America, it is in a very good position thanks mostly to the Startup Chile program. Compared to other parts of the world, it is behind in some areas. Like a lot of countries, it needs a lot more skills in building products, companies, early stage financing, and web tech entrepreneurship.
Would you recommend Santiago to entrepreneurs? Why or why not?
It would depend on the entrepreneur, what their business is, what industry, and what they plan to do there. I would definitely recommend it if the business was targeting the Spanish speaking market, or if they wanted to eventually move into the Brazilian market.
Where do you see the entrepreneurship scene in Santiago in 5-10 years?
That is a tough question… for tech entrepreneurship, I think the ‘seeds’ from Startup Chile will have blossomed within 5-10 years. There would be a few companies with rather large exits that would validate what the Chilean government is currently doing. Unfortunately, the word on the street is that programs like Startup Chile may be discontinued in a change of government, which could be as early as the upcoming election.
Any last words of wisdom you’d like to share with new or aspiring entrepreneurs?
Focus on solving a problem that you are passionate about. Entrepreneurship is hard, but is very rewarding even if you ‘fail’. There is so much to learn and so much room to grow with building a business.