Call Afkar.me invited to create content and services projects for the Middle East and Africa.
Intigral may seem an unknown company in Chile. But Dubai is one of the largest Internet companies and digital content.Provides services to major telcos to this state of UAE which has one of the highest rates in the world connectivity. It also has businesses in much of the Middle East and North Africa
Precisely, in a country whose per capita income is around US $ 50 billion, Intigral executives came up with an idea: to attract start-ups around the globe with the aim of making digital content products and services in that area.The result is the Afkar.me program, the call is handled by a team of Chilean Juan Jose de la Torre, VP Strategy, Technology & Operation of Intigral.
After a year studying how to configure the program, they created a model that is a hybrid between an incubator and an accelerator. The idea is to find talent and business ideas in any internationally to develop in Dubai, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and projections beyond these borders.
No matter what country they come from the idea. "Unlike such contests rather than the project itself, the key is the product offering start-ups. That's why we ask the application a summary of the problem you want to address or solve. Then see how the company is created. Consider that in Dubai for example, 95% of the population has fiber, but there are still many content products and services for the Internet, phones or other technological platforms, "said Juan Jose de la Torre.
After finishing the process of receiving project (November 10) will be selected the most interesting and asked to make a video conference. Then they will be invited for a weekend to Dubai where they will work on refining the project and its strategy with around 20 mentors, who come from different parts of the world. At the end of the day will be selected three start-ups that will be funded with an initial investment of US $ 20 billion.
"But rather than direct funding from Intigral, we give them a number of benefits such as services, infrastructure support and contact. We try to cover all your needs. Even not have to worry much about finding customers or generate marketing actions , as we try to incorporate them into the services we provide across the MENA region, "the company executive based in Dubai.
The call has had a great reception in the market and local media and international media, as it means generating a number of services that are still raw in the UAE in general.
"The problem is that often, a start-up aims to achieve someday to Silicon Valley, where there is competition too strong. On the other hand, the American entrepreneur wants to expand his country and Europe. And Europe, as that Latin America, looks to the US market. The Asian meanwhile, is concerned primarily China. Middle East and Africa on the other hand are still unexplored and represents a great opportunity, "adds Juan Jose de la Torre.
De la Torre has gone out of Chile since graduating from the University Adolfo Ibáñez. He set up a start-up that failed. He then traveled to Spain, the United States and was later in Orange Telecom, in France, in charge of the area of innovation. After getting an MBA in Singapore and Paris, he went to work in a consultancy in Dubai. In this company he had to travel through much of Asia and more than 15 African countries. A year and a half he was hired by Intigral.
With regard to the recommendations should be those who want to run for Afkar.me call, indicating that much depends on the state of entrepreneurship. "Chile has a great obsession with the structuring of the company. But the key is to clearly define the product. Another issue is to have a good team and not fear failure. In fact I trust more an entrepreneur who has failed at least twice, "says de la Torre.
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