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Welcome to STARTUP WEEKEND BOGOTÁ, ENGLISH EDITION!!! It’s been two years since the Startup Weekend events came to Bogotá. Thus far, we’ve held events in the city with increasing success and involvement from the local entrepreneurship and business communities. We believe that Bogotá is now ready to start holding more specialized or “themed” events like the ones that are taking place in cities around the world with themes like ‘Food Innovation’ (in Berlin) and ‘E-Commerce’ (in Tokyo). Actually, our first event in 2013 was Startup Weekend Uniandes, the first university SW event that took place in Colombia.

English is the global language of business, and through this special edition of SW Bogotá, we want you to think about more global ideas and enterprises. We want you to be bold, be ambitious and to pitch your ideas in English, as this will give you an advantage if you want to eventually go international with your startup and participate in acceleration programs like Mass Challenge and Startup Chile. Also, through this event, we want to promote the interaction between locals and nationals of other countries who currently reside in Bogotá and who have an interest in entrepreneurship. Our facilitator and keynote speaker are native English speakers. Take advantage of the early bird discount and purchase your tickets now. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in this very special edition of SW Bogotá!!!

Schedule

Friday

Aug 23
  • Welcome everybody! Registration Starts
  • “The marathon begins.” Opening of the event by the event host, the facilitator and the organizers
  • Keynote Speaker
  • “I have an idea!” Team-building dynamic and 60-second pitches by the participants
  • “Any buyers?” Idea marketplace where attendees vote for the top ideas
  • “Money talks.” The ideas with the most votes are announced
  • “I want to work with…” Talent marketplace where teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Shall we stay or shall we rest? Formalize teams and take an inventory of skills and responsibilities. Teams may stay and work all night long

Saturday

Aug 24
  • Pit Stop: Breakfast
  • Teams at Work: Short interviews with the teams
  • “How are we doing?” First panel with the mentors
  • Interviews with the mentors & facilitator
  • Pit Stop: Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills – Mentors help teams one-on-one
  • Teams at Work: Interviews with the teams
  • “How are we doing?” Second panel with the mentors
  • Interviews with the mentors – Mentors help teams one-on-one
  • Pit Stop: Dinner
  • Wrap up for the night. Teams may stay and work all night long

Sunday

Aug 25
  • Pit Stop: Breakfast
  • Teams at Work: Short interviews with the teams
  • “How are we doing?” Third and last panel with the mentors
  • Interviews with the mentors
  • Pit Stop: Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills – Mentors help teams one-on-one
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations – Last interviews with teams, judges, mentors and organizers
  • THE FINAL BEGINS. Opening by the facilitator, presentation of the panel of judges
  • Final presentations by the teams
  • Pit Stop: Dinner – the judges select the winner and finalists
  • “We are the Champions!” Awards & Wrap up
  • Go home! The marathon ends. Enjoy a well-deserved rest
Platinum Sponsors
Speakers

Hugh Dornbush (Keynote Speaker)

Founder of Selfie

Hugh Dornbush is the founder of Selfie, a Brooklyn-based social network launching in the fall of 2013. Previously, he founded OMGICU, a user-generated app to share stories, photos and videos of celebrity sightings with the world. Some of OMGICU's accomplishments include breaking international news of actor Ryan Gosling ending a New York City street brawl and twacy.org, an online grassroots campaign that convinced Tracy Morgan (Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock) to join Twitter within 24 hours. Hugh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology and dropped out of the MBA program at New York University.

Constanza Nieto (Virtual Speaker)

Co-Founder and CEO, Globaltech Bridge

Constanza has over 20 years of experience as entrepreneur, founder, CEO, consultant, and business executive for private and public corporations, and government institutions in Latin America and in the United States. She co-founded Globaltech Bridge and GaussSoft in the US, BBvA Horizonte in Colombia, AFP Prevision in Bolivia, and AFP prevision in El Salvador. She served as CEO for more than six years at Horizonte, where she sold the pension and savings company to the Spanish group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBvA), and acquired and merged numerous pension funds.

In her years as CEO and consultant at Globaltech Bridge, Constanza has successfully assisted governments, incubators, and business associations to evaluate and support companies in their plans for global expansion, and contributed in building innovation ecosystems that support entrepreneurs in Latin America. She helped the Mexican Government to establish TechBA, the Business Accelerator for Mexican companies looking to expand to the US, and has worked with governments, universities, investors, and science parks from Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina in selecting and helping hundreds of companies to innovate, create sound marketing strategies, and acquire clients, partners, and funding in global markets.

Constanza has an Industrial Engineering degree with a Minor in Statistics from the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, and is a Certified Marketing Specialist from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Gold Sponsors
Judges

Alan Colmenares

Director Socialatom Ventures & Founder Institute Colombia   |   LinkedIn

Alan Colmenares is the founder and member of the board of directors of SuperTrendi, a company that sells women’s clothing in Latin America through e-commerce platforms. He has worked for more than 20 years in the tech industry. Among others, he was Strategic Investment Manager at Intel Capital. Currently, he is the Program Director at Socialatom Ventures, a startup accelerator, as well as the Director of the Founder Institute in Colombia. He is also business mentor at Endeavor, Wayra, Ventures and Connect Bogotá. Alan has also written about Digital Strategies and has been a contributor of the New York Times, Dinero.com, VentureBeat.com and Computer Reseller News. Currently, Alan is preparing to launch Tayrona Ventures, his own seed capital fund.

Diego Serebrisky

Managing Director at Alta Ventures   |   LinkedIn

Diego Serebrisky joined Alta Ventures, a leading Latin American venture capital fund, in 2013 as Managing Director.
Prior to joining Alta Ventures, Diego collaborated with Advent International, a global private equity fund. He spent 12 years in their Mexico City office, and then relocated to Bogota, Colombia, where he launched the office in 2011.
Before Advent International, he worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. in Caracas, Venezuela, Johannesburg, South Africa and New York City providing strategy advise to large clients.
He served as a member of the Board of AMEXCAP, the Mexican Private Equity Association, where he was president during 2008 and 2009. He also collaborates as an Endeavor mentor and participates in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Colombia and Mexico.
Diego graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering, summa cum laude from Universidad Simon Bolivar at Caracas, Venezuela

Hernando Rivas Rivas

Owner of Rivas Capital   |   LinkedIn

Hernando worked for 15 years as investment banker for the largest Colombian financial groups. Currently, he is the owner of Rivas Capital, an investment bank that focuses on the valuation of small and medium-sized enterprises and that looks for possible investors in them. He participated in the Silicon Valley Immersion Program at Creame – University of San Francisco, where he became a certified consultant, and he also took an angel investment course offered by the angel investment network of Madrid (Spain). Hernando was invited –by one of the world’s largest networks of angel investors– to participate as a judge in one of the investment rounds for Silicon Valley startups.
Hernando’s specialties are investment company analysis, company valuation, feasibility analysis, corporate financial planning, entrepreneurship development, technology transfers and seed capital.
He holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Universidad de los Andes, and he also has taken advanced courses at the Master’s in Corporate Finance of Golden Gate University in San Francisco (USA).

Vicky Ricaurte

Founder and CEO of UrGift.In   |   LinkedIn

Vicky Ricaurte is a passionate Mompreneur, mother of 2 girls, and current co-founder and CEO –Chief Everything Officer– of UrGift. Vicky has more than 12 years of experience designing and implementing B2C and B2B channels for financial institutions. Before joining the entrepreneur world she was Vice President of electronic channels, customer service and operations for LatAm for a prestigious health insurance company based in Boston (USA). She holds a Master’s degree in Management from Harvard University and a Master’s in Strategic Marketing from CESA. She is also an industrial engineer from Universidad de Los Andes
UrGift, Vicky’s startup, is a social gifting iPhone app that helps you share your wish list so that your friends can choose, buy and send the gifts that you want, in one easy step, right on their phone. You can buy a gift for a friend on your own or invite others to chip in. Initially, UrGift is sharing the Amazon Wish List, and Amazon Baby & Wedding Registry. UrGift has been accelerated by Wayra Colombia and also won the MassChallenge_INNPulsa Pitch Competition in Boston.
Vicky also serves as organizer of Founder Friday Bogotá. Founder Friday is a Women 2.0 event that wants to promote the creation of new networks among aspiring entrepreneurs, current entrepreneurs and investors in innovative cities globally. Both men and women are invited to attend Founder Friday.

Silver Sponsors
Coaches

Brett Nakatsu

Startup Weekend Facilitator

Brett Nakatsu is a graduate of the University of Washington (U.S.) with a degree in Business Administration. Based in Seattle, he works for UP Global HQ as Regional Operations Manager for all Startup Weekend (SW) events in Africa, South America and the Caribbean. To date, he has Facilitated SW events in the U.S., Canada, Ghana and Brazil. This will be his first time visiting Colombia!

Lilian Simbaqueba Gutiérrez

President of LiSim   |   LinkedIn

Through her company LiSim, founded in 1996, Lilian and her team offer high-value, tailor-made scoring models to SMEs in the financial, telecom and public services sector. LiSim has captured over 50% market share in Colombia and been recognized by the IFC as a regional leader in risk analysis. Lilian is considered a pioneer in the field of credit scoring for microfinance and –besides her professional experience in both Germany and Colombia– she has conducted business with companies and organizations from India, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, South Africa, Egypt, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.
Lilian obtained her university degree in Information Systems Engineering for Management from Konstanz University (Germany), and she also has an MBA from Universidad de los Andes.
Among her many accomplishments, Lilian Simbaqueba is an Endeavor entrepreneur.

Carlos Liévano

Managing Partner at Clevermoth and Co-Founder at Tutorya   |   LinkedIn

Carlos currently works as a Managing Partner at Clevermoth, a consulting firm bringing ideas and projects to execution, and is also co-founder of Tutorya, a digital startup selected by iNNpulsa and AppsCo-Aceleración. He is also an MBA and undergrad professor on innovation, strategy and managerial skills at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Universidad Sergio Arboleda. Previously, he was a Managing Consultant at Remolina Estrada, a strategic management consulting firm, Product Manager at Brightstorm, an e-learning startup at San Francisco, California, and Chief Planning Officer at Telebucaramanga, where he led innovative telecommunications projects, making Bucaramanga the city with highest broadband penetration among the main Colombian cities. Carlos earned an MBA from the University of California in Berkeley, where he was a Haas Merit Scholar and also received a certificate in Management of Technology. He is also a Financial Engineer from Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga – UNAB, where he graduated Magna cum Laude.

Juan José Serrato

Oracle Database Administrator

Juan José is a database administrator and software developer with experience in IT. As a developer, he has worked on projects oriented to web, desktop and mobile applications in the Java language. As a database administrator, he has participated in the planning, design, implementation and administration of a wide variety of services that range from high availability databases in Oracle real application cluster, to virtualization environments in vmware and vsphere. Thanks to his work with those environments, Carlos has acquired valuable knowledge about hardware infrastructure (servers, storage, bladecenter, tape backup, among others) and experience with the Linux, Unix and Windows operating systems.

Rainier Saith Latchu

Director and Shareholder at East West Global Trading Pte. and Orchard Trading

With 22 years of experience in management and business development, Rainier is currently director and shareholder at East West Global Trading Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) and Orchard Trading SAS (Colombia). He’s involved with linking products, services and companies from the Singapore/Asian region, to Colombia/South American region. He also helps promote trade between Colombia and Trinidad/Caribbean, his country of birth. From 2001 to 2011 he was executive director and shareholder at Dominion Capital Ltd. (Trinidad West Indies), where he was responsible for the development of business ties to Asia and where he was involved in the day-to-day implementation of projects, among them hotel resort and residential developments. From 2002 to 2012, Rainier was an associate of J & B International Supply Inc. (Trinidad branch) an American-based company involved in the acquisition and supply of equipment for the oil and gas industry, and also sourcing of oil and gas commodities for a network of customers.

Rainier has a Higher Diploma in Computer Information and Science Technology from De Vry Institute of Technology in Toronto, Canada, and he has completed various courses in Project Management at the University of the West Indies.

Inge de Dreu

Entrepreneurship Advisor at Apps.Co and Entrepreneur at Passion4Work   |   LinkedIn

A native of the Netherlands, Inge is entrepreneurship advisor at Apps.Co –an initiative by the Colombian government that aims to promote digital entrepreneurship and innovation in the country. Inge is also consultant in Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and entrepreneur at Passion4Work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from LOI and a Master of Science in General Management from Nyenrode Business Universiteit, both institutions based in Holland. Inge has worked with Universidad del Rosario, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, HubBOG and ACOPI Caldas, amongst others. She’s fascinated by motivation, passion and the professional dreams of people, and by empowering them.

John Freddy Vega

Co-founder of Mejorando.la, and Founder and Leader of Cristalab.com   |   LinkedIn

As co-founder of Mejorando.la, John Freddy travels around the world teaching courses and giving talks on web technologies, and on how to create for the web. At Mejorando.la, he and his partner created Platzi, an incredible online education platform that promotes commitment and community. John Freddy is also the leader and founder of Cristalab.com, one of the largest web design and development communities in the Spanish language, as well as a recognized brand in Latin America. Cristalab offers education programs, holds internet-related events and develops web projects, among other activities. John Freddy is a Software Engineer from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. His specialties are online education, project management, content architecture, web development, international team coordination, web usability and writing.

Tomás Dueñas Uribe

Growth Hacker & Founder at Carros.com.co   |   LinkedIn

Serial Entrepreneur with a penchant for Growth Hacking. He manages and operates Carros.com.co and VerHoteles.com. Customer acquisition expert (Adwords, re-targeting, landing page A/B testing, email loops, UX design, content virality). His specialties are social media, SEO/SEM and Hackathons. Tomás was a winner at: World Wide AngelHack 2013, AngelHack London 2012, LinkedIn European Hack-Day, Health 2.0 Europe Code-a-thon, and Immobilien Scout Hackathon. He studied at Harvard Law School (USA), with a specialization in Negotiation, and holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Universidad de los Andes, as well as a B.A. in Political Science from the same university.

Robbie J. Frye

Innovation Consultant at Katharsis   |   LinkedIn

Robbie works with the team at Katharsis, a non-traditional management consulting firm, in order to build innovation cultures within companies. They identify various areas of potential in innovation and modify, create, or improve these areas. Their clients vary in size from 13 to thousands, and are organizations such as Juan Valdez (Colombian Coffee Federation), Bancolombia, Bogotá’s Chamber of Commerce, and many others. He is also a startup mentor at Apps.Co, the Colombian government initiative that aims to identify, validate and help develop entrepreneurial ideas. Previously, Robbie worked at an Apple store in the San Francisco Bay Area (USA), where he became the number one Expert in revenue, the store leader in business introductions, and also carried an extremely high NPP. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo (USA).
Robbie’s personal goal is to help as many people as possible in as many different ways as possible.

Diana Reyes

Digital Strategist at Monoku   |  

Digital Strategist and technology reviewer. Diana has had the opportunity to work with online communities for over 6 years. She has written frequently about technology. Speaker, teacher, writer and enthusiast of social networks, internet and e-commerce. Currently, she works as a social media strategist at the digital agency Monoku and is part of the team that created Monomi, an e-commerce platform.

Juan Ricardo Rivera

Colombia Country Manager & LatAm Business Developer at OfficeCore, and CEO/CTO & Co-founder of openBusiness

Juan Ricardo has twenty years of professional experience. He was National Software Director of SaludTotal EPS and also Chief Information Officer at several companies. Currently, Juan Ricardo works for OfficeCore, an innovative Israeli company that provides location-based software solutions for managing and tracking mobile employees and fleet. He is also the CEO/CTO and co-founder of openBusiness, which developed a software-based system that allows any company to draw its business process in order to generate the software that automates such process.
Juan Ricardo has considerable experience managing multidisciplinary teams (engineers, medical doctors, art & graphic designers, administrators and psychologists, among others). He also has ample experience leading and managing software projects, IT and telecommunications infrastructure, as well as creating and implementing commercial strategies. He has taught at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Corporación Universitaria del Caribe.

Nayib Abdala

Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial Advisor and SW NEXT Certified Instructor   |   LinkedIn

Nayib is both an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial initiatives advisor in Colombia and Europe. He has corporate experience in market development for tech solutions in the EMEA –Europe, Middle East and Africa– region. He has a Master’s in Knowledge and Information Management from Université Montpellier III (France) and he is also certified in the Lean LaunchPad methodology as well as in Teaching for Understanding methodologies from Berkeley/Harvard University. Nayib is a Startup Weekend NEXT instructor and an experienced advisor and practitioner in opportunity identification, and in how to discover and get customers or ‘tribes/communities’ to boost initiatives and businesses. He is convinced that education and entrepreneurship are the essential vitamins for making the world a better place.

Manuel Gil Esteo

Managing Director at BlueCaribu, and Mentor of Entrepreneurs at Apps.Co   |   LinkedIn

Manuel Gil is the managing director at BlueCaribu Colombia, an online marketing agency based in Madrid with offices in Bogotá and Tampa (USA). He has been active in the startup environment since 2009 with his first startup AbogaciaGlobal. He also worked for Havas Digital (Madrid, Spain) where he managed digital projects for the largest advertisers in Spain’s digital market. In Colombia, Manuel is mentor of digital and technology startups that receive advice and support from the Colombian government initiative Apps.co. He has been speaker in events like Barcelona’s SearchCongress, and has been instructor of Instituto de Marketing Online, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and IESE of Barcelona.
Manuel is Business Administrator and Lawyer from Universidad de Granada (Spain). He also has a Bachelor of Science degree in International Management from INSEEC Paris (France) and a Master’s degree in Financial Markets from UNED (Spain).

Federico Lara

Technologist, Futurist and Entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Federico is a technologist and futurist, and an entrepreneur who wears many hats: band leader at PublikRadio (publikradio.com), senior partner at iRISK Ventures (iriskventures.com), CTO at Bongo International (BongoUS.com), former web producer at Vitamin Water (vitamanwater.com), leader and organizer of Silicon Wasi, an initiative that brings together startups from different countries in Latin America, and founder and organizer of the LimaTech Meetup group.

Luis Felipe Guzmán

Entrepreneurship Advisor, and Design and Innovation Management Expert   |   LinkedIn

Expert in design and innovation management with cross-industry knowledge (retail, financial services, technology, education), as well as international experience (USA, Latin America and Europe). Skilled in applying a lean thinking approach to help big and small companies design new business models and experiences. Luis Felipe studied Architecture at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

Juan Sebastián Duque

Co-Founder of Grupo Inspiro, Startup Alchemist of Inspiro Catalyzer   |   LinkedIn

Ever since Juan started his education as an Environmental Engineer (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne & Universidad de Los Andes), he has worked around the concepts of new markets and how innovation can lead to positive change in a society. In 2011, Juan co-founded Grupo Inspiro, an initiative that aims to help build a better Colombia by changing the way people think and do business, and by supporting the creation of startups and helping companies and people innovate. Grupo Inspiro plans for businesses that will last for a 100 years, starting with the idea and going all the way to the implementation and growth. Within Grupo Inspiro, Juan designed and currently directs the program Inspiro Catalyzer. This program is the mixture of all the essential components, entrepreneurs, big ideas and investment, that are required to produce startups with the highest probability of success, high innovation, scalability and differentiation. Juan is also helping with the education process in entrepreneurship in Colombia and, as a way of educating and strengthening the ecosystem, he has been involved in the organization of events, particularly those related to angel investment. Two of those events were the first edition of Startup Labs Colombia, which was held in May of 2013, and also the visits of Paul Bragiel, who has come to motivate potential angel investors.

Juan Camilo Acevedo

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Vice-Manager at Marsh   |   LinkedIn

Juan Camilo has a B.A. in Business Management with a minor in Economics from Universidad de Los Andes, as well as an M.Sc. in International Management from Universiteit van Tilburg (Netherlands).
When he lived in the Netherlands, Juan Camilo worked for the Dutch multinational Philips Electronics at the technological city of Eindhoven. He was in charge of developing a business model that determined the market acceptance of a new technological concept for the healthcare and fitness industry.
Back in Colombia, he joined the Financial Planning team at Baker Hughes, a world leader in the oil and gas industry. There, he acquired relevant experience in financial analysis, planning and strategy development. He took care of the business analysis, tender and bids reviews, as well as of several investment proposals and projects in which the company was involved.
Currently, Juan Camilo is Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) vice-manager at Marsh, a global insurance brokerage company. He is in charge of budgeting, profitability analysis and financial performance follow-up.
He is highly interested in internationalization projects and business strategy, as well as in innovation, and in developing new ways of doing business at the marketplace.

Patricio Javier Guzmán Toro

Social Entrepreneur – Director of the Startup Area in Colombia at Socialab   |  

Industrial Civil Engineer from Universidad del Bío-bio (Chile), Patricio has more than 5 years of experience working with poverty-related issues in different countries of Latin America. Through this work, he has acquired a wide knowledge about social businesses and inclusive business models. Patricio was professor of innovation in San Sebastián University (Chile), Logistics Coordinator of TECHO (Port au Prince, Haiti) and Director of the Entrepreneur Center of TECHO (Concepción, Chile). Currently, Patricio works at Socialab as the Director of the Startup Area in Colombia.

Matt Rogers

Educator, Entrepreneur, Story Teller and Problem Solver at Rogers English Consultants   |   LinkedIn

Matt’s passion is helping entrepreneurs create opportunities for themselves. To do this, he provides advice to them on more than just how to present their ideas to the public. He helps them craft stories to convey their message and to clarify their vision to their stakeholders, including: team members, clients and investors.
Originally from Boston, Matt moved to Bogotá in 2009 with his Colombian wife. They were in search of adventure and wanted to experience living in a rapidly developing city. Before his time in Bogotá, he worked in the banking industry focusing on sales and relationship development. In 2009, Matt earned his MBA with a focus on business communication.
Currently, Matt is a business professor at CESA focusing on entrepreneurship, public speaking, soft business skills and negotiations. He also works with HubBOG, the original entrepreneurship incubation center in Bogotá, as a mentor for entrepreneurs. In addition, he works with private clients, assisting them in preparing presentations and developing their stories.

Estíbaliz Líppez

Chief Communications Manager for Revlon Colombia, E-show Bogotá   |   LinkedIn

Estíbaliz is a professional in Media Studies with emphasis in advertising. She sets up creative ideas and strategies for brands, including content marketing, social media and public relations. Estíbaliz is passionate about Fashion, Tech and Trends. Nowadays, she is Chief Communications Manager for Revlon Colombia, E-show Bogotá. Estíbaliz is also an active leader in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bogotá: She is co-organizer of Founder Friday and TEDxBogotá, and collaborator at Revista Mprende, Behance Portfolio Reviews and Red de Emprendimiento Javeriano.

Óscar Pérez Marcos

Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Hola Ghana, Co-Founder of Social Entrepreneurs Network   |   LinkedIn

Óscar started his journey as entrepreneur at the age of 21, and he has over 10 years of experience as administration executive, credit analyst and consultant, working for private corporations such as Semicrol, American Express, Amazon, Allianz and Fundación Tomillo. He has lived in Spain, England, New York, Germany, Africa, India, and now he is based in Colombia. He co-founded the Social Entrepreneurs Network of Spain, with the goal of creating social entrepreneurship ecosystems, and of managing events such as “La Caña Social” (the Spanish version of Bogotá’s “La Pola Social”). He co-organized StartUp Bus Europe in Madrid and traveled in the company of 30 entrepreneurs who formulated and initiated the implementation of a social project along the 4,500 km road that leads from Madrid to Paris. Since April 2013, Óscar lives in Ciudad Bolívar –a vast, low-income neighborhood in Bogotá– where he is connecting with social leaders, organizing workshops and giving conferences on social entrepreneurship and life attitude matters.

Christopher Banahan

Science and Innovation Officer at the British Embassy in Bogotá

Christopher Banahan, Member of the British diplomatic service since 2001, is the science and innovation officer at the British Embassy in Bogotá. He has extensive experience in academic, commercial sectors and industrial research in electronic engineering for multinational companies at the University College London (UCL). Christopher is now working with innovative universities, businesses and Government, both from Colombia and the United Kingdom, in order to promote a better view on technology and knowledge transfer with the Colombian entrepreneurial community. The purpose is to achieve a broad relationship between Colombia and the United Kingdom in terms of science, technology and innovation.

Mónica Vargas

Staff Member at the British Embassy in Bogotá

Mónica Vargas is a last semester student of International Business. She has worked with the academic community on issues pertaining entrepreneurship and social responsibility. She has experience on managing calls and contests for entrepreneurship early stage projects and ideas.
Mónica is currently working for the Prosperity Team and Science and Innovation Office at the British Embassy in Bogotá.

T.C. Meggs

Founder of Tanktop

Despite being indigenous to North Carolina, T.C. started working with startups in San Francisco in the late 90s. Disillusioned after the "bust," he resided at Citigroup for nearly 8 years. There, he was a VP of Technology for a global trading platform. Realizing that he needed to return to the Internet, he left Citi in early 2011. This is when Tanktop came to form, a digital production agency building web and mobile products primarily for New York-based startups. He is excited to continue his work building ties between businesses and talent in the US and Colombia.

Mark Koester

Web Developer and Entrepreneur at Int3c.com   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Mark is passionate about free and open source software and international entrepreneurship. Originally born in Omaha, Nebraska, Mark has lived and worked abroad most of his adult life, including several years in both Europe and China. On a technical and business level, he has been involved in a wide range of projects like e-learning in China and social e-commerce in India and Brazil as well as early work with Zaarly (hyperlocal marketplace). He taught web design and development at the Southwest University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. He has worked with startups (and Startup Weekend-ers!) on four continents and has pitched and built products in French, English and Chinese. Mark currently runs his own web development shop (Int3c.com), which focuses on Drupal and node.js.

Francisco Becerra

Financial Planning Executive, CCA-Mazda Colombia   |   LinkedIn

Francisco Becerra has a Bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations from Universidad Externado de Colombia and a Master’s degree in Finance from Universidad de los Andes. He has worked in project valuation and management for the agro industrial sector at Acepalma and in R&D joint ventures between Universidad Nacional de Colombia and various electricity companies. He is interested in technology projects management, as well as in valuation and risk analysis. He currently works as a Financial Planning executive with Japanese carmaker CCA-Mazda Colombia.

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