Wayra Week Colombia 2011

It`s slowly getting late to write this post!
Last week I had the chance to represent Endeavor as a jury of Wayra Colombia. 

To explain what Wayra is, I will invite you to read this post of Martin Varsavsky (I could not explain better the program, so I`ll leverage of that!) and of course the Wayra Web Site - in spanish.

"Wayra is a program that will support the creation of high-tech IT companies in Latin America and Spain. Basically, Wayra is a business incubator, although it wants to be more than that and calls itself a business “accelerator”. (Future) entrepreneurs can submit their projects, even if they’re only at an idea stage, and the 30 teams with the most promising ideas will be given the opportunity to present in front of a jury which will then narrow the selection down to 10 projects (this occurs on a country level). The first three countries are Colombia, Mexico and Spain, and the goal is to have this initiative running in eight countries by the end of this year. This will bring the number of supported projects to 80 by the end of 2011."

I learned too much, from the participant entrepreneurs obviously but also from the jury, which were key executives from Telefonica and other local experts of the IT industry...  e-commerce, "freemium businessmodels", M2M, mobile apps, e-Health, were not very touched terms (by me!!!) ... and the most revealing - Power Point is dead, PREZI rules (well, this I knew before, it truly rules)! And well, I also got even more exited recalling that from this class on the new BABSON MBA curriculum will have a strong Technology component! The new Babson M.B.A. focuses on three elements: preparing students to be entrepreneurial leaders, teaching them to be leaders in a collaborative workgroup, and helping students understand the role of technology in today's business landscape. 

But as sensitive as I am, what moved me the most was the Final Ceremony, where the top 10 projects for Colombia were announced. On statement that called my attention was: "I many times believed that happiness was not for me" - said by one of the winning Entrepreneurs. Wow! You could see people speechless, because the strong emotion did not allow them to speak. There was an Entrepreneur that simply said that now his daughter could be born in Colombia, since now he does not have to go to the States to try to get funding and realize his dream there (many of them do have the Silicon Valley dream). Many of them recalled in their thank-you speeches all the nights whithout sleep, all the sacrifices that had to be made. 

It might sound like the romatic "cliches" of being an entrepreneur, but I loved them. That plays a fundamental part: loving what you do and finding joy and pride in what you have achieved, and being GENUINE about sharing it.  Thumbs up for TELEFONICA and WAYRA!