Founder Institute Scholarship for Medellin and Bogota

I just had a great conversation with Adeo Ressi, CEO of the Founder Institute, about the fact that after only one year we are expanding beyond Bogota and will be running a concurrent semester in Medellin.  Adeo is curious about the ideas and pitches and wanted to get involved (see below) in choosing the winners of the scholarships that I recently announced we’ll be handing out.

If you’re interested in winning one of  the  two scholarships ( one per city) , follow Adeo’s directions below and write your one sentence pitches in the comments section.

This year, the Founder Institute in Colombia has been getting great support from CO Internet, Ruta N in Medellin and our great mentors.  In addition to the Ideation Bootcamp in Bogota, Andres Barreto will be joining us via Skype in Medellin for a similar event. Now for the fun part: Below is the text that Adeo wrote specifically for this post for those who wish to participate to win one scholarship in Medellin and one in Bogota.  Feel free to write your pitch in Spanish although it’ll be easier for Adeo to provide his feedback if you leave it in English.

The calling is this:

 The Founder Institute is offering a scholarship to the founder with the best one sentence startup pitch. Getting a one sentence pitch right is challenging. You need to communicate your core idea and your value proposition in just a few words. It needs to be clear, and it needs to stand out. As a Founder, you will pitch your business hundreds of times to cofounder prospects, to partners, to team members and to investors. You need to grab the listener’s attention quickly, so being able to explain your idea in one sentence is critical. The whole idea for the one sentence pitch came out of a conversation with a top Silicon Valley venture capitalists at the Founder Showcase event. The investors wished that entrepreneurs were more concise in their explanation of the business so that they could make a quick decision on whether to learn more.


And here is a one sentence pitch template that works:

My company, __(insert name of company)__, is developing __(a defined offering)__ to help __(a defined audience)__ __(solve a problem)__ with __(secret sauce)__.


Tips to full fill the blanks

Let’s go through each of the items.

a) The “defined offering” needs to be short, simple and capable of being understood by everyone, like “a website,” “a mobile application,” “hardware,” or “desktop software.

b) ” The “defined audience” is the initial group of people that you will market your offering to. In the case of consumer applications, it is usually a demographic, such as “women age 25 to 35 years old.” In the case of business applications, it is usually a job function at a type of corporation, such as “system administrators at medium sized technology businesses.”

c) Now that you have an offering helping an audience, you need to “solve a problem.” The problem needs to be something that everyone understands, such as “reduce the time collecting bill payments” or “engage in an immersive entertainment experience.”

d) The final component, the “secret sauce,” adds your unique approach to solving the problem and demonstrates a mastery of the market.

Some examples are “by sending automated email alerts based on analysis of highest response times” or “with virtual worlds constructed in reaction to the movements of the players.”

There are a large number of common mistakes in any length pitch, but particularly in the one sentence pitch. First, try to avoid using adjectives, particularly superlatives. Never say “first,” “only,” “huge” or “best,” as these are trigger words to signal inexperience.Second, don’t make your market so large that is can be easily confused for everyone or most of everyone on Earth, such as saying “consumers” or “women.” Third, eliminate any buzzwords, acronyms or industry jargon from your pitch. Lastly, keep it short. It’s easy to write a long sentence, but the right thing is to be concise.

In order to win the Founder Institute scholarship worth USD $850 in Bogota and USD $750 in Medellin (thanks to support from Ruta N), you need to post your one sentence pitch below in the comments by Sunday, March 25th, and you need to fill out an application at (make sure your city location is correct at the top right).

We will be reviewing and providing feedback on your pitches in the comments as they come in, and pitches with the most likes will get feedback first. The winner in each city will be announced in a separate post on Tuesday, March 27 the day before the Medellin Ideation Bootcamp. Please be sure to follow the format to quality. Good luck.

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  • Our company, æntrópico, is developing a quantitative and visualization toolbox on the cloud to aid evidence-based decision making in small and medium businesses with on-demand analytics and reports. We transform data into knowledge.

  • My company, DataNexus, is developing solution to manage all the data from all the current projects, buildings and infrastructure of Bogota, offering a powerful tool to more than 11k customers from the construction supply chain. This tools helps them to manage all this projects, from the prospect to all the sale process, increasing it’s sales, with a formula that will increase your sales exponentially. (DataBase + Action Method + CRM) ^Cloud = DataNexus.

  • Finding a good developer or tech cofounder is crucial and hard for early tech startups, our company Codetag is developing a web application to help them find and work with the best software developers they can hire or partner, we do it by gathering developers data from different sources trough a web community of developers showing and improving their software development abilities.

  • my company, BLIV, is developing a mobile app. to help young adults to manifest their beliefs, likings and passions through a ritual network that can expand their territory by geolocating their moments of bliss.

  • My company, Pixagora, is developing a social-network aggregation service
    to help dissatisfied citizens elect, evaluate and rate their representatives
    using visualization and data analysis techniques to deliver revealing information
    consumed by users in a personal and immediate way via mobile devices and the web.

  • Our company, Eonars, is developing a web based social platform to help those professionals and enthusiasts of the digital graphic industry, establish supply-demand connections with Spanish and English speakers customers, with a set of well-defined multimedia tools that will allow the former to manage efficiently their freelance projects from a personal profile account and the latter to select the best candidate to work with.

  • My company, Futbolidad, is developing a website to help amateur soccer players find fields, tournaments and games by using location and social networks to build neighborhood clusters and soccer-reputation.

  • Nuestro emprendimiento busca que las empresas no gasten demasiado tiempo en la generación de los certificados laborales, y que los empleados los puedan generar cuando los necesiten, inclusive cuando ya no trabajen en la compañia.

  • Hi everyone, This was a tough decision, but we’re ready to announce the winners. Thanks to everyone who submitted their pitches!

    We didn’t look at just the pitch, but a number of factors (including the pitch). With respect to Medellin, since applicants haven’t taken the exam yet, claiming the scholarship will be contingent on being accepted. If the Medellin winner is not accepted into the program, I’ll announce how we’ll decide the alternate winner through my blog,

    Both winners will be getting an email shortly about their next steps. The winner for Bogota is Juan Pablo Marin Diaz. Congratulations!

    I wasn’t crazy about the pitches/ideas in the Medellin group, so we looked at other factors and the winner for Medellin is Omar Gomez, but this is contingent on taking the application exam and being accepted to the program. Congratulations!