Everything You Need to Know About Our Pitch Night in Cartagena
By Sophia Wood | December 27, 2017
Cartagena used to be Colombia’s second biggest city. To date, this colonial town is still Latin America’s fourth largest port and one of Colombia’s most important cultural sites. With its charming cobblestoned streets and proximity to beautiful Caribbean beaches, Cartagena is also a major tourist destination with all the trappings of becoming an entry point for digital nomads in Colombia. We hosted our inaugural Digital Nomad Retreat in Cartagena so that we could introduce our participants to the growing community of entrepreneurs that call Cartagena home.
Why Do We Host Pitch Nights in Colombia?
Our Pitch Nights are meant to be an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to practice their five-minute pitches in front of a real audience without the pressure of a traditional pitch competition. All participants are given five minutes to present their pitch decks – and then the audience gets five minutes to respond with questions or constructive criticism. At the end, attendees vote on the pitches, based on clarity, presentation style, and call to action, and the winner receives a small prize. We have thus far hosted Pitch Nights in Cartagena and Medellin, with requests to spread the initiative to other cities in Colombia in 2018.
These events are not only a great opportunity to practice public speaking, but also a networking opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn about other ventures in their own cities. We partnered with two local organizations in Cartagena, Gen E, an entrepreneurship network, and Coworking Cartagena, a pop-up coworking space for digital nomads and entrepreneurs, who wanted to help bring together Cartagena’s startup community.
Laura van Steen, Founder of Coworking Cartagena, is passionate about building an entrepreneurial community in Cartagena. When we asked her why she helped host the event, she told us: “When VamosA asked me to help them bring Pitch Night to Cartagena, it was like a match made in heaven. The best thing about Pitch Night is that it creates a platform to share projects and connect different types of people that have the same interest: entrepreneurship in Cartagena. And this adds perfectly to Coworking Cartagena’s goal to build an entrepreneurial community in Cartagena.”
Supporting Entrepreneurs in Cartagena
On the night of November 24th, 2017, the atmosphere at Cafe Stepping Stone in Cartagena’s bohemian Getsemani neighborhood was buzzing with energy. The small, colorfully decorated cafe was packed with Cartagena’s entrepreneurs eager to share their ideas with the attentive audience before them. Our participants and mentors tucked themselves in within the crowd, snacking on the restaurant’s offerings. Conversations in English and Spanish echoed around the cozy space as it began to pour rain outside, totally out of the ordinary for Cartagena.
Over the course of two hours, seven local entrepreneurs presented their ideas to the crowd of thirty five that had gathered in the cafe. Presenters included Soraya Oke of S PR Events, Daniel Marrugo of Agro Industria Sostenible, Luis Miguel Verbel of TuAgro, Edgardo Perez of Domi, Otilia Esquivia of EcoSocial, Analucia Lecompte of SoundWalkrs, and Orfarit Martinez of Raices Spanish. When the presentations concluded, the audience sprung to life to begin networking with other like-minded individuals at the event. It was thrilling to see how engaged and interested all the attendees were, including our Retreat participants, who followed along even though all the presentations were done in Spanish.
The entrepreneurial community Cartagena may be small, but it is growing quickly. One of our partners for the event, Garcilaso de la Vega, started the small entrepreneurship support group called Gen E on Whatsapp last year with 7 people in it. By the end of 2017, the group had swelled to over 130 people that meet monthly for educational events. Garcilaso and the community of Gen E were extremely supportive and enthusiastic about the event. “Pitch Night Cartagena has been an incredible opportunity to get to know the ideas and entrepreneurs in Cartagena, and a great chance to network,” stated Garcilaso. “I want to thank VamosA for their alliance with Gen E and for supporting the entrepreneurship community here. I look forward to the next event!”
With the help of Gen E and Coworking Cartagena, Pitch Night helped bring Cartagena’s entrepreneur community even closer together. We look forward to hosting more Pitch Nights in Cartagena in the future! If you want to find out more about events hosted by VamosA, sign up for our newsletter here! We will keep you updated on our programs, events, and startup news in Latin America every week!