How to get funding from European investors: the innovative model of U-Start

Vicente Gracia, country manager for U-­Start Chile arrived at the company after having spent a some time working in an entrepreneurial online business in South Africa. While working on a master’s degree in a Swedish Entrepreneurship School and working on his own start-­up, he learned about the hardships of being an entrepreneur. Just before graduating he learned about U-­Start and the work they do for helping entrepreneurs and start-­ups get investors, which led him to contact U-­Start’s CEO where he was presented with the opportunity to help Chilean businesses in getting investors for their projects.

Just a couple of months ago U-­Start arrived in Chile and what it does is essentially puts international investors, focused on innovative, high-growth, and scalable projects, in touch with professional entrepreneurs. Vicente Gracia explains, “my main job in this initial stage is to explore who are the main players in the early stage ecosystem, understand applicable law for start-­ups and early stage investors”. At this time he’s developing a network for U-­Start in Chile by collaborating and working together with top business accelerators, incubators and universities with focus on entrepreneurial training and research centers in the digital field. Also, he advises his clients (investors) on specific deals in Chile, helping them look for opportunities that will benefit them.

Over the years, U-­Start has developed large investor networks throughout the world. The company has a very trustable relationship with European family offices, Venture Capital and Angel Investors through their head office in Milan. U-­Start Chile’s main goal is to contribute to the Chilean economy by satisfying both investors and Chilean entrepreneur. At present they have about 120 clients in their network who use their services to scout for deals in emerging markets thanks cross-­functional teams located in Italy, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, now Chile and soon Mexico.

The company offers an innovative online platform which is the entry point to all of U-Start’s services. Through this platform is where entrepreneurs and local investors can connect, according to their interests. The site is also full of free resources that assist entrepreneurs whose start-‐ups lack certain elements, in getting their proposals ready to be presented to investors. There is free access for members of U-­Start partner associations and businesses coming from renowned accelerators and incubators in Chile and Latin America. They offer also tailor‐made services for entrepreneurs within the information they handle, such as marketing insights, legal and fiscal support, office spaces and helping build teams.

The U-­Start team is the eyes and brains of its clients in the markets where they have presence. Therefore, U-­Start is always looking for global business ideas with an international scope.


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