Today, eight months later, another great moment has arrived: the official closing ceremony of the second version of the program. Although the pandemic forced to celebrate and say goodbye behind the screen, the excitement and joy could be felt at every moment. Joyful music welcomed the guests who were slowly joining the ceremony via Zoom.
“I am honored to welcome you to the closing ceremony. Although at the beginning of the year we had planned something different for this moment, adapting to the circumstances is a characteristic that entrepreneurs know more than anyone else”, with these words, Cristián Schalper, Chief Operating Officer of Fundación Impulso Inicial, opened the day and then presented a video prepared for the winners.
As the images ran, the first tears, laughter and happy faces could be seen on the small screens. “It is very difficult not to be moved by this video that has been able to portray the road travelled. We were proud to see how this excellent group of entrepreneurs knew how to support and lend each other a hand in difficult situations,” commented Cristina Birrell, Director of Fundación Impulso Inicial. “We witnessed examples of companionship that reflect the entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes each one of you.
On behalf of the UC School of Management, spoke its director, José Tessada, the Academic Director of the Program Paula Broitman and Beatriz Masferrer, as representative of the team of mentors, who had the task of accompanying the winners for six months to move their businesses forward. The three added their congratulations to the previous congratulations, highlighting the achievements and the work done by the winners.
After the words of the academics, two representatives of the generation of entrepreneurs told their experience: Blanca Martinez, who was the winner with the venture “Barritas de Legumbre Blanca Marti delicias” and Luis Arancibia, who was the winner with “Bloquemac” of ecological bricks.
“We thoroughly enjoyed every event. We received support, tools, learning, we made networks and bonds. Today we are not a group, we are family. We have learned that we are big and strong in the face of adversity and uncertainty. We have risen up and reinvented ourselves with the effort and passion that characterizes us,” said Blanca Martínez with emotion.
Luis Arancibia added to her words: “When we entered this entrepreneurship contest, we all had the idea of a business. So varied that it could be a greenhouse in Punta Arenas or the recycling of a washing machine in Iquique. We met wonderful people and for all of us this was unforgettable. I can only say thank you very much to everyone for giving us this great impulse, which allowed us to take off in the way we longed for”.
Finally, Andrónico Luksic, founder of Impulso Inicial and creator of Impulso Chileno addressed the entrepreneurs with a heartfelt message: “I cannot fail to thank the 60 winners of Impulso Chileno. It is a source of pride to be able to contribute to help you move forward, despite the difficulties of this tremendous pandemic, with conviction, desire and that characteristic spirit of the entrepreneur. That is what Chile needs today. I am sure that together we can get back on our feet and look to the future with optimism, strength and conviction to make a better Chile”.
The winners and their ventures were able to grow, learn new things and create bonds among themselves. They formed a great group that was able to accompany each other in difficult times, such as the coronavirus pandemic, and support each other with words of encouragement from afar.