I don’t believe that everyone is cut-out to be an entrepreneur, but I do believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to start and try. I also believe that our futures on this planet will be shaped by the entrepreneurs amongst us. Entrepreneurship is about solving problems in sustainable ways, about empowering people and taking on big problems in innovative ways. Unfortunately however, in many cases, the only thing holding back an amazing entrepreneur is their circumstances. Not being connected to the right person. Not being given the courage to start. Not having enough “tech skills”. Not having the confidence to pitch. Not having any money. There are thousands of these barriers to entrepreneurship.
That’s why at BlueChilli we believe that the best way to be inclusive of everyone is to remove these barriers that stop entrepreneurship from happening. We look at the reasons why startups fail, and why founders don’t start, and we reduce these risks and remove those barriers.
Our latest program, CityConnect, aims to continue this. This is why we’re now removing the barriers of funding, team and technology. Entrepreneurs starting their business will now have their technology pilots built and launched by our engineering team, they will be mentored and educated with our amazing entrepreneurs-in-residence and they will receive $25k funding to get their pilots launched.
We’re looking for people with ideas who want to help shape the future cities of our lives, to make our future cities better. What does urbanisation look like in a hyper-connected world? How will we support our parents and grandparents in a digital world? How will we relax and play when we’re swamped with media and data? There are heaps of challenges our future selves will face and we want to tackle them today.
CityConnect is led by the amazing Johanna Pitman, an expert in urban development and smart cities and her team will support every entrepreneur with connections to governments, corporates and partners.
So we’re not all the way there yet, we still have a long way to go to remove every barrier and a ways to go to be completely inclusive (for example the funds are only open to Australian applicants, a limitation of our VC partner) but this is a bold new step which I hope aims to make entrepreneurship open to anyone.
To channel Agnes de Mille; Startups are really hard, and our job at BlueChilli isn’t to make them easy – it’s to make them possible.