In this series we look to the graduates of Founder Institute’s Bogota program. Among the many accelerator programs in Colombia, Founder Institute Bogotá was originally brought to the country by Alan Colmenares in 2009. The program is back after a five year hiatus, under new director Mads Schmidt Peterson.
“I am proud to present the graduating Founders from the first Founder Institute Semester in Colombia in over 4 years. These Founders have been on an amazing journey with us and our mentors who helped develop great ideas into great companies. We will be following in the future with great anticipations.” Schmidt Peterson told LATAM.tech
The program aims to provide support and structure for early-stage startups anywhere from the very beginning to helping them scale an already functioning operation. We sat down with a couple participants to ask them about their projects and experience with Founder Institute.
Can you tell us a little bit about Anastasia?
The essence of Anastasia is the social impact. I was inspired to create the company after many personal incidents in my family; my dad passed away, my brother labours under a mental disability, and a traffic accident that left my mother unable to walk.
To date, Anastasia has recycled approximately 1000 kilos of textiles, around 95% of the textile waste of our allied companies, to create everything from shirts and skirts to small accessories. We’ve trained more than 50 women and people with special needs, and at the end of the year, we expect to reach hundreds, empowering them to make use of their talents.
Customers are becoming more ethical about their consumption; namely where their goods are produced, by whom, and with what. The conscientious consumer market is now larger than the economy of Honduras — 19 billion dollars per year — and we see a lot of space to grow.
Do you have traction?
We’ve earned more than 20,000 USD to date and are expanding our operations to Cali. Meanwhile, people have spread the news of our philosophy in national and international media and we’ve won different entrepreneurship contests in America including Bags Across the Globe from UC Davis, Chivas Ventures, Misión Impacto, and Shark Tank Colombia.
How was the Founder Institute useful for you?
Founder Institute helped us to organize the company and think about things on a global scale. It also helped us to envision how to grow to be sustainable in the future.
Something that I loved about the Founder Institute program, is that they helped us to think about the tiniest details regarding everything surrounding the company from pricing strategies to how we create our brand to be worldwide recognized.