Goodbye Brooklyn. Hola Chile.

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Building a website like Smashrun on nights and weekends, is to put it mildly, exceedingly challenging. There’s a huge gap between what we want Smashrun to be, and what I’ve had time to code, and it’s been a daily struggle to come up with ways to bridge that gap.

A couple of months ago we heard about a program called Start-Up Chile. It’s a pretty incredible premise. The Chilean government is offering entrepreneurs a 40k USD grant to move their start-up to Chile for a period of at least 6 months. In return they ask for no equity, but only that you actively engage the tech community in Chile and share what you know. And, of course, if you find the environment their suitable to your business you are welcome, but by no means required, to keep your business based there as you grow.

Well, that sounded like a pretty good deal to us, so we applied, got in, and yesterday Jacklyn and I arrived in Santiago, Chile.  In a few days, Steve is set to arrive to help us get up and running, and then the real excitement begins — working one job. We’ll be throwing some serious man hours at Smashrun, and maybe if we’re lucky we might even be able to find some money for a bright spark junior coder to chip in.

Sure, things will be a little tight but, this is hugely exciting stuff for the Smashrun team!  With a little luck, in the next few months we’ll be enabling more devices and creating exciting new charts, badges, and social features.

Now… if only I can make a little time to get a run in.
Anyone got any good recommendations for running routes in Santiago? Those hills in the distance seem fairly manageable…
  1. John Robert

    Congratulations! Your team gets the Adventurer of the Year award! I love quitting my job to start companies, but moving to Chile to do so is a whole ‘nother realm! Keep us popsted with blogs and pics! Can’t wait to see the progress! Enjoy the people, enjoy the food, and get a good run in the mountains!

    • Chris

      Thanks!

      We’re 2 months in now, and I feel like we’re only now settled and fully productive. I sprained my ankle jumping for a photo, and was off running for about 6 weeks. So glad to be better now and able to explore the city on foot.

      (Sorry for the delay, just realized we had comment notifications turned off)

  2. FErnando

    Good luck in Santiago. That San Cristobal hill would seem great for some hilly running. Also, if you ever make it out to Valparaiso or Vina del Mar the ocean routes are amazing.

  3. craig

    so is the $40k your salary? what else are you doing for money? just curious, as I find the start-up idea wonderfully exciting yet scary. Just curious what your road to the start up was like.

    • Chris

      The $40k is for 6 months, there’s 2 of us here, so things are pretty tight. But it more than covers our server expenses and moving expenses, and it allowed us to quit our day jobs. And, hey if you’re working 70 hour weeks, there’s not time to spend money on movies and beer.

  4. craig

    * disregard this comment, just posting again so i can check the boxes to be notified of replies *

  5. Marcia Green

    I love Smash-Run, tried some other app that kept asking me for a credit card, very annoying. Welcome to Chile, it is a lovely country to see running!

    M.

    • Jacklyn

      Thanks Marcia! We actually just recently discovered our local running route along Pocuro and Tobalaba in Providencia. And, of course: there’s the bittersweet climb up San Cristobal :)

  6. Pablo

    Hi! I just joined Smashrun yesterday and still need to log a new run… I’m planning to go back to Chile in the next 4 years, so i’ll be waiting for your best routes! But you can probably look at some here: http://www.runmap.net/ I just saw some around providencia… You should also try to run in the wineyards area south of Santiago (flat, nature, some hills, etc…). Next time I go there I’ll be near Paine and try to run around. Enjoy the summer!