Entrepreneurs generate ideas and projects, have a high sense of risk and are oriented towards a personal or collective goal.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking back. Therefore, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in their future. You have to trust something: your instinct, your destiny, your life, your karma, whatever ”.
This phrase by Steve Jobs inspires Dots, points in English, the platform that aims to connect entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, support centers, investors and companies that need to innovate by relying on startups.
“We want to have many startups, that connect, that organizations find more startups to support, that more people are encouraged to share their ideas and that it be a repository of projects,” said Santaine Aubourg, founder of Dots.
Santaine worked seven years ago in a company for a global technology firm, which supports the emergence of entrepreneurs internally. She provided support and prepared them for their elevator pitch or business presentation.
In 2015, she resigned with the idea of starting her own business. But she realized that she required to know much more about how the whole process of emergence, development, mentoring, investors and support for technology-based ventures in particular worked and operated.
There was a lot of information, all scattered and disaggregated, and the only effect it had was to make people who wanted to start a business feel overwhelmed. She found out about an event that was going to take place in Guatemala. She packed her bags, prepared her business plan and presentation well, and arrived expecting to find a clearer picture.
The event was equally overwhelming. “There were more than two hundred people,” says Santaine. “What I brought with me was a bunch of business cards given to me by the people I spoke with.” But she did have an idea hanging around.
In the conferences and in conversations with entrepreneurs, investors and specialists, they all repeated the same refrain: “you have to connect the ecosystems.” You have to connect the ecosystem there and you have to connect the ecosystem here. How? Nobody said it.
The Fidélitas University School of Administration differentiates entrepreneurs as those who generate ideas and projects, have a high sense of risk, are oriented to a personal or collective objective (not strictly due to the desire to earn money), they know very well the operational part and are usually very close to their people, awakening a high commitment and a sense of belonging. They are the founders of the companies.
Back in Costa Rica, Santaine reconsidered the steps she was taking. The best thing was to pause the projects and create a platform that will connect entrepreneurs (including those who work in a company, but do not know how to start a startup), incubators and accelerators, investors and other organizations that support them.
Santaine Aubourg invited entrepreneurs to upload their project information to the platform. (Photo for EF) Santaine Aubourg invited entrepreneurs to upload their project information to the platform.
Matilde Rosero is a specialist in web development and user experience. She designed and created the platform. (Photo for EF) Matilde Rosero is a specialist in web development and user experience. She designed and created the platform.
The platform is a directory of projects, organizations and content, in addition to offering facilities for entrepreneurs to upload their information. (Photo for EF) The platform is a directory of projects, organizations and content, in addition to offering facilities for entrepreneurs to upload their information.
At that time the fashion was mobile applications or apps and began to hire developers. It used its own resources and the moment came when it was necessary to generate income again.
She started working at another tech firm and put the platform on standby for three years. The previous year, in the midst of a pandemic, she contacted website developer Matilde Rosero, who is also a user experience specialist. She explained her idea to him, told him that there was no way to pay him, that it was free, and that she was interested in her.
Matilde said yes, they met and worked virtually at night, and in two months they raised the Dots platform. She in parallel she proposed to several specialists in different. Other fields that did support the project as curators, with the function of analyzing and validating the projects that arrive before uploading them to the platform. The dots were connected.
“It is a grain of sand to collaborate with the connection of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, provide a visibility space for ventures, which facilitates the connection with investors, other entrepreneurs and organizations that have been actively and largely collaborating for a long time.”
This is how Santaine defines the project in a summary in the email I contacted.
In the entrepreneurs section you can find information about the projects, what they offer and what their “primary need” is: support from an incubator or accelerator, investment, partners or another. It has no cost.
The agencies section is an updated directory of incubators, accelerators and developers, as well as other entities that support enterprises, both technology-based (startups) and otherwise.
In education, entrepreneurs will find, at no cost, compiled content on how to make an elevator pitch, how to generate content, how to make value proposals or how to form work teams, among others.
Entrepreneurs can send their material and receive a first review from Santaine herself, who assesses if they need to expand information and if it is necessary to send it to one of the curators, according to the specialty.
There are currently sixty-four organizations, twenty curators and, within a month of launching Dot and without making it known yet, nine startups.
Santaine explains that for now no advisory services are provided, although it is not ruled out whether a project requires it or if it is developed as a way to generate income. So far, the platform is maintained with resources from Santaine herself and the motivation to see the projects approach.
“We feel that empathy from when a startup is born,” says Santaine.