Last weekend I connected with the startup scene in Chile. Having spent the last few months in Brasil, I was keen to hear the experience of European startups in Chile. My journey brought me to the beautiful Pacific Coast at Start Up Weekend, Viña Del Mar Chile. Over the weekend I mentored startups alongside participants of Start Up Chile. This is where I met Michal Majewski from Poland, Co Founder of PublishSoSimply.
What is Publish So Simply?
PublishSoSimply is a tool that helps companies, NGO’s, universities and schools to create multipage, interactive, responsive documents such as reports, guides, magazines, white papers, brochures and so on. Users can use external elements like infogram charts, spotify playlist or typeform surveys to make them more interactive. Documents are responsive and fully customized.
Why Start-Up Chile?
It is a unique accelaration program with an excellent reputation. We came here to look at our product from a different perpective. We also wanted to find a place where we could fully focus on PublishSoSimply. An important part of Start-Up Chile is the equity free grant, which has kick started development of our platform.
What developments have you made since being in Chile?
We came to Chile in February with a basic MVP. Users could only create one type of document. This would be one page with no functions for customisation or responsiveness. The product was far from perfect, yet our users saw beyond this. From this we concluded our users sought a competitive alternative to regular PDFs. In light of customer feedback supporting this view we decided to rebuild our platform. Users can now create a wide range of documents such as brochures, case studies, financial reports, etc. All documents are responsive and can be fully customised. The grant helped us to work on great improvements in software. We will now be ready to launch an upgraded version in the next few days. So watch out!
Where did the idea of PubishSoSimply come from?
As an experienced entrepreneur and co – owner of a Public Relations agency in Poland, my inhouse knowledge gave birth to PublishSoSimply. When you work with content for many years you notice almost everything is about PDF files. They are far from perfect. Secondly, we noticed a niche in the market of multiple page documents, from thereon PublishSoSimply was born. Mailchimp, Canva, Piktochart serve to ease our working process and now companies can also rely on PublishSoSimply.
Is it difficult running a company from Chile?
Not really. Given the advances in technology, the ease of communication has erased all boundaries. Of course you have to deal with some prosaic problems like signing documents but this is one of small obstacles we deal with. We treat working in Chile not as a problem but an opportunity. I have to schedule my day a bit different. When I wake up in the morning, half the working day in Europe has passed. Additionally we have to organise ourselves against public holidays both in Chile and Europe. But from the beginning we though about PublishSoSimply as a global platform, therefore organising our schedule in advance was not a suprise for us. Being based in Chile works in favour as we are closer to the US where the majority of our users are.
What differences have you noticed between running a company in Chile and Europe?
Chilean’s and European’s have an absolutely different way of thinking about the market. In Europe in most cases start ups think about two markets, their own country and the US or globally. There is no market in the middle. In Chile, start ups think about Latin America as a potential market. I realized that we don’t think about about the European market as a monolith. Europe is a much more complicated place to run a business. Probably the most important factor is the language. If you have your site in Spanish you can aquire clients almost everywhere in LATAM. In Europe boundaries are more distinct. This is strange because we have more standarised laws and open markets.
Should European start ups consider South America as a window of opportunity?
Definitely! We often forget that there is a world outside Europe and North America. However South Amercia has over 400 million potential clients. Huge cities often equate to countless opportunities for start ups. The Chilean Government has picked up on this. Start Up Chile reasserts cooperation with European start ups via their program. I thoroughly recommend all start ups apply for Start Up Chile.
What are the next steps for PublishSoSimply?
Our efforts are engaged in developing the new version of PublishSoSimply. You can try PublishSoSimply here. Don’t forget to leave us feedback!