There are three different types of events organized throughout the year:
1) First Tuesday Entrepreneur College events focused mainly on education through seminars and workshops for entrepreneurs on topics revolving around entrepreneurship, innovation, and networking. Examples of topics included intellectual property, tools for non-banking financing, how to successfully prepare an elevator pitch, and how to prepare business plans. The Entrepreneur College provided the first step towards building an educated entrepreneur culture so that entrepreneurs can be better prepared when they present their projects to investors or incubators. First Tuesday organized four Entrepreneur Colleges in El Salvador. The themes were Food Innovation, Information Technology, and Industrial Design. All of these events were hosted by Universities and provided coaching to entrepreneurs on fields such as IT and Industrial Design to build strong business cases.
2) First Tuesday Classic events promoted networking among its participants, which consist of entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers. These events were introduced by a successful keynote speaker who spoke about his or her experience as an entrepreneur or as a venture capitalist, and was someone to whom the participants of the event could identify. These events also featured a competition known as The Pitch Challenge, where three entrepreneurs from the audience were selected to make a pitch of their project in less than 90 seconds. Winners of the Challenge got media coverage and prizes such as software licenses or subscriptions to business magazines. Three Classic events were organized around the topics of Food innovation, a Mobile Software Competition, and Industrial Design. Two more Classic events were held in Honduras and in Panama in July 2010.
3) First Tuesday Speed Dating events offered an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their project to VC and investors for several minutes in a personal, private, and confidential manner. Tables were set up in a way to enable entrepreneurs to pitch to investors and investors could ask questions about the project to determine if there was an opportunity for a second interview. Non-Disclosure Agreements were provided and VC chose from projects that were interesting to them and seemed promising. Two Speed Dating events were organized in April. In 2010, a survey was conducted at the beginning and at the end of the year to determine the impact of these events on its members and to evaluate qualitative data on the entrepreneurship culture that the program has provided to the community.
Latin American countries have lacked entrepreneurship and innovation for many years now. There have been some successful programs promoted by governments to improve the ease of doing business in these countries and to reduce the time and costs for starting a new business. However, in spite of these efforts, small and medium companies that represent an average of more than 70% of the total workforce in most of these countries have not increased substantially and many startups fail to stay alive for more than a year. They lack a proper business model, customers, or providers that can leverage their businesses. Some of these startups are ready for angel financing or venture capital however, their owners have been unable to prepare a proper business plan and do not have the necessary experience to sell their idea to others so they can successfully make their businesses grow.
First Tuesday is a network that brings together entrepreneurs, government, organizations that support innovation and entrepreneurship, universities, angel financing networks, venture capitalists, and service providers to promote and improve entrepreneurship and innovation. Many collaborators such as media partners and sponsors provide economic support to this initiative, which aids in the organization of the events. The city leaders for each First Tuesday chapter offer their services on a pro bono basis, and nearly 90% of the funds are spent on the events themselves.
Media/ Marketing Opportunities
First Tuesday is in need of financial support to organize events and/or partnerships with hotels or event venues, catering companies, printing, and advertising companies. It is also in need of key note speakers with experience in entrepreneurship for events, and people with specific areas of expertise on innovation, angel financing, startups, and other topics related to entrepreneurship who are willing to offer conferences and seminars to members of the First Tuesday network and are willing to travel to El Salvador. Finally, media partners are critical for successful implementation of the program as a whole since they can provide the outreach that the program needs.
Media/ Marketing Opportunities
Networking and El Salvador Entrepreneurs Database Contacts