In a recent interview on T13 channel, one of Chile's leading television channels, known for its comprehensive and authoritative coverage of news and current affairs, George Cargill, the leader of COREangels Pacific, shared insights into his journey as an angel investor and shed light on the dynamic world of startup investments. Join us as we delve into the mind of an influential figure in the Chilean startup ecosystem.

A Passionate Entrepreneur and Angel Investor

George Cargill, a self-proclaimed entrepreneur at heart, wears the hat of an angel investor with fervor and dedication. With nearly a decade of experience in the field of angel investing, George's journey began with a pivotal investment in Comunidad Feliz, a startup he co-invested in with his brother. They were their first investors when they had CLP$ 8.000 pesos (around 10 dollars) in their bank account, but it marked the beginning of a remarkable entrepreneurial adventure.

The Evolution of Angel Investing

George took the opportunity to reflect on the evolution of angel investing from his perspective. Over the years, he has not only honed his skills but also professionalized his approach, collaborating with fellow investors and friends to make a more significant impact on the startup landscape.

A Transformative Approach

COREangels Pacific, under the leadership of George and his co-leader, Nils Galdo, is making waves in the world of angel investing. One of their standout features is the collaborative approach they bring to the table. By pooling resources and knowledge, they can provide startups with more substantial support.
George emphasized the importance of startups being open to mentorship and advice from angel investors. Startups should recognize that angel investors bring more than just capital; they also offer valuable insights, industry connections, and expertise.

The Role of Angel Investors

When asked about what motivates angel investors to join the world of startups, George highlighted the desire to give back to the ecosystem. Having embarked on his entrepreneurial journey with a technology company called Orion alongside his brother, George and his team felt the need to support and mentor budding startups. Their aim was to prevent emerging entrepreneurs from encountering the same obstacles they had faced.
Angel investors like George aim to provide startups with not only financial support but also guidance and mentorship. They want to help startups avoid common pitfalls and improve their management, financial strategies, and overall business operations.

The Importance of Community

George also emphasized the growth of the startup ecosystem in Chile in recent years. The rise of venture capital and the emergence of various mechanisms, such as crowdfunding and angel networks, have played a pivotal role in nurturing innovation. There is a noticeable shift towards a sense of community among entrepreneurs, investors, and other stakeholders, promoting collaboration rather than cutthroat competition.

Key Traits for Startups Seeking Angel Investments

When it comes to startups seeking angel investments, George and COREangels Pacific focus on a few key traits:
  1. A Strong Team: The startup's team is paramount. Angel investors look for teams with diverse skills, experience, and a passion for their project.
  2. Openness to Feedback: Startups should be open to feedback and willing to listen to the advice and guidance of angel investors.
  3. Sustainable Business Model: Angel investors want to see that the startup has a sustainable business model and isn't solely reliant on external funding.
  4. Proven Metrics: Some level of validation, such as traction, user engagement, or revenue, can be a significant factor in securing angel investments.
  5. Alignment of Values: Angel investors often look for startups that align with their values and interests, as this can foster a more productive and long-lasting partnership.

George Cargill's Recommendations

Before concluding the interview, George offered recommendations for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs. He encouraged them to stay resilient and weather the challenging early stages of building a business. In the current ecosystem, where securing funding can be difficult, he advised startups to focus on sustainability and strive to be self-sufficient.

George also shared his enthusiasm for startups that focus on solving critical issues, such as the agricultural sector's water scarcity problem. He mentioned his investment in Instacrops, an agrotechnology startup that uses artificial intelligence to optimize irrigation and improve crop yields with fewer resources.

In essence, George Cargill embodies the spirit of angel investing, combining entrepreneurial passion with a commitment to nurturing innovation and empowering startups. Under his leadership, COREangels Pacific is making significant strides in fostering a collaborative and thriving startup ecosystem in the Pacific region.

You can watch the original interview on Tele 13 in Spanish: