Sport/Life: One of Chile’s Newest Start-Ups

We recently met Daniel Boyle as the Editor of I Love Chile as we began to contribute material to the site. Little did we know at the time that he is two-time Australian Footbag Champion who also participated in the World Footbag Championship in Oakland, CA (home of yours truly 🙂 ). Daniel has recently been accepted into the Start-up Chile Program funding Sport/Life, an innovative approach in creating a crowdfunding platform for athletes, clubs, and journalists in Chile. We had the chance to ask him a couple questions about his endeavors in Chile. Enjoy!

BE: Tell us a bit about yourself and what made you move to Chile?

DB: My name is Daniel Boyle, I am an Australian in Chile. I grew up in Bega, a small country town. I like sports a lot, particularly the sport of footbag (some people know this as hacky sack). I have lived here for almost two years. I came here with my Chilean wife, we met in Australia, where she was studying with the Becas Chile scholarship. We will be here at least one more year, then see what happens.

BE: What is Sport/Life? 

DB: The idea of Sport/Life has been growing over the time I have been here. I just started the idea as a name to link together a few of the sports projects I was doing – classes using footbag to teach English, sports writing, and stadium tours. What I have just been accepted in to Start Up Chile with is a sports crowdfunding platform. This is not yet ready, but I will be working on that in the coming months.
BE: How does crowdfunding work?

DB: In short, the crowd, rather than sponsors etc, do the funding for you. There are a variety of ways in which they work – Kickstarter is the biggest one. In this, you need to raise 100% of your target to get the money. Others like, which is a Latin American one, you can set different targets. I am going to focus particularly on sports. There are a few of these around, but they’re all at a fairly early stage.

BE: What made you want to create a crowdfunding platform in Chile?

DB: There is simply not enough money to go around to all the athletes in Chile. The beauty of this is it doesn’t have to be only in Chile, it can be anywhere. I also want to open it to journalists, particularly for sports. I have been to many events where I have covered my own costs, either to compete or to write about it. While there is plenty of money in sports, there are a lot more people using their own cash to get things happening.
I also want to use this to encourage even more social programs through sports. Chile has so many major events coming up in the next couple of years, and is nearby to Brazil, so this is the perfect time to get this going in South America.

BE: What do you plan to accomplish with Sport/Life?

DB: I have a lot of big dreams, but the first thing is to get it working. Basically I would like to have athletes, clubs, journalists and people from around the world uploading their projects and receiving the funding. I hope to always have a big Chilean presence on the site, as well as have Australian athletes on there.
My other goal, which is kind of linked, is to create a World Tour for Footbag. Base it on sports like tennis or surfing, I think that could add to the world Footbag scene.

BE: When will Sport/Life become functional and how will people be able to donate?

DB: I hope to have a beta version up and running by November, which is when the Start Up Chile time begins, then have something real 6 months from them. People will be able to donate through Paypal or through webpay, as Paypal doesn’t work for everybody in Chile. The other option I have been considering is for people to donate sporting goods, particularly to the social programs.

BE: Do you have any particular sporting activities in mind that would benefit most through Sport/Life?

DB: In reality, absolutely anything, but where I see it working is the more underground sports. There was an Underwater Hockey team from Argentina that got full funding from, I see it being a great help for some of Chile’s Olympic athletes, and maybe Farkas will get a rest from funding all of Chile’s sport. Hopefully it also coincides well with the launch of the ministry of sport here in Chile.

BE: How does Sport/Life combine education and sports? 

DB: The two biggest things that I have done under the theme are footbag classes in public schools, particular in Los Almendros in La Florida, using the sport to build the English language skills in real life situations that are a bit more fun than the classroom setting. The other one is to teach English to the athletes. These are people who need these skills not just for themselves, but to better represent and present themselves on a world stage. That’s something I plan to continue doing. I am also involved with the Santiago Saints Australian Rules club, we are looking to get a team together to send to the International Cup in 2014, as well as grow the game here in Chile.

BE: What else does Sports/Life have in store for the future?

DB: I would like to build on the theme of sports tourism, not just here in Chile, but offering simple packages do go to sporting events. Doesn’t have to be in huge groups, doesn’t has to be crowdfunded either, but that’s a good business model that will hopefully grow a bit. The other part is to be doing events under the Sport/Life name.

BE: In a perfect world, how far would you like to take Sport/Life and what would you like to see it become?

DB: Who knows really, I would like to see the crowdfunding part look after itself, get the footbag tour going and be able to make sports a huge part of my life as well as my income.
Two time Australian Footbag Champion, Daniel Boyle at the AusFootbagChamps

BE: How did you hear about Start-up Chile?

DB: It had started not too long before I arrived. One of the first start-ups in the program I heard of was Jogabo. I read something about them on Twitter and then went to one of their pickup soccer games soon after.

BE: This was your third time applying and it seems as if third time is really a charm; what did you do differently in your last application?

DB: I made it much more focused and “played the numbers” a bit more. I said the company was based in Chile, said it was a *very successful website* of *something specific* (Kickstarter of Sport). Seems they like comparisons and they like to see possibilities.

BE: Any tips for future applicants?

DB: Have a very strong opening few paragraphs, you really have to catch them there. Really focus on one idea. My previous application was probably better, but it wasn’t focused enough, which saw it straight out the window.

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