Starting Up in Chile and San Francisco, and Back Again

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For me, the best place to live out my dream of developing new technologies for the world is, without a doubt, San Francisco.

By Cecilia Carolina Calderon (Founder, DentiDesk)

After the mega-quake of February 27, 2010, with its epicenter in the city of Talcahuano in the south of Chile, where thousands of Chileans perished beneath water and ruins, I feared I would never see my family again, and made the decision to return to my country.

After 10 years of hard work in the Bay Area, it was not an easy decision to leave San Francisco, my career developing products for Logitech, and the Silicon Valley, where I discovered my dream of developing new technologies for the world.

Back in Chile, I began working for HP and started an MBA program at the University of Chile. After realizing I would have no major opportunities to develop new technologies, I decided to give up my job, and in January of 2012 founded ITPlaydo Chile Ltd. with my husband and brother (who is also a developer).

The idea behind our company is to create simple and intuitive solutions in information technology, providing a better user experience for our customers. Guided by this philosophy and inspired by my uncle, a dentist who needed a software solution to run his business, I began work on dental software for administrative and clinical use in February of 2012. And so Dentidesk was born.

Dentidesk’s chief characteristic is that it is a product created alongside dentists and designed for their independent professional use. Among other functions that simplify the daily life of a dentist, Dentidesk offers an array of administrative management tools like a budget register and an online agenda, as well as clinical tools like a dental chart database, and patient prescription information.

Without much experience and with a product that was 80% complete, I applied for funding provided by the state of Chile, but without success. In October of 2012, I won the “Geek Camp Fantasy” through the Catholic University of Chile’s tech-focused incubator. Allowing me to spend the month of February in San Francisco, pitching my product to local investors, I took advantage of the opportunity to volunteer for Women 2.0 at the annual Conference.

Dentidesk was officially launched in January of 2013, and in one month, signed up more than 60 registered users, all Chilean, until recently, when a dentist in Colombia signed up.

For me, the best place to live out my dream of developing new technologies for the world is, without a doubt, San Francisco.

Photo credit: Alazer on Flickr.

Women 2.0 readers: How has the San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley inspired you? Let us know in the comments!

Cecilia Carolina CalderonAbout the guest blogger: Cecilia Carolina Calderon is the Founder of DentiDesk, an online solution for dentists to manage their private clinics in Chile. DentiDesk is her second startup and officially launched in January of 2013. DentiDesk won the “Geek Camp Fantasy” through the Catholic University of Chile’s tech-focused incubator in October of 2012. Ceceilia has worked for companies like Bank of Chile, Ministry of Housing and Logitech (where she worked as a software engineer). Follow her on Twitter at @DentiDesk.