Our startup stories now give us TrixandTrax, a Venezuelan startup that uses its online platform to shed light on young talents in terms of extreme sports and artistic expressions, such as music and dance, by organizing different contests.

When was TrixandTrax founded?

Trixandtrax was born after having obtained recognition in MIPTV, Cannes France as a 360 Content Format in 2010 and 2011. That was how we became the only Latin American startup to make it to the final stage, two years in a row. The startup was created in an effort to give an opportunity and support to youngsters, so they can discover and show their talents in sports = Trix, music = Trax and we have presently included Dance and Art.

How does the startup work?

TrixandTrax organizes talent contests in high schools and colleges. In most cases, we work with several schools to create our own talents league, which includes such categories as “Trix”, everybody can perform tricks with a skate, on a slackline or with a ball, “Trax”, everybody can play music including DJs, bands and soloists, and “Dance”.

TrixandTrax gains users by organizing school talent shows and it hires a team to film every performance during the show. Those videos are spread out through social networks and our app is connected to the API of Google, Facebook and Instagram in order to collect and calculate the viral level scoring, which is used as a base to classify the school league. TrixandTrax operates under a two-face market, where advertisers reach out to our target public by means of sponsorships and content marketing. Our live events are sponsored by advertising brands and they use our original videos and event registry user data to feed their content marketing strategies.

In high schools, TrixandTrax is reinventing talent shows by opening a platform that allows it to put on the map the very best artists and inspire enthusiasts from other school communities. This inspiration power spreads out such values as confidence, creativeness, teamwork, leadership and it helps us become an annual event in schools and an important content channel with the most passionate fans. In universities, TrixandTrax implements a competition format where participants send videos showing their talent to fight for a position in the live event where a “Trix” team, with a “Trax”, deliver coordinated performances that are assessed by celebrity judges in sudden-death challenges, with plenty of energy and excitement.

Trixandtrax bases its methodology on inverse pedagogy, flipped classroom, or project-based learning and pair education. Students play the leading role in their own learning process and they can establish connections among theory, concepts and the reality around them. It turns out to be more motivating for students by allowing them “know to do”, “learn to learn”, go through a significant learning process and work on the following skills, among others: Creativeness; Autonomy and enterprising spirit; Problem solution and mistake overcoming; Patience, effort, perseverance and Critic thinking.

With the aim set on enhancing its scope, TrixandTrax is developing a franchise model that allows local school communities to develop their own talent leagues and introduce a mobile app that helps users upload their videos and represent schools out of our events. We’re looking forward to having TrixandTrax turned into a category as such, thus growing and becoming a benchmark that borrows elements from successful models used in such sport leagues as NFL, entertainment formats like Cirque Du Soleil and educational programs with social impact, like El Sistema de Venezuela.

What about the main outcomes?

2010 TrixandTrax was a finalist in Content 360 contest organized by MIPTV in Cannes, France; 2010 TrixandTrax organized its first event at Chacao’s skatepark; 2011 TrixandTrax organized the first university tour; 2011 TrixandTrax was nominated in MIPTV; 2011 TrixandTrax was invited as a panel member by the Ministry of Education in Brazil and TVEscola, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 2012 TrixandTrax organized its first school teacher; 2012 TrixandTrax was handpicked by Wayra; 2013 TrixandTrax was chosen by the Chilean Government – Startup Chile; 2014 First event in Chile; 2015 First video with over 500 thousand plays; 2016 Winners of the Citibank Venezuela Micro-Entrepreneur Award.

What are your plans for 2017?

We’ll have the 2017 College Tour in Venezuela, besides launching Trixandtrax’s app that allows users to record and upload the performance, compete and accumulate Likes to be chosen and participate in live events. We also want to organize the first Trixandtrax event in the United States.

What do you make of the startup ecosystem in Venezuela?

The startup ecosystem is very limited in Venezuela for political and economic reasons. There is just a bunch of organizations and companies with the resources to support entrepreneurs. We’re lucky to be members of Wayra, the technological project accelerator of Telefónica and mentors of Fundación Ideas. Nevertheless, the ecosystem is poor in terms of investors.

5 tips to be shared with other startups?

  1. Team: You should include people that complement the skills required by your startup. If they believe in the project as much as you do, they’ll give 200 percent every day.
  2. Logical enterprising. Your startup should have an impact on the society and improve the environment. You’ll be excited to think about them 24/7!
  3. Patience, Perseverance, Lots of Work. You have to know that times are long and think about investing the resources you obtain.
  4. Look for support in expert mentors from your industry, get a consultant.
  5. Check with the market if your product or service is acclaimed and there are people interested in paying for what you offer. Try to identify your potential customers and remember that, sometimes, you have to adapt your pitch depending on the customer. For example: the pitch for a college is different from brand pitch or talent pitch.