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Santi 4 Sustainability & Sight @MIT

$5,370 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 10 months

Vision Impaired Engineering Student Santiago
Hopes to Attend Global  Entrepreneurship Bootcamp & Solve World's Sight & Sustainability Challenges


Why We'd Love to Help Santiago

University student Santiago (Santi) Valasquez is an inspiration to us all in the university and startup scene at QUT.  

He does not see his vision impairment as a barrier to realising his dreams and, in doing so, helping others.

He's founded the startup EyeSyght which is developing technology to help vision impaired people (VIP) to better see. He also hopes to apply his engineering knowledge & innovation capabilities to address the world's sustainability challenges.

This is why we would love to help him, with any help you can offer too, to raise the necessary funds to pursue his education and accept a position at the life-changing MIT global entrepreneurship bootcamp.  

The bootcamp is perfect for Santi as it will focus on  empowering entrepreneurs and solving sustainability challenges. 

We would be most grateful, and so would Santi, for any help you can give in sharing Santi's story and/or donating.  Thank you so much!


Santi's Inspiring Story

Born vision-impaired, Santi has had to overcome great obstables, move countries to Australia, make sacrifices, learn a new language, and work harder than most of us to pursue his dreams, and study electrical engineering at university.

Santi is always finding innovative work-arounds to be able to do the things those of us with vision take for granted.  This makes him quite innovative.

Throughout his journey, Santi has continually inspired and encouraged others with his positivity, leadership, problem-solving abilities and desire to do good.

[Above: Santi (with guide dog Lockie) working with components to build an electronic circuit at a QUT engineering lab]

[Above: Santi working at a soldering station to build an electronic circuit with a fellow QUT engineering student Meg]

Santi's Passion to Help People & Planet

Santi loves studying electrical engineering and
has actively involved himself in the research, entrepreneurship and innovation communities at QUT, to develop the knowledge and skills to solve real world problems.


Santi is committed to helping the world's 285 million vision impaired people (VIP), having founded the startup EyeSyght.  

EyeSyght is developing cutting-edge technology to help VIPs better "see' visually complex information, with supporters including Vision Australia and QUT.


To assist his entrepreneurial endeavours, he's completed QUT Starters' student-run entrepreneurship course, and participated in and won challenges with, and funding from, QUT bluebox and QUT Creative Enterprise Australia.

Santi and his awesome guide dog Lockie are also both much loved members of QUT foundry - the university's hub for entrepreneurs and community.


Santi is often seen exploring the university to acquire knowledge about the latest research and technologies that might be applied to solve sight and sustainability challenges, as he pursues his parallel path as an innovative student entrepreneur.

[Above: Santi speaking with roboticist Gavin at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision (ACRV) at QUT about robotics applications, including for sustainability in agriculture]

Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Sustainability

Motivated to solve grand challenges, Santi applied to the exclusive MIT global innovation and entrepreneurship bootcamp, which is being held at QUT in 2018.

We are thrilled that Santi has been selected to attend the bootcamp, to maximise his potential and impact as an entrepreneur, working alongside some of the world's brightest minds, who are united by a passion to help address the world's sustainability challenges.  

We hope Santi will be able to attend the bootcamp - he will need more funds to do so.


Co-Funding Santi's Bootcamp & Education

Santi needs to raise funds to accept and fund his position at the global entrepreneurship bootcamp and education.

To date Santi's been successful in attracting funds from QUT to pay USD$2000 towards the bootcamp.

He now needs to raise approximately AUD$6000 to cover the balance, which he needs to pay by January 10, 2018.

In addition to the bootcamp costs, Santi also has to pay  international student tuition fees.

He has applied for a scholarship to attend the bootcamp, but will not find out whether or not he is successful until after the due date for payment.  

If he is successful with a bootcamp scholarship, he intends to put these funds towards paying his international tuition fees.

Thank You for Helping

On behalf of our student entrepreneurs community, we want to thank you for reading about Santi's story.

We are so excited about his future plans, and hopes to bring solutions to the world's vision impaired and sustainability challenges.

Thank you in advance for any support you are able to give to help Santi, vision impaired people, and our planet.









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Today has been one of those days where looking at my phone has been impossible due to all the stuff I had to do. However, to say that I was surprised when I did would be a massive understatement. Yesterday I didn't think I was going to be able to attend the MIT bootcamp. And I was just hoping that the others would have a great time. However, after an amazing donation, I will be able to join the camp. I paid for the last portion of the fees around 20 minutes ago. I am now in :) There aren't any words for me to describe how I am feeling right now. Thank you all very much for believing in myself, believing in what I am doing with EyeSyght, and for all the generosity that exists around this world. Thank you so much again for your wonderful support. As long as we are doing the right thing, it doesn't matter what challenges come our way.
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Hi Guys, I hope this message finds you well. Before providing any updates, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. It is with a heavy heart that I bring the following news. I don't think I will be able to attend the MIT bootcamp. I have to pay the remainder USD$4000 by the 10/01/2018, and I just don't have all of the available funds. I wish I could tell you guys that I do, but that is just not the case. The scholarship my university is offering, the results have not yet been finalised. So I don't even know if I got it or not. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank you all for believing in myself, and for helping EyeSyght bring sight to more than 285 million people around the world. Even though the MIT may not happen, your support is an amazing help towards helping me continue my university studies. Things are hard, but I will not back down from doing what is right. Thank you very much for the wonderful support, and for believing in myself. There are no words to describe my feelings. Please keep sharing and donating, your support will get us across the line.
+ Read More
The Support we have received over the past two days since we launch this campaign has been phenomenal. We are just getting started. This is a much bigger thing than just allowing Santi to expand his education. This will help Santi help those with low vision around the world. Please keep donating and sharing, with your support, we will reach our goal.
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$5,370 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 10 months
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