“Instead of changing the world through revolution, we can change the world through #innovation”
Start-Up Chile is a program that is part of Chile’s economic development agency called Corfo. The program was created in 2010 and attracts early stage, high-potential entrepreneurs to bootstrap their startups in Chile from all parts of the world and from Chile itself. Start-Up Chile has created a solid ground as an innovation hub to reach the rest of Latin America.
The Advisory board is integrated by professionals and scholars from Stanford University. These are Chuck Holloway, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Chuck Eesley, Tina Seelig, Marcela Perez de Alonso, Vivek Wadhwa, Michael Leatherbee, Nicolás Shea, Agustin Huneeus, Steve Ciesinki and Amit Aharoni.
During 2010 a pilot program was released. Bringing 22 startups from 14 countries to Chile, providing them with US$40,000 of equity-free seed capital, and a temporary 1-year visa to develop their businesses for a period of six months. Along with access to the most potent social and capital networks in the country.
The entrepreneurs were selected by experts in startups from Silicon Valley and a Chilean Innovation board that focused on selecting founders that had a global mindset and that their businesses had worldwide potential.
2010 acted as a pilot phase that lead into the 2011 application processes with the goal of bringing 300 startups to Chile during the first year of the program. With the goal of having 1,000 bootstrappers participate in the program by the end of 2014.
The first application process of 2011 brought 87 startups to Chile from over 30 countries, after having received 330 applications and, during the second process that took place during July of 2011, +650 startups applied.
All of the Start-Up Chile entrepreneurs performance are measured during their time in the program using various indicators. These include participating in local events, presenting workshops on a particular expertise, raising local or international capital, and hiring talent.
Start-Up Chile has gained impressive international recognition, having been published in Forbes, The Economist, BusinessWeek, and TechCrunch (among many others) and has inspired other governments around the world to have similar programs such as Startup America, Britain, Greece, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica and Peru.
Start-Up Chile is fully supported by the Chilean Government with special consideration of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.