—Former Minister of Economy, Juan Andrés Fontaine
Start-Up Chile is a program created by the Chilean Government, executed by Corfo, that seeks to attract early stage, high-potential entrepreneurs to bootstrap their startups in Chile, using it as a platform to go global. The end goal of the accelerator program is to convert Chile into the definitive innovation and entrepreneurial hub of Latin America; this is a mission shared by the Government of Chile and is a primary focus of the Ministry of Economy.
In 2010, the program, at that point just a pilot, brought 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 projects for six months, along with access to the most potent social and capital networks in the country. These selected entrepreneurs were approved by an admission process conducted by Silicon Valley experts and a Chilean Innovation board that focuses ardently on global mindsets and worldwide potential. Of all required criteria, it is essential that the chosen entrepreneurs work in a global mindset, believing that the route to success is via expansion not isolation.
2010 acted as a pilot phase that lead into the 2011 application processes with the goal to bring 300 startups to Chile during the year, with the end hope of having 1,000 bootstrappers participate in the program by the culmination 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 conducted in July of 2011, 650+ startups applied, vying for 100 slots.
All of the Start-Up Chile entrepreneurs are measured during their time in the program by various indicators including participation in local events, presenting workshops on their particular expertise, raising local or international capital, and contracting 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 spinoffs around the world such as Startup America, Britain, Greece, and Italy.