FAQ | Start-Up Chile the biggest startup community in the world



  1. When can I apply?
    Our next application round (Generation 12) will open on September 2nd and will close on September 30th 2014. During this time you will be able to submit your application. Remember that you can't make any changes past the September 30th deadline.  
  2. Do I need to be in Chile to apply?
    No. Applications can be sent from anywhere in the world via our website and we only receive 100% completed application forms.
  3. What are the requirements in order to apply?
    You can apply with a valid Passport, a Chilean National ID (Cédula de Identidad) or a Chilean ID for foreigners.   Recommendation letters: Every project needs a recommendation letter from an investor, mentor, academic or entrepreneur who can speak to the team's talent and experience. When you begin filling out the application form via our YouNoodle platform, you will have to provide your recommender's email. The YouNoodle system will then send an email and a unique invite link to that recommender.   *The recommender will be able to log into the application platform and answer the following questions: Name - Title - Organization - How do you know this team? - Do you think this team will be able to successfully execute this idea? - Why? *The recommender will be able to see the team's application but won't be able to edit it. The applicant won't be able to see the recommender's answers to the aforementioned questions. An application CANNOT be submitted until the recommendation has been already filled out. You can submit a maximum of 3 recommendations and everything must be filled out before so that the application can be submitted.   Video pitch: Pitch us in three minutes or less. Please answer these 3 questions: Why are you the perfect team to lead this project? What problem are you solving? How will you socially impact Chile? Please provide the direct YouTube or Vimeo link to your video pitch (not to a website with the embedded video) and make sure it is not password-protected. Make sure to present the founding team in person in the video. This is a basic requirement.  
  4. Who's going to judge my application?
    Our application process is administered by YouNoodle, which then chooses a board of judges to review all eligible projects. Following this process, the Corfo´s Committee of Entrepreneurship selects the best projects. Non-eligible projects are those who don't meet the basic criteria to be selected as part of Start-Up Chile.
  5. What is the selection criteria? How does the judging process work?
    There will be two evaluation rounds. YouNoodle and then Corfo. YouNoodle is a Silicon Valley based startup and it assists Start-Up Chile by putting together a great panel of judges: entrepreneurs, academics and investors who evaluate and judge applications based on the following criteria: 1. PARTICIPANTS (WEIGHT: 50%): QUALITY OF THE TALENT AND COMMITMENT OF THE FOUNDING TEAM MEMBERS. TEAM: MIX, QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE (WEIGHT: 25%) - Demostrable achievements - Previous startups - Team TEAM: NETWORK (WEIGHT: 25%) - Communities you belong to - Networks 2. PROJECT (WEIGHT: 50%– COMPOSITE): STRATEGY, DIFFERENTIATION, AND INNOVATION FACTORS OF THE PRODUCT/SERVICE PURPORTED: - PROJECT (WEIGHT: 25%) - Investors - Mentors - Global Impact - Competitive advantage - MARKET (WEIGHT: 25%) - Consumer Target - Market size - Competitors. Judges will score each criteria on a scale of 1 to 5. Projects will then be passed on to InnovaChile’s Subcommittee of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the final judging round.  
  6. When are the results going to be published? Will I be notified? Will I get any feedback if rejected?
    Application results for Generation 12 are going to be published on December 5th. If your application is not eligible and didn't pass to our board of judges handled by YouNoodle, you'll receive an email specifying why this happened. If your application was reviewed by our board of judges but wasn't selected, you'll receive an email from Start-Up Chile letting you know the application results and a standardized rejection reason for the criteria that was the weakest among the others. If you are accepted as a Start-Up Chile participant, you'll get an email from Start-Up Chile letting you know what are the next steps.
  7. Who’s going to have access to my application?
    Competition managers and judges will have access to applications to verify eligibility. All documents are kept completely confidential.
  8. Will I be told my team’s rank in the competition?
    No, all the results and ratings of the judges and the Committee are confidential.
  9. If I didn't get in, what can I do?
    You can apply with the same project up to 2 times. Prior to the application deadline for each round, Start-Up Chile hosts webinars to help everyone who is applying. Also, don't forget that Start-Up Chile is now a family of more than a 1000 people: you can always connect with a Start-Up Chile entrepreneur so he/she can guide you through the application process.
  10. What are the next steps after being selected by the Committee?
    10.1) Once you have been selected by Start-Up Chile, you'll get an email that will ask you to confirm that you want to participate. 10.2) Once you do that, you'll receive another email with the “Welcome Pack”. In this pack, we request you to send us your and your team member’s passport, and let us know the Consulate where you will process your and your team member's Visa. You'll have to contact the Consulate and gather all the documentation needed to process your Visa. 10.3) You will receive a Visa Code and Invitation Letter no later than 3 weeks after you send us your passport, which your Consulate will request before you make an appointment.  
  11. I’m already, or participated as, beneficiary or team member of a Start-Up Chile project. Can I join the program again?
    If you participated in another startup financed by Start-Up Chile either as a beneficiary or as a team member, your application will not be accepted so please refrain from applying.


  1. What are we looking for?
    We are looking for globally-minded, early stage entrepreneurs who want to start their business in Chile. Your project must be globally-oriented and easy to scale. We accept both projects that are just a mere idea and projects that are already launched/incorporated, but all projects must be under two years old. It is crucial that the founder of each startup participating in the program is willing to live in Chile for 7 months.
  2. I am launching a consultant company. Can I apply?
    Projects focusing on consulting, import/export, and franchises won't be funded by Start-Up Chile because we don't consider them easy to scale startups.
  3. Do I need to be Chilean?
    No. People from everywhere in the world are encouraged to apply, Chileans included. It doesn't matter where were you born or where you are living when you apply. One of the basic “mantras” at Start-Up Chile is that we believe and invest in people, looking at their ideas first and their passports second.

    All participants, Chilean or from abroad must be adults under the laws of Chile (18+ years of age).

  4. What is the definition of “beneficiary”?
    The beneficiary is the founder– a natural person–who is the sole recipient of the grant for the project's expenses. The capital will be distributed only to the beneficiary, and not the startup itself. The beneficiary is the person who applies in the official application form and is required to stay in Chile for the full 24 weeks of the program (please consider one additional month for legal procedures). It is a legal requirement that the beneficiary devotes 100% of his/her time to the project. The founder is allowed to take business trips as long as they are relevant to the development of his/her project. Those business trips must be previously approved by their account executive. The name of the beneficiary must appear on all purchases that are submitted for monetary revision. He/she is responsible to uphold the rights and obligations that are established in the Subsidy Agreement and is the legally responsible party concerning Corfo.
  5. I am the beneficiary of my startup. Do I really need to live in Chile?
    The founder of each startup participating in the program MUST live in Chile during the six months the program lasts (total of 7 months including legal procedures needed once you arrive in Chile). Start-Up Chile is a full time dedication program, so you have to schedule your time to work only in your project. The applicant must be the company’s project's founder because we believe that a founder of a startup brings a certain energy, edge, talent and conviction to their project that’s not always present in other team members. If selected, we want the founder to be the one who participates in the six month term of the program, not a representative person. This is a requirement in order to apply.
  6. What about my team members? How many can/should I have? Are they required to live in Chile?
    Aside from the founder of the project, there is a limit of two additional team members who will be able to join the program upon their team’s acceptance. Team members have to apply on the same application form of the project. Make sure both the startup's founder and team members (up to 2) are included in the application form. Its not required for team members to live in Chile for six months: they can be part of the project and work on it based abroad. They are not required to work full-time on the startup: we highly recommend them to do so, but it is not mandatory. Team members included in the application form are also allowed to submit their expenses for the reimbursement process. However, the startup cannot hire services from the team members or from companies owned by them. All expenses must be under the name of either the founder (beneficiary) or one of the team members specified in the application form.  
  7. Do I need to be fluent in Spanish?
    No. All of the Program communications will be in English, but remember– you will be living and working in a Spanish speaking country, learning the basics is always recommended. Furthermore, if your first language is Spanish, we highly recommend that you learn English given that all activities are in that language.
  8. Is it necessary to have a completed business plan to enter?
    We don’t require a completed business plan for the application, but you must submit at least a complete summary of it with as many details as possible.
  9. Can my project be based in Chile at the time of application?
    Yes, the project can be based in Chile or in any other country at the time of application. The project can't be older than 2 years.
  10. How old should my project be? Can I apply with a new idea?
    We are happy to consider brand new ideas among the Start-Up Chile applicants. If your project is older than two years, it can´t be considered among the Start-Up Chile applicants.
  11. Is it possible to apply for more than one project at the same time?
    No. A founding team cannot apply to fund more than one project per application round. The restrictions listed in the Terms and Conditions limit any team from receiving funding for two projects at the same time, this also goes for other lines of seed capital offered by the Chilean government.  We also ask for total dedication to the project throughout the 6 month duration of the program, something that is not feasible while working on two separate projects.
  12. What is Start-Up Chile?
    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 this program is to position Chile as the leading innovation and entrepreneurial hub of LatinAmerica.  This is a mission shared by the Government of Chile and the Ministry of Economy.
  13. What are the benefits of participating?
    Being part of a new, groundbreaking entrepreneurial experience. Bootstrapping abroad, learning new skills, working in a multicultural and collaborative workspace, not rendering your company’s equity, feeling the energy of young and dynamic entrepreneurs from all the corners of the world, networks that will last a lifetime and span continents. Also, you´ll get to share your skills with Chilean entrepreneurs and learn from them tons of tips regarding LatAm as a marketplace.
  14. What does the Program expect from me?
    The program expects you to be involved in the Chilean entrepreneurship ecosystem – you will be required to give talks and attend events. During their stay entrepreneurs should seek to achieve the goals stated on their application process. What we really want from you is your commitment to help us position Chile as the innovation hub of LatAm: in order to achieve said goal, sharing your skills and contacts while learning from others is crucial.
  15. What are the benefits and services that the winning teams will receive?
    The program assigns a USD$33,830.64 grant per project ($20,000,000 CLP), a 1-year resident visa to all the team members specified on the application, as well as a nice and comfortable workspace (desk & wifi) that you will share with entrepreneurs from +60 countries. The best part of the Start-Up Chile experience is the networking, inspiration, and productive experience that comes with joining a community of +750 startups.
  16. How long does the program last?
    The program lasts 24 weeks. However, you should consider 7 months to stay in Chile because of legal requirements.
  17. Will the program provide me with health insurance?
    No. You must provide evidence of a valid health insurance if you want this expense to be approved as part  of your budget. You must submit proof of your health insurance which must cover your for the duration of the program. You must show proof of this insurance before being allowed to sign your grant contract.
  18. Will the program provide me with housing?
    No. We strongly recommend that you look for housing before traveling to Chile.
  19. Will my airplane ticket be covered by the program?
    Yes, if you arrive to Chile with the correct visa, and did not use miles to pay for the ticket. Only the beneficiary and founders identified on the application will be able to reimburse their tickets.
  20. Is my Invitation Letter enough to apply for the Temporary Resident Visas?
    No. You need to make sure you bring all the documentation required by the consulate when you apply for the visa. It is your responsibility to check which documents the Chilean consulate of your city requires you to present.  
  21. Who will help me between my acceptance and my arrival to Chile?
    Start-Up Chile will answer your questions via admission@startupchile.org. You will be assigned a fellow Supper (Sponsor) who can answer all your questions about the program before you are officially a member of the Start-Up Chile community. If you are a foreigner, you'll be assigned to a Chilean (your Padrino) and this person will help you with soft landing issues (housing, food, transportation).
  22. Can I be accepted in the program and get my visa rejected?
    Yes. The application for the visa follows standard procedures, but the letter of acceptance to the program is a strong plus. Make sure to gather all the documentation required by your Consulate in order to avoid any problems.
  23. Can the partners of my project also obtain Temporary Resident Visas?
    Yes, it will be possible for all founding team members (who must be fully identified in the application) to get a visa. Your direct family members (spouse/significant other, children) will also be able to get visas. Please note that the cost of obtaining said visa will be reimbursed only for the founding team members identified on the application.  
  24. Can I enter Chile on a Tourist visa?
    No– to participate in the program you must arrive to Chile with the Temporary Visa already stamped in your passport.

If you have any further questions, please contact stgo@startupchile.org