After passing through a pilot phase in 2010 and through the first official application round that recently came to a close, it has become undoubtedly clear that Start-Up Chile is a program that is live with dynamism. As originally conceived, the initiative was focused on attracting talent to Chile as a means of converting the country into the innovation and entrepreneurship hub of Latin America. That national goal is still very much alive today and Start-Up Chile has been a major catalyst in its progressional development.
As the program has developed and as talent continues to be attracted from outside of Chile, it has become clear that the next logical step is to open the program to the whole world, including residents of Chile, which we are proud to announce officially today. These changes to the program will take effect starting in July with the next application round where any globally-minded entrepreneur will be able to apply regardless of their residence and where all will be judged under the same criteria.
According to Jean Boudeguer, Start-Up Chile’s Executive Director, “the program, as dynamic as it is, has now morphed to focus on concentration and retention rather than just attraction.” He adds that “we will still continue to attract talent in order to convert Chile into an innovation hub, but that talent will no longer be contingent on residence.”
Similarly showing his compromise with the creation and concentration of a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation in Chile, Sebastian Piñera, the country’s President, stated, at a recent event with Start-Up Chile participants: “We have opened our country not only to foster and incentivize Chilean innovators and entrepreneurs, but also to invite the rest of the world to come to Chile with capital, with programs, and with encouragement.”