Attention, entrepreneurs worldwide! Startup Chile will be accepting applications for the program beginning the second week of July 2011. Startup Chile selects entrepreneurs from all over the world to work on their applications in Chile and provides them US$40,000 and a work visa. During the first three months of 2011, a similar process was conducted resulting in the selection of 110 startups from 28 nations. Ninety of the startups are coming to Chile.
The goal for the year 2011 is to attract up to 300 startups, and 1000 before the end of 2014. The process is open to entrepreneurs of all nationalities, both residing in and outside Chile.
Applicants are judged on the following criteria:
- quality of talent and commitment of the founding team members;
- international market potential of the project; and
- value of applicant’s affiliated networks to the Chilean entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Judges are industry experts, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs with strong backgrounds in executing and advising startups. Applications must be submitted in English via the Start-Up Chile website.
About Start-Up Chile
Start-Up Chile is a program created by the Chilean Government to attract early-stage, high-potential entrepreneurs to bootstrap their startups using Chile as a platform to go global. During the six months the participants must live in Chile, for which they receive a 1-year work visa and USD$40k. The objective, besides developing their startups, is to create and foster networks with the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The ultimate purpose is to convert Chile the tech innovation center of Latin America by connecting local and foreign entrepreneurs, linking them together with dynamic and diverse networks. The program, unique in the world, is the ideal opportunity for bootstrappers to receive funding without giving up equity while utilizing one of the strongest Latin American economies as their platform. Start-Up Chile is a revolutionary initiative that’s paved the way for similar programs like Startup America, Britain, and Greece while having been lauded internationally in publications such as Forbes, The Economist, INC. Magazine, and EXAME, among others.
The Start-Up Chile Entrepreneurs
In total, 112 startups will have actively participated in Start-Up Chile during the program’s short year of existence. They come from around the world – from China to Norway, from Israel to South Africa, from Brazil to Bulgaria.
Results are already concrete: the founders of Junar, a platform that allows users to easily find and use data, raised US$1.2 million in December 2010, from LatAm venture capital firms and Angel Investors. Meanwhile, Lucía Iborra, founder of visualNACert, has, during her time in the program, facilitated a multi-thousand Euro accord with a university in Spain and two Chilean universities.
Amir Salihefendic, a Bosnian living in Denmark, was accepted during 2011’s first round after having previously founded Plurk.com which now has more then 5 million users and was copied by Microsoft– he’s seeking similar success with his new startup Wedoist.
Stories of triumph and failure, learning and experimenting, trial and error abound within the Start-Up Chile participants whose experiences are shared with the world via the program that has brought them all together.
For more information about the Start-Up Chile experience, please visit www.startupchile.org.