Former CEO at Start-Up Chile
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The stable Chilean startup landscape is currently at the final stage of a fundamental transition from a daring win-or-lose experiment to a well-established and institutionalized ecosystem. Since 2010, public institutions, universities and private actors played a critical role in:
1) Raising awareness about the benefits of entrepreneurship and disruption to boost productivity in Chile, so far plagued with the Dutch Disease of copper mining.
2) Developing a context of flexibility and simplicity by providing strong incentives to start a business in Chile for both Chileans and foreigners, by simplifying legal, tax and logistics issues, and by educating and informing about the benefits of such a flexible environment at a national and international scale.
3) Leveraging non-financial and financial assets to attract entrepreneurs and capital.
Today, a virtuous circle is in motion in Chile: startups subsidized by the Chilean government create economic, social and environmental benefits in the country, before exporting such benefits worldwide. Chile achieved a positive-sum game by boosting productivity and exports. Despite the country’s relatively small size, it is a reliable market where entrepreneurs test pilots in Latin America, since the behavior of the Chilean market closely matches bigger B2C markets (Argentina, Mexico, Central America and US markets like California, Florida, and Texas).
The Chilean ecosystem keeps growing. During the last 10 years, the main strategy was to find as many startups as we could, to create a critical mass and a large deal flow. Now the main challenge is how can we, as an ecosystem, help all those startups to consolidate their businesses by raising private capital, growing into other markets/countries, and making them attractive for big corporations.
In the next couple of years, we are going to see more venture funds coming to Chile due to great success cases, like Cornershop, NotCo and Destacame. Also, more and more big companies are going to be working with startups to jump into the industrial revolution 4.0.
Chile also seeks to increase its exposure on the international scene as a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. The ecosystem already attracts entrepreneurs from all over the world, and as such strongly integrates these markets; in the next 3-5 years, it purports to expand its reach at a global level.
Editor’s choice of the industries with the most potential for technology disruption and growth.
Editor’s choice of the country’s top 10 emerging tech startups.
Editor’s pick of which ‘Featured Startup’ is especially worth following and why.
Editor’s perspective of the maturity level of talent in the ecosystem.
Editor’s commentary on how the country’s culture and history have impacted the ecosystem.
With the subprime crisis looming in 2009, and the fluctuations of copper prices in 2000-2010 due to decreasing demand from developing economies, economic diversification became a major challenge for Chile’s productivity, which is one of the government’s key pillars of economic growth along with innovation.
In 2010, Sebastian Piñera (President of Chile) began “inserting pro-business policies including several acceleration programs aimed at improving the rate of entrepreneurship in the country. Some of the programs introduced by the government in this period include a radical redefinition about public seed-capital for startups now managed by private public agencies and institutions like business accelerators, new lines of low-cost credit for early stage entrepreneurs, programs for women entrepreneurs, the introduction of an online portal enabling company formation within 24 hours at zero cost, establishing 2012 as the year of entrepreneurship and 2013 as the year of innovation, passing legislation to make the bankruptcy process less bureaucratic, and the introduction of the innovative program, Start-Up Chile.” (Source)
Chile intended to create an innovation and tech entrepreneurial hub to position the country as the Latin American hub for startups. Giving legitimacy to the culture of risk-taking and innovation was a governmental priority, and as such, these policies served to enhance the cultural legitimacy of entrepreneurship.
Interested in becoming more involved in this ecosystem and connecting with local ecosystem leaders? Let us know.
Aurus VC (Santiago): Invests in growth stage companies in Latin America with a focus on healthcare, technology, and industrial tech. (Source: Aurus VC)
Austral Capital Partners (Santiago): Invests in growth stage technology-based B2B initiatives that are shaping how business is done in different industries, including retail, banking, and healthcare. (Source: Austral Capital Partners)
Chile Global Angels (Santiago): Early stage firm that helps traditional investors transition to becoming angel investors through comprehensive training. (Source: Chile Global Angels)
DadNeo (Santiago): Professional investment manager in dynamic early stage ventures. (Source: DadNeo)
Equitas Capital (Santiago): Invests in growth stage companies with a focus on environmental services, natural resources and related industries. (Source: Equitas Capital)
Fen Ventures (Santiago): Invests in early stage companies in Latin America with a focus on growth – bridging funding valleys and filling gaps in the Latin American ecosystem via comprehensive mentoring. (Source: Fen Ventures)
Magma Partners (Santiago): An early stage firm investing in startups in Latin America and global startups with Latin American tech teams that target the US market. It focuses on fintech, insurance tech, and blockchain startups. (Source: Magma Partners)
Scale Capital (Santiago): A stage agnostic private investment and management firm focused on the telecom/media sector. (Source: Scale Capital)
3ie (Valparaíso): Promotes the creation, development and acceleration of technology-based companies. (Source: 3ie)
Incubatec Chile (Temuco): Supports business initiatives with differentiation and innovation factors, and provides support and advice for R&D projects, in order to accelerate business growth in Chile. (Source: Incubatec)
IncubaUC (Santiago): Provides personalized support for advanced-level enterprises, which contributes to sales growth, private capital raising and international scaling. (Source: IncubaUC)
IncubaUdec (Concepcion): Promote technological ventures with high growth potential, through a service platform that adds value to business ideas. (Source: IncubaUdec)
Chile Global Ventures (Santiago): Promotes the creation of innovative companies to promote new and better markets in Chile. (Source: Chile Global Ventures)
Chrysalis (Valparaíso): Finances and supports high-impact dynamic enterprises in early stages. (Source: Chrysalis)
ImagineLab (Santiago): Incubator and business accelerator supported by Microsoft Chile. Responsible for developing, transforming and enhancing innovative technology-based ventures. (Source: ImagineLab)
Innovo (Santiago): Promotes university-business engagement with a focus on science and technology based businesses. (Source: Innovo)
Magical Startups (Santiago): Digital business accelerator that provides strategic, financial advice, network of experts on key issues, and connection with large companies with a focus on artificial intelligence. (Source: Magical Startups)
Start-Up Chile (Santiago): Public startup accelerator created by the Chilean Government for high-potential entrepreneurs to bootstrap their startups and use Chile as a foundation. It does not take equity. (Source: Start-Up Chile)
UDD Ventures (Santiago, Concepcion): Trains professionals and generates knowledge that is useful and helps the country in its needs and challenges of the 21st century with a focus on promoting the values of freedom, diversity and encouraging concern for public issues. (Source: UDD Ventures)
Female Circle (Santiago): A meeting organized by Start-Up Chile for women leaders, startups led by people who identify with the female gender, entrepreneurs and all those passionate about innovation. (Source: Female Circle)
InnovaSummit (Las Condes): The meeting that seeks to take our country to another level in terms of innovation, with a great emphasis on the development of Venture Corporate Capital. (Source: InnovaSummit)
Startup Vertex, Start-Up Chile (Santiago): Seeks the meeting point between innovation, technology, startups, companies and all the variables of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. (Source: Startup Vertex, Start-Up Chile)
Startup Weekend Santiago (Santiago): A 54 hour event that brings together Santiago designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things. (Source: Startup Weekend Santiago)
Santiago Startup Founder 101 (Santiago): Brings together aspiring and experienced tech entrepreneurs to discuss, meet, and collaborate to build great new startups, and to push the local startup ecosystem forward. (Source: Meetup)
Startup Grind Santiago (Santiago): The largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting entrepreneurs globally in partnership with Google for Startups. (Source: Meetup)
CORFO (Corporación de Fomento de la Producción de Chile): Chilean government’s development agency in charge of supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and competitiveness in the country along with strengthening human capital and technological capabilities. (Source: CORFO)
Sercotec: A private law corporation, under the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, dedicated to supporting micro and small businesses and entrepreneurs in the country. (Source: Sercotec)
Endeavor Chile: Provides strategic support for entrepreneurs to grow, impact and boost the economic and social development of the country. (Source: Endeavor Chile)
Girls in Tech Chile: Identifies, connects and gives visibility to technology creators in Chile, making them sources of inspiration and specific knowledge for other women. (Source: Girls in Tech Chile)
Empretec Chile - Universidad Mayor (Providencia): Provides funds for students who wish to develop an idea and transform it into an entrepreneurial activity with honesty, respectability and adjusted to personal, social and ethical values within the Universidad Mayor. (Source: Empretec Chile - Universidad Mayor)
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Santiago): University has an innovation center that promotes a culture and an environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in the university and in the country, through meetings, networking and the promotion of joint projects between the University, the private sector and the public sector. (Source: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
Universidad de la Frontera (Temuco): Promotes a culture of innovation with a focus on economic and social impact. (Source: Universidad de la Frontera)
Universidad del Desarrollo (Concepcion, Santiago): Creates an interactive and dynamic environment on campus where innovation and new ideas are constant, with a focus on ethics and public responsibility. (Source: Universidad del Desarrollo)