The government of Chile has a really innovative program for entrepreneurs called Start-Up Chile. They offer early stage entrepreneurs and start-up teams $40,000 US of equity-free funding to spend 6 months in Chile building their businesses.
I had the opportunity to participate in the program in 2011 and it was an amazing experience. I worked at a start-up co-working space called Centro Movistar Innova with entrepreneurs from over 35 countries and got access to a global networks of entrepreneurs that has really helped grow my business.
Chile is the most prosperous economy in Latin America and one of the fastest growing countries in the world. They are rolling out the red carpet to attract the best and brightest entrepreneurs so they can diversify their economy and develop their reputation as "Chilecon Valley", Latin America's premiere start-up hub. The Start-Up Chile program also offers a route to full citizenship if you decide to stay in Chile, although basing your business or living there beyond the 6 months is not required.
However, you may want to stay! I lived in Santiago and I really fell in love with the Chilean people and the city itself. Chile has a lot to offer:
- Among the lowest taxes in the OECD and an open economy (they have free trade agreements with over 50 countries).
- Dry California-style climate in the Central Valley that is almost always sunny.
- A huge community of entrepreneurs from all over the world. 100 new global start-up teams arrive every 4 months.
- Lots of funding available beyond Start-Up Chile and connections to Silicon Valley if you need to raise $150,000+.
- The Andes mountains. There is world class skiing, hot springs, volcanoes, camping and hiking near Santiago.
- Beautiful beaches. It is less than a 2 hour drive to the beautiful seaside cities of Vina Del Mar and Valparaiso.
- An excellent base for accessing the fast-growing Latin American market.
- Close ties to Vancouver and Canada. Chile signed its first free trade agreement with Canada in 1996 (CCFTA).
Their current application round opened on March 4th. The deadline for applications is March 25th. The entire program is in English. Learn more and apply on their website: http://www.startupchile.org/
Their informative demo video:
If you have any questions before the talk please get in contact with me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kaaist
Or please feel free to ask any question you have in the comments below.