What One Government Is Doing To Foster Start Ups: Fund Them (Duh)

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What One Government Is Doing To Foster Start Ups: Fund Them (Duh)

Jun 29, 2011
Posted by Sung Yoo - Finding seed money to start up is always a challenging endeavor. After all, if a venture capitalist invests money in a startup, he must be willing to part with it all. But have no fear, it seems like one national government is heeding the challenge, offering a $40,000 subsidy for six months and a temporary one-year visa to attract entrepreneurs to the country. Where is this bastion of generosity, you ask? Look south, even further south than Texas to...Chile.

Created by Chile’s Ministry of Economy, Start-Up Chile, as the program is called, seeks to attract foreign, high-potential entrepreneurs to come to Chile to bootstrap their businesses. Through this program, Chile is aggressively courting entrepreneurs in order to make the Latin American country the entrepreneurial and innovation hub of the region. In 2010, which was the program’s inaugural and pilot year, 23 teams from all over the world participated.

According to 
Vivek Wadhwa at TechCrunch, Chile’s approach is different than the typical government response.

“Regions all over the world have spent millions – sometimes billions – of dollars trying to create their own Silicon Valley,” Wadhwa said. “They drank the same Kool-Aid and used the same recipe: start with a research university, build a fancy tech park next to it; give tax breaks to chosen companies to locate in the park; attract venture capital by offering matching investments; and watch the magic happen.”

Top-down approaches to entrepreneurship do not work because fostering startups is as much about money as it is about culture.

After a successful 2010 inaugural and pilot year, Start-Up Chile is opening up applications for 2011 from July to August. The Ministry of Economy hopes to fund 100 projects this year. For more information, check out their application.

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