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Last week, Steve from CruiseWise visited his Alma Mater, Harvard Business School, to give a presentation about Start-Up Chile to eager students interested in following the footsteps of CruiseWise and the other 24 teams here in Chile.  There were nearly 30 alumni present from various student-run organizations such as the Energy & Environment Club, the Social Entrepreneurship Club, the Entrepreneurship Club, the TechMedia Club, the Latin America Club, and the Latino Student Club.

While giving a short presentation about the details of the program, Steve, joined by Diego May, CEO of Junar (the second team to arrive to Chile), expounded upon the unique experience of bootstrapping a business in Chile and how their company’s have drastically advanced during their short time with Start-Up Chile.  The pair was also joined by Nicolas Ibanez and Joseph Nejman from Tomorrow Ventures, helping to field some of the inquiries.

They were answering questions for nearly an hour after their presentation, most boiling down to the following inquiries:

“Do you need to be Chilean to be part of the program?”
“Do you need to focus on the Chilean market?”
“Why is the Chilean government doing this?”
“What strings are attached to the funding?”
“What have been the best parts of the program?”

To follow up a bit, we’d like to offer the responses corresponding to those questions.  Firstly, you do not have to be Chilean to participate.  In fact, you cannot participate if you are a resident of Chile and, currently, the 25 teams in Chile represent 14 different nationalities.  We enthusiastically encourage diversity.  Second, the idea of Start-Up Chile is to attract globally thinking business to Chile– it is fundamental that those who apply to the program be oriented towards the global market, focusing on expansion, not isolation.

Next, the Chilean Government has created Start-Up Chile in hopes of converting Chile into the innovation hub of Latin America, also with the desire to inspire local entrepreneurs to conceive their businesses, again, by thinking globally.  Participating in the program does not incur any strings attached.  Equity is not asked for, which has turned out to be one of the more attractive aspects of Start-Up Chile.   One of the few obligations is the the participating teams interact with the local entrepreneurship and innovative ecosystem by attending events, holding workshops, etc.  Finally, the best parts of the program are numerous– the inspiring synergies between participating teams and the local community, the jobs that are created, the advancements that are made, and the essential tools that are provided to the team in order to ensure their success.  CruiseWise put it best when they said: “Chile is taking this program very seriously. In two weeks we were able to create a network here which has already proven itself. The caliber of the people who are opening doors for us cannot be matched in our own home countries.”

To be sure not to miss these kinds of events that will be taking place around the world, please subscribe to our Twitter account and, of course, if there are any other questions, please feel free to send them to stgo@startupchile.org.

Vivek Wadhwa, a renowned expert on entrepreneurship, will be visiting Chile next week to meet with innovation officials and during that time, he will be giving a public discourse called “Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in the Rapidly Globalizing World”.  The event will take place on Tuesday, December 14th  in the Plaza San Francisco Hotel at 4:00 p.m and all are welcome to attend.  All speeches will be made in English.

Wadhwa is a respected writer for TechCrunch and BusinessWeek and is an avid supporter of Start-Up Chile having written an article about the program that led many high-powered entrepreneurs to apply.  Currently, he is a member of Start-Up Chile’s Advisory Board while also working at Harvard and Duke Universities.

To participate in this unique event, you must  previously sign up by sending an email to gjacuna@innovacion.cl.  Also, if you are unable to attend this speech, Start-Up Chile will be hosting Mr. Wadhwa at a meetup event on Monday, December 13th at 6:00pm that is similarly open to the public.

Start-Up Chile 2010

What are you waiting for?

Yesterday the Start-Up Chile participants and staff celebrated the partnership of two teams taking part in the 2010 program– Entrustet and Vendder, from the United States and Portugal respectively.  It is the first time in the short history of Start-Up Chile that a legal link has been made between a set of entrepreneurs and, surely, it will not be the last.  The partnership was chosen as a celebratory focus for the meetup event that is hosted every Thursday, this time in their name.

For a bit of background, Entrustet is a startup company made up of Nathan and Jesse, from Madison, Wisconsin, that deals with digital estate planning after one’s death and has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, and Mashable.  Their new partner, Vendder, was started by Tiago and Filipe and is a unique e-commerce solution for small businesses that is looking to expand into the Spanish speaking market after already having created the tools in English and Portuguese.  They have teamed together so that, in the case that one of Vendder’s store owners dies, their site will be protected by a digital will, created and insured by Entrustet.

Entrustet + Vendder: Partners in Life (and death)

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It was only natural that the  entrepreneurs participating in the Start-Up Chile program began to require local talent to add to their teams and to help minimize their substantial work loads.  With 17 teams already in Chile, the offers have been multiplying daily and something had to be done to remedy their urgency to hire.

In light of this, we are officially debuting Start-Up Chile’s brand new job portal that is part of Latin America’s largest talent recruitment engine, Trabajando.com, with sites in eleven countries from Chile, to Brazil, to Mexico, and Spain.  Trabajando has been working arduously with our staff to create a site that will allow the program participants to find the best available talent in a highly professional and competitive arena.

Yesterday, the portal was launched for the Start-Up Chile entrepreneurs and in the less than 24 hours it has been up and running there are already 15 job offers posted.  The teams searching for talent have their sights on various types of designers, business developers, and interns and are offering competitive salaries, flexible and youthful work settings, and the unique chance to work with a global, high-potential startup company in the dynamic Start-Up Chile environment.

If you are or someone you know might be interested, please click here for the site and it will take you directly to the job pool.

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In this video that was taken at a special welcome breakfast held by SOFOFA, the Chilean Federation of Industry, Cristobal Philippi, the CEO, welcomed the Start-Up Chile entrepreneurs by explaining what exactly the Federation entails, why they were invited, and how anxious the Chilean business and innovation community is to have them working in the country. Along with Mr. Philippi, at each table sat some of the most important businesspeople in Chile who attended from companies such as Telefónica, Coasin, Micrológica, and CAP Inc., who were all eagerly looking to network with and get to know the Start-Up Chile participants.

It was a fruitful event that allowed the entrepreneurs to see different lights of Chilean industry and for the CEOs to get back into touch with their entrepreneurial roots.

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If you are a student, or recent graduate, bilingual in English and Spanish, the following opportunities could be for you.  The two positions that are open are for Communications and Client Management and their respective job descriptions, along with general details about working with the Start-Up Chile program, are as follows:

General Information: About Us
Employer: InnovaChile’s mission statement is to raise the competitiveness of the Chilean economy by (1) promoting innovation within existing companies, (2) encouraging entrepreneurship, and (3) strengthening the Chilean innovative mindset.
Area: Start-Up Chile is an initiative of the Chilean Government to attract world-class early stage entrepreneurs to start their businesses in Chile.
Location: Moneda 975, 12th floor, Santiago Centro

General requirements: Working With Us
We are a group of young professionals, working hard to turn Chile into the innovation hub of Latin America. We speak fluent, if not native, English, we have at least 1 year of experience living abroad, we like technology, and we try hard to maintain an informal, dynamic and energetic office environment.

Positions available: Client management intern, Communications Intern
Duration: Full time for 3 months (Dec-2010 to Mar-2011)
Salary included
Contact email: careers@startupchile.org


Client Management Intern Duties:
– Propose and implement a small business CRM according to our organization’s needs
– Small workshop on how to use the CRM platform to the team
– Build a database of clients; loading and storing them according to different profiles/categories
– Search/update information relevant to our clients
– Retrieve different stats from our clients database
Specific Requirements:
– Fluent, if not native, English (oral and written)
– Management of Information Systems knowledge
– Oriented to customer relations and commercial relationship: clear and accurate oral expression
– Work and productivity focus on achieving goals
– In the final years of a College degree, no professional experience required


Communications Intern Duties
– Respond to general inquiries regarding the Start-Up Chile program.
– Assist in gathering information, filming short videos, and/or conducting interviews for online content and newsletters.
– Assist in small and large scale event planning.
– Gathering contacts for foreign press outlets.
– Research current events in Chile related to Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and/or Startups.
– Updating social media sites and internal communication networks.
Specific Requirements
– Fluent, if not native, English (oral and written)
– In final year of, or with a degree in, Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, or Journalism with experience in writing, graphic design, and presentations.
– Advanced knowledge and proven use of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc.
– Outgoing, inquisitive and detail oriented person who communicates well with people of many nationalities, backgrounds.