Looking to go global? Start-Up Chile opens applications for new cohort

Startups looking to base themselves in Chile and benefit from funding and accelerator support have until 5 September to apply to join Start-Up Chile‘s latest cohort.

Applications for the six-month acceleration programme’s Generation 19 opened last week Tuesday. Early-stage entrepreneurs from around the world who will contribute to Chile’s startup ecosystem can apply.

Start-Up Chile will announce the names of those selected for the next cohort on 1 December and the programme will start in February.

Startups that are selected will get access to a $30 000 equity-free grant, receive a one year work visa, have up to 90% of programme costs covered by Start-Up Chile and benefit from a free central co-working space.

Start-Up Chile was set up by the Chilean government in 2010 to encourage promising entrepreneurs to bootstrap their startups in Chile.

The results of the 18th generation of the seed programme were announced in May.

SA’s Tapsnapp was one of 100 firms selected for Start-Up Chile’s latest cohort

South African startup Tapsnapp, an online marketplace that connects consumers to photographers who are matched based on speciality and location, was one of the 100 participants selected for Start-Up Chile’s last cohort.

Vije Vijendranath, co-founder and CEO of the platform, told Ventureburn that although Tapsnapp took part in Start-Up Chile’s offline mentoring and hoped to benefit from access to Latin American markets, he had to turn down the offer to go to Santiago.

“We took part in the virtual lessons and we received valuable input in getting our business accessible to the Latin American market. We didn’t attend the programme physically as they wanted my presence and not just my team.

“We signed on photographers and we are currently live so I have to be here to see to the company and its marketing efforts. Therefore, we couldn’t attend and had to decline (the invitation),” Vijendranath explained.

He advised entrepreneurs interested in applying for the programme to get a mentor or an advisor in their target industry to assist them with the application. “They give you valuable feedback on your pitch and how to get the word out properly,” he added.

He said those best suited to apply to the programme are startups looking tap a global market.

“Programmes like this will really help, especially when you are at the pre-release or pre-development stage as you must spend seven months to get the full benefit.

“Getting into the programme also helps when you have a complete startup deck and one-page summary, so make sure it’s done well,” he said.

Those keen on applying to Start-Up Chile should demonstrate ability to go global

Another South African startup that has previously participated in the programme is Piehole.TV. Priscilla Kennedy, who founded the production company, went to Chile in 2010 as part of the first generation of the accelerator and ended up staying there for three years.

She told Ventureburn that participating in the programme was an “incredible” experience which allowed her to stay independent and to hire a team through with the grant she received (then $40 000) after being selected to join the programme. “Start-Up Chile gives you the freedom to focus on your business,” she added.

Kennedy advised entrepreneurs who are interested in applying to the join the programme to ensure that they are able to demonstrate that their idea is both innovative and has the potential to go global.

Being able to show that one is active in their respective local tech ecosystem is an added benefit. “They will be looking for movers and shakers, visible people,” she said.

Learn more about the programme here.

Featured image: Hack Santiago via Flickr (CC 2.0 BY-SA, resized)

Daniel Mpala


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