Start-Up Chile| The Country of Chile Paying Global Thinking Entrepreneurs 40K to Live in Chile for 6 Months
Start-Up Chile| The Country of Chile Is Paying Global Thinking Entrepreneurs 40K to Live in Chile for 6 Months
Viral marketing is one of the most amazing tools in the palms of everyone’s hands!!
Below is a copy of an email that I sent to my entire network back in January 2011 about an amazing opportunity in Santiago, Chile for global-thinking entrepreneurs. I am doing a reprint because the first application process for 2012 closes, April 3rdth.
From my email I received countless inquiries from around the world as my email went viral. To date I know of 5 people who have applied and 2 people from the Chicagoland area that were accepted from the last round of applicants.
Never think you can NOT make a difference!!!!
Below is a reprint of my original email……
Hope all has been well!
Sorry for the long email but this can be a great opportunity for the right person as we all know life is ALL about timing.
As everyone knows, I have been living in South America for the last year and a half. The principle reason for my adventure is to learn Spanish since I can see the importance of the Latin influence both in the US and in the world. In addition to being a student of Spanish and Latin culture, I have also been researching the Latin American (LatAm) business climate. Although I have seen many interesting and creative opportunities (we could learn a few things from them), until last Thursday I had not seen an opportunity worth broadcasting to my network immediately because there was a deadline involved.
I have spent most of my time living in Cartagena Colombia and now I am in Santiago Chile and head to Buenos Aires next month. Last week I went to an event called StartUpChile.Org that was sponsored by the Ministry of Economy of Chile. StartUp Chile is the country of Chile’s attempt to attract entrepreneurial talent from around the world. Chile hopes, through StartUp Chile, to make Chile the global entrepreneurial hub of LatAm. This is a general mission of the recently inaugurated government and is the primary focus of the Ministry of Economy. In other words, it will be successful! Chile will provide $40K and a 1 yr visa to all chosen applicants to live in Chile for at least 6 months and develop their ideas in a very supportive and “incubative” environment with no strings attached. Those chosen will obviously have access to a very well connected and financially powerful Chilean network. Chile selected 25 entrepreneurs in 2010, plan to select 300 by end of 2011, and 1000 by 2014. Yes, their economy is on fire!
Obviously, Chileans know about entrepreneurship since, like most LatAm countries, Chile has a huge self-employed and informal working population; but, what Chile hopes to achieve through StartUp Chile is the development of GLOBAL entrepreneurs that are networked and can compete in the world.
For those that know nothing of Chile and the city of Santiago, below I have listed 5 great things about each of them:
Chile has one of the lowest levels of corruption and highest levels of transparency among LatAm countries. Matter of fact, many guide books say “DON’T even try to bribe a police officer or you will go to jail”. Being from the state of Illinois we know that the evaluation of corruption is relative.
Chile is a very stable country with a very stable currency and government
Chile has four seasons and even has areas to ski
Chile has a coast with beautiful beaches about 1 hour outside of Santiago
Chile is 1 of only 2 LatAm countries (the other being Mexico) that has been a part of the OECD. For more about OECD and what it means to be a member go to OECD.Org
Santiago has an impressive English speaking population. Case in point: I want to make it clear that everything associated with StartUp Chile is done in English, so obviously the ability to speak Spanish is not a requirement.
Santiago is THE safest big city in LatAm.
Santiago is a very organized city with a public transportation system that rivals most in the US. Being here I feel like I am living in any major city in the US, so the standard of living is on par or better than most US cities. Of course, the higher the standard of living the more expensive things are, so with $40K one can live very comfortably but not like a king/queen. So don’t think: “LatAm? I can live for pennies on the dollar, So $40k, I’m rich.” NOT!
Santiago, for an exercise enthusiast, is like heaven. There are exercise parks throughout the city and since Chile is very mountainous, there are mountains that you can run/bike, which are located in the middle of the city. Santiago feels and looks very much like Colorado. One mountain takes me around 38 minutes to run to the top. I know that’s slow for most of you but I wanted to give you a perspective.
Santiago is a very tech savvy city with more than 2 cell phones per Chilean, a solid technical infrastructure and a very well educated population.
OK so…all that being said, I know I need to say that I am NOT being paid a peso for this endorsement. As I said, I went to a meeting last week and the welcome that I received was amazing. Listen, the door is so wide open that, after only one meeting I have networked myself into a circle of well-connected Chileans and global entrepreneurs. In fact, I met many of the entrepreneurs that made the cut last year and they are over-the-top about StartUp Chile and its organizers, what nurturing their concepts in Chile has done for their business, and their quality of life in Santiago. After the 6 month commitment they could have returned to their own countries but many have decided to stay and live in Santiago.
So obviously this is an opportunity for a select few but for those that think they have what it takes……GO FOR IT!!
OK, something else real quick:
Since I may never have another reason in life to email my entire network again, it would be just WRONG if I did not take a few lines in this email to tell everyone to….. GO TO COLOMBIA!!!!!!!!. Don’t believe what you read about Colombia as it is a very very very safe place to visit. Of course it has dangerous areas like most countries (EVEN AMERICA) but in general there is nothing to fear. Remember, they said and still say bad things, which are not true, about Chicago. The country of Colombia is amazing and the people are even more amazing!!!! Colombia is and will always be my second home. I hesitated sharing my paradise with others as I know it will only drive up the cost when everyone finds out the truth. But like the US, I want to see my second home flourish.
If you would like to contact me about the StartUp Chile opportunity please feel free. If you think you know of someone who may benefit from this program, please share as I think this is a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs. The application process begins February 1, 2011. Go to http://www.startupchile.org/ to learn more!
Click below to find out more info about this program. The first application process for 2012 closes, April 3rd
by Darren Y Mason
Filed under: Uncategorized
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