Socialance is a startup out of London that has moved to Santiago, Chile, for six months. The reason for the move is pretty straightforward: Start-Up Chile is giving the company $40,000 without taking any equity stake. And the rent is relatively cheap.
Start-Up Chile, which was here at Disrupt San Francisco, has attracted about 500 companies to its startup program since 2010. The program ends its first phase in 2014. By then, it will have provided grants to 1,000 companies for a total of $40 million.
During the three days of Disrupt, I talked to companies from Start-Up Chile that hail from Singapore, Canada, and New Zealand. The effort is helping Chile create what Executive Director Horacio Melo calls a “mini” Silicon Valley. The differentiator is the ease with which international companies are able to go to Chile for the six-month experience. The Chilean government manages all the paperwork to settle there.
And if the company decides to stay, all they have to do is get a new visa after one year there. The cost? $100. This kind of program is just not possible in the United States. The U.S. government has no willingness to cooperate on such a level.
Vite founder Pablo Saba said all companies in the program can qualify for $90,000 in seed funding after they move on from Start-Up Chile. Funding is dependent on the company raising its own initial $30,000.
Startups are taking notice. The company has had 4,000 applicants through the first five rounds of the program. In the last round, 1,500 companies applied. Every three months. . . (READ MORE)
Article By: Alex Williams
Published by: techcrunch.com