The newest Start-Up Chile period opens up June 25th. Startup Chile will select 100 startups to invite to Chile as part of generation 5. If this period is similar previous rounds, about 650 teams will apply.
Startup Chile is a great program, especially for entrepreneurs who are in the bootstrapping phase or already have developed a product but need more time to figure out the correct business model to apply.
I’ve written or reviewed 12 applications for Start-Up Chile teams and 9 have been selected for the program, including 3 of 4 in the last round. I can help you craft an application that emphasizes the criteria that the judges are looking for, correct your grammar into perfect English and give you the tips you need to have the best chance at getting selected.
If you need help with your application, please contact me. Editing, writing, review, advice. I charge a small flat fee to review and edit your application, plus a success fee if you are selected for the program after I’ve helped you.
While we were running Entrustet we became famous for calculating how many Facebook users would die in a given year. Morbid, I know. Jesse and I originally calculated this stat in March 2010 on the eve of our launch at South By Southwest using user data provided by Facebook and death rates by the Centers for Disease Control. Since then, our estimate has been published in just about every media outlet imagineable. Since we were acquired by SecureSafe, we continue to receive media requests, including one from a large media outlet who asked if I could update the numbers.
In January 2011, we estimated that 408k US Facebook users would pass away in 2011 and 1.78m worldwide. Since then, Facebook has added ~300m new users for a grand total of 901m active users. After running the numbers, it’s quite clear the problem is getting bigger and accelerating quickly. As Facebook adds more users and its current user base greys, 580,000 US based Facebook users will pass away in 2012 and 2.89m will die worldwide.
It’s a growing number and a growing problem that both Facebook and its users will have to deal with now and increasingly in the future. One way to deal with it is via SecureSafe, a service where you can make a list of your digital assets and decide what happens to them when you pass away. It’ll be interesting to see how these numbers keep accelerating as Facebook continues to grow and adds its users continue to get older.
Last night I attended ASECH’s Cumbre de Emprendendores (entrepreneur summit), which brought together entrepreneurs, Chile’s President and Minister of Economy to talk about the challenges and goals of economic growth via entrepreneurship. Founded about 8 months ago, ASECH is a privately funded association founded by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. Their goals are to bring the Chilean entrepreneurial community together and give entrepreneurs a voice in government by lobbying for more entrepreneur friendly laws.
So far it’s been an huge success. Over 1000 entrepreneurs from 9 of Chile’s 15 regions have joined ASECH. They hosted meetups and workshops, but most importantly they’ve been shining the spotlight on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and pushing the government to help fix them. People say that in the US entrepreneurs don’t have a lobby. We don’t. In Chile, we now do.
Why it’s important
I believe that the world is going through the biggest change since the industrial revolution and that the country that figures out how to create the right landscape and culture that fosters entrepreneurship will be best positioned for the future. Entrepreneurs aren’t asking for handouts, they want a more level playing field against incumbents. Governments around the world should be clamoring for entrepreneurs and job creators.
What’s happening in Chile is unprecedented. Between private initiatives and public policy, Chile is on the way to getting it right. Say what you want about President Piñera, but he gets entrepreneurship. He understands why its important and continues to support it both with words but more importantly with action, unlike many politicians who only pay lip service to entrepreneurship. If you contrast Chile with Argentina, the US or many countries in Europe, you’ll see the differences. You’d never see Argentina’s President at a gathering of entrepreneurs. In the US, President Obama mostly pays lip service to entrepreneurship, same as Europe.
Chile is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the big changes happening in the world economy. It has a stable government that is serious about changing laws to make starting a business easier: opening a bank account, receiving payments from large companies in 30 days or less and making the playing field more level. In Chile, the government is engaged, the private sector is growing. Chile also has a strong, educated, up and coming private sector made up of entrepreneurs who are eager to make sure these changes happen. They want to build businesses to make Chile a more equal place.
There are two ways to make a society more equal and more prosperous. Government can redistribute by giving away money and taking from others or businesses can redistribute wealth by creating more of it. It happens via entrepreneurship. The first country that gets this right, will have a huge competitive advantage in our new economy. Between government policy and a strong entrepreneurial sector, Chile is on the right path. It needs to keep it up.
These types of changes don’t happen by accident or in a vacuum. They are part of an ecosystem, powered by people. Congratulations to Nico Shea, Cristian Lopez from ASECH (and previously Startup Chile) for having the vision and execution to make it happen. Keep it up guys. There’s still a long way to go. And for anyone else interested in being a part of it, get involved. There are tons of opportunities. Take the leap and be a part of Chile’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Check out this video produced by ASECH about the struggles new businesses have to just get a bank account. For my english speakers, an entrepreneur walks into a bank and asks for a bank account for his future business. The executive just laughs him out of her office.