Tag: startup chile

Working for Tech Companies In Santiago, Chile

I get multiple emails per month from US and European tech workers who are interested in moving to Chile and want to know what the tech job market looks like. These emails have picked up in frequency both as the Chilean tech ecosystem has grown and as many tech workers explore more options for working abroad after 2016.

Chile’s tech ecosystem has grown by leaps and bounds since 2010, when startup Chile began seeding the Chilean tech ecosystem. Since then over 1700 companies have come to Chile, many of which have stayed and created a presence in Santiago. Additionally, more Chileans have started companies both for the local market and to attack the US market.

The most in demand workers are Ruby on Rails developers, UI/UX designers and online marketers, but there’s also significant demand for native english speaking sales people and customer success roles.

No matter where you work in Chile, you’ll almost for sure make less money than you would in the US. Tech salaries are lower, but so is cost of living. Getting a work visa is very easy; all you need is a job offer and you can get a one year temporary visa, a RUT government id number and everything you need to get started.

There are five options for expat tech workers who are looking for opportunities in Chile: (more…)

Highlighting Latin American Startups

When I meet with US and European entrepreneurs and investors, they frequently want to know what startups are doing well in Latin America.

There are generally three types of startups that generally do well:

1. Latin America based startups solving problems for Latin American market

2. Startups that target the US/European market and have a Latin American back office

3. Brazilian startups that generally target the Brazilian market

Each niche has their own pros and cons, but at Magma, we invest in a subset of the first niche: B2B startups that are based in Latin America and serve Latin American companies and the second niche: startups that target the US/European market, but have their back office in Latin America.

I’ll leave Brazil’s burgeoning startup scene aside for now and focus on some of the most interesting startups I’m seeing in Spanish speaking Latin America. Post in the comments if there’s a startup you think I should include. (more…)

Chilean Venture Capital Overview

Lots of entrepreneurs ask me about Chilean investors and venture capital firms. Here’s my list that I usually send them. Hopefully it’s helpful.

Private Investors

Magma Partners – We’re the only fully private investment fund in Chile. We invest early stage and like to be first investors into companies. We’ll do initial investments of $25-$75k and can follow on with up to $250,000 per company. We like two niches:  B2B businesses in Latin America and companies that have their back office in Latin America, but whose primary market is in the US or Europe. 26 investments in 2.5 years. $5m fund. Presence in Colombia, Mexico, USA.

Public-Private VCs

The Chilean government, via CORFO, offers venture capital funds incentives to invest in Chile. For every $1 funds invest, CORFO can match an additional $2 or $3 with low interest debt that they forgive if you fail, but you must repay if you’re successful. Here’s the full fund list across all industries. These are the more startup focused funds.

Nazca/Mountain – In 2015, Nazca was acquired by Mountain Partners, a successful German/Swiss VC and company builder. They generally invest $200k-$500k in companies that can scale regionally and potentially expand to other mountain offices in Europe, Asia and Africa. Nazca has offices in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Mountain has offices in multiple countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.

(more…)

Tips to For Your Startup Chile Application

The startup chile application phase is open again and that usually means a blog post offering startup chile consulting and help with applications. Even though I’ve gotten emails from 10 companies wanting my help and I still have a 66% hit rate for the companies that I help, I won’t be offering my services this time. I just don’t have enough time this time.

Instead, here’s my tips for writing your application and getting into startup chile:

1. Public description, video, website

The most important parts are your public description, your website and your video. I know many judges who read your public description, then go to your website and watch your video. If they’re bored, they’ll skim the rest of your app and toss it in the no pile.

The judges are reading a huge quantity of applications, so make sure yours stands out.

2. Don’t write to fill space

Say what you need to say as directly as possible. Don’t write like a college term paper. That’s the opposite of business writing. Write directly and clearly.

3. Native speaker english

If you’re not a native speaker or aren’t a great writer, find someone to help you edit your application. It’s completely worth it.

4. No passive voice

It’s weak. Doesn’t inspire confidence. And it’s boring to read.

This: We make money three ways:

Not This: Money is made three ways by the company

5. Use present tense as much as possible

This: Our company sells sunglasses online

Not this: Our company will sell sunglasses online

6. No business buzzwords

Be direct. Buzzwords make you look weak. And they generally don’t mean anything.

7. Write like you want a 10 year old or your mom to be able to understand it

It’s not impressive to write in jargon. It doesn’t show that you’re smart. Clear, direct writing does. I’ve read countless applications where I truly don’t understand what the entrepreneur is trying to say. But it sure has lots of big words! And buzzwords.

8. Use Lists

You should answer a question about revenue model like this:

We make money three ways:

  • Selling products via our online store
  • Charging placement fees to vendors
  • Logistics fulfillment for partner vendors

This way you save words and go right to the point. Then add a few descriptive sentences and you’re set.

9. Start with your niche, then go bigger

For the target market, scaling plan and your plan, start with your niche, then describe where you’ll be in 6 months or a year. Something like:

Our first clients will be young males between the ages of 18-24 who go to our university and study engineering. They have the biggest pain point for the problem we’re trying to solve. After we win our niche, we’ll expand to the rest of the university, then replicate the model at other universities in our city, then expand internationally following the same model.

10. Tell a story and don’t be boring

Tell a story. Make it fun. The judges read a ton of applications. Stand out by not being boring.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, there are about 2000 applications per round. 100 make it in. Probably half will get thrown out quickly. Your job is to get into the top 300, where it’s going to be a crapshoot. It’s the luck of the draw that the three judges assigned to you will actually like your project.

You just never know. My favorite project ever didn’t make it. Some projects I’ve helped are decent, but not great and have won. Good luck and happy applying!