Chile strengthens its position as innovation and entrepreneurship hub at important American festival SXSW 2014

15 startups developed in Chile were part of the Interactive section of this event. It is one of the main platforms for current and future trends in IT. Through various activities Chile showcased the attributes earned as an entrepreneurship and innovation hub worldwide.

DS2_0692For 10 days salons, hotels, cinemas and even the main avenues of Austin becomes the scene of new bands, movies and new trends in innovation and technology. It is a festival that literally takes over the city and set new trends for these three industries.

Amid this vortex of activities in which leading technology companies compete to attract the best ideas and talents; innovation leaders dictate lectures before thousands of listeners from around the world, a dozen startups from Chile were part of this exciting experience. They attended panels, seminars, business meetings and networking, many of them at the Chile pavilion in the Trade Show of the Austin Convention Center. The pavilion was established as a proper place for Chilean companies to pursue new business options. This space also served to showcase the attributes that make Chile stand out as one of the major ecosystems of innovation and entrepreneurship worldwide.

“Innovation is becoming a key factor in the competitiveness of Chilean exports. We have worked hard to develop an ecosystem that allows smoothing entrepreneurship and innovation. During these four days we have been able to show a representative range of talents, thus highlighting what is happening in Chile: the ecosystem is beginning to show results, “Francisco Correa says, Trade Commissioner of Chile in Los Angeles.

“Innovate! Go south, but really south”.

This was the call of ProChile and entrepreneurs at SXSW. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not only in the South of the United States, but can be found also in Chile, a country that is becoming a real option for those looking to develop their ideas or ventures and turn them into new business deals with the Southern part of the continent.

Chile’s optimal conditions for innovation and venture, a competitive country, skilled and creative human capital offer several opportunities for entrepreneurship. The possibility of creating businesses in one day at zero cost and online attracts talent from all over the world, and once they have consolidated there are tools for going globally.

Studies and rankings feature Chile and Santiago as one of the most important international capital to innovate or venture. According to the OECD, Chile is one of the countries in Latin America that provides the most comprehensive support tools. Meanwhile, in late 2013 Opinno Think along with ESCP Europe Madrid business school and the Intitut Europeo di Design published “Leading Global Ecosystems Report 2013” which ranked Santiago among the world’s top 5 innovation hubs. This research highlighted the rapid growth of the innovation ecosystem in the last decade and the country’s efforts to position Santiago as the future technology hub of Latin America.

Chile’s presence at SXSW was possible thanks to a partnership between entrepreneurs, Start-Up Chile CORFO and ContactChile ProChile programs; thus it was possible to showcase Chile as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship in Latin America. Chile is a country that through Start-Up Chile convenes talent from around the world and gives them the tools to set up their business Chile and, through ContactChile, provides a platform for internationalizing Chilean innovation.

Chile’s attributes shone in Austin

SXSW is a platform for startups to share ideas and experiences in order to establish contacts and potential partnerships that allow them to grow in the global innovation map. To do this the government of Chile put to work various organizations that allowed the Chilean delegation connects with points of reference in the business.

While it is the second time that Chile attends SXSW Chile, it is the first time that our country had an official panel at the festival. With “Hacking Entrepreneurship through Government” Chile showcased from a viewpoint of its stakeholders the main attributes to venture. Entrepreneurs Leo Prieto (creator of Betazeta Networks) and Paolo Privitera (Italian, Start-Up Chile and founder of PICK1) talked about their experiences and the benefits of starting their venture in Chile. The seminar was moderated by Maite Larraechea of Start-Up Chile.

In addition Chile hosted a networking event outside the fairgrounds, in an area exclusively reserved for the Chilean delegation and its guests in which to present Chile and its entrepreneurs. It was also the perfect place to launch the 10th convening of Start Up Chile applications, and the international launch of the 2014 version of Fiis space.



In order to close our participation at SXSW and make way for the music, Chile presented “Perrosky”, “Tus Nuevos Amigos”, “Humboldt”, “Wentru”, “Denver”, all Chilean bands and singer Nano Stern who joined other 16 Chilean bands that were part of the music section, organized by Independent music Industry of Chile (IMIChile).

Pitch Session

One activity that drew audience interest was the “Chilean Pitch Session” held in the Chile pavilion. Five projects developed in Chile Weddflex, Rehapp, Gigabot, Revstr BSTInnovation were presented to a jury consisting of Mehron Azarmehr (lawyer and investor, engaged in companies and technologies from outside USA), Laura Kilcrease (investor, “Entrepreneur in Residence” of the McCombs School of Business) and Glenn Robinson (responsible for Latin America at the IC2 institute of the University of Texas in Austin).

The jury awarded Pablo Castro, founder of Rehapp, whose application help through mobile devices the recovery of children with disabilities through interaction between doctors, therapists, family and the patient.
With this award the Rehapp team has the chance of being part of one of 3 Chilean startups representing Chile in Miami Tech Week of Emerge Americas.