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The nation is attempting to attract start-ups from across the world by offering initial funding, other incentives

Indian entrepreneurs planning start-up ventures have a new and welcoming destination—Chile. The South American nation is attempting to attract fledgeling businesses from across the world by offering initial funding and other incentives, joining a growing list of countries seeking to create alternatives to Silicon Valley.

This year, the programme called Start-Up Chile has attracted 3,000 applicants, of which at least 100 are from India, making them the fourth largest group in terms of the country of origin, after those from Chile, the US and Argentina.
On offer is the equivalent of $40,000 (around Rs.22 lakh) in seed funding from the Chilean government, which isn’t asking for any equity in return, plus a one-year work permit. Chile aims to host 1,000 entrepreneurs by next year at a cost of $40 million under the programme, which it has launched at a time when immigrants have come up against stricter work permit rules in the US that have made setting up start-ups difficult.
“Start-Up Chile seeks early-stage, globally minded entrepreneurs, and India has a lot of talent with worldwide recognition,” said Horacio Melo, executive director of Start-Up Chile.
Melo, who quit his job as a marketing manager with Latam Airlines last year to join Start-Up Chile, said the idea is not exactly to emulate Silicon Valley.
“Many countries around the world try to emulate Silicon Valley instead of focusing on adding value to the key elements that make their countries and cultures different. We don’t want to replicate Silicon Valley, we want to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is unique,” Melo said in an email.
As countries across the world attempt to cope with slowing economic growth, they are realizing that unemployment and the lack of new opportunities to create wealth can be tackled at least partly by attracting more entrepreneurs. They are competing to attract entrepreneurs who are willing to move wherever their ideas receive the best funding and market support.
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