Friday, 23 June 2017 11:24

27 Startup Founders Share Their Advice For Entrepreneurs Relocating To Chile

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n this week’s chapter 27 entrepreneurs share their thoughts and advice on relocating to Chile. Visit the country, stay here for a trial period, get to know its quirks and peculiarities and then make a long-term decision with that information in mind. Every place has its oddities and it’s important when operating outside one’s own country to go in with as much first-hand knowledge of the lay of the land as possible.

Many things that are big headaches for entrepreneurs in the US or Europe are non-issues here, whereas some things that are easy in those places are substantial difficulties. Knowing these things in advance and how they relate to your business is the best defense.

@SkinnerLayne / Exosphere

Santiago is great, but do explore the coastal region of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. The cost of living is lower for bootstrapped entrepreneurs, and there are lots of opportunities with local businesses and universities. A convenient 2hr bus ride away.

@PranayKrishen / EcoSwarm

Chile is cheap if you don’t come from Latin America and we have all the things that you are used to. Cost of living could be around $1000 USD or less for a single person.

@Rodolfo / Chevereto

First, you must have at least one good Chilean partner that complements your knowledge. Use LinkedIn and other platforms to find your local partner, and ask others that can recommend their work and experience.

It is also extremely important to find a good Chilean lawyer who has experience in startups. It is important to meet with other entrepreneurs who can recommend their work.

@DanielAtik / Lukkin

Chile is a great place to live. There are tons of places to visit, so be sure to use your weekends to get to know the country.

Most chileans do not speak English though, and if you have to go through your residence/RUT process you are going to suffer a bit if you don’t speak Spanish.

Be sure to visit the Startup Chile HQ, you’ll find over 150 different startups working there with incredible ideas.

@Caya / Slidebean

Try to pick up some Spanish before coming, and also once you are here give yourself enough time to get to know this stunning and diverse country!

You will most likely establish yourself in Santiago, since most of the entrepreneurial activity occurs here, yet don’t forget Santiago is not all this country has to offer.

@DiegoMenchaca / Teamscope

It is a secure country if you know how to move and where to stay. Santiago In Chile when it comes to LIFE. Try to stay in Providencia or Vitacura, they are the safest neighborhoods. Don’t walk alone in the center at night.

@AlexAlevy / Pivto

First of all it’s important to get in touch with some Chilean entrepreneurs who can help you understand how living and working in Chile. It’s also important to get to know the laws, visas and other legal stuff around your startup.

@Nicoletta / Fanchimp

Foreign entrepreneurs should come to Chile knowing at least basic Spanish. Few Chileans have a firm grasp of English, thus a strong knowledge of Spanish goes a long way.

Before arriving in Chile, it is helpful to do some research and connect online with potential business partners (in order to develop a relationship with said partners and connections before landing in Chile).

There are many organizations that support entrepreneurship in Chile, such as CORFO and Start Up Chile. You can find out about more useful organizations by reading Making It Happen in Chile ( ), a handbook series written by the well-regarded media consulting company, AndesBeat.

@CarlosLeiva / AndesBeat

Look for an apartment 3 months advance. Santiago is expensive, really expensive. The coast which is about 1.5 hours from the capital, is a cheaper place to stay and still near to the city.

The north is focused on the mining business, the south is focused on natural resources, salmon and wood and the center is focused on wine, fruits and vegetables.

@FelipeMillan / Guubie

Chile is a great place to be to enter the Latin American Market. Everyone should check out Start-Up Chile ( ), try to find a co-working space and locate their business hopefully in Santiago, because is where the biggest community is.

Places to look for help is the ASECH ( ), and also there are some accelerator programs, but the best one is the one I mentioned above.

To live, you should try to get an apartment in Santiago Centro, probably in Providencia o Bellavista, because they are well located and also shouldn’t be that expensive.

@CristianSchalper / GiveO2

1. Do your homework: reach out to as many people already in Chile, so that you better understand how Chile works in terms of renting, banking and healthcare.

2. Know what you want: if you plan to set up a business in Chile, makes sure your paperwork is done properly. It helps that it is not a difficult thing to do; it just takes a bit of time.

@Petar / GapJumpers

– Integrate yourself as a local. Ignore all the foreigners. They will be gone in a flash.
– Focus focus focus focus on your work. Avoid the many distractions.
– Lastarria is the best place to hang out
– Las Condes is deeply underrated.
– Enjoy the Avocado
– Too many temptations to avoid; build the business, instead.

@MorganFriedman / Gift Pinpoint

If you are the business guy in your team try to attend to all the networking events.

I’ve been in Santiago trough Start-up Chile and the main objective of the program is to promote entrepreneurship and change the way local Chilean entrepreneurs perceive risk and reward, success and failure.

Try to get in touch with Start-up Chile Entrepreneurs. You have the chance to become friends with some of the most carefully selected entrepreneurs in the world. These entrepreneurs think big and want to revolutionize the industries in which they operate.

@DenisTodirica / STATUS

First of all i think that you need to analyze what kind of partner you need in Chile. There’s many NGO and Government programs looking for start-ups, but they all have their differences. Most of them they are located in Santiago.

For example, if your Start Up is in social you should check, and so on. I think that theres an entrepreneur environment that’s growing and developing like hubs of specifics areas of start ups.

@JoseManuelMoller / Algramo

Try to incorporate the local resources into your business plan.

For example, since you are moving to Chile, check and see whether your idea/site/app can be deployed and customised for Chileans. You can find many beta testers this way and it’s a big market. Once you have a successful model in Chile, it’s easier to expand into other south american countries.

Another would be translations. Our product was an educational app and it was international. We used our Chilean contacts to start off the translation process.

As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to use your local environment to your advantage.

@SandaruwanGunathilake / Medical Joyworks

Live close to work, the subway system is highly unpleasant during rush hour. Take a few weeks of intense Spanish classes when you land – English won’t get you very far. Don’t bring food in your luggage! It will be confiscated at the airport.

@SimonPapineau / Crowdsourced Testing

Find first a local, Chile as a tourist can be really expensive, you will need to allocate in Santiago, and for startups I recommend to find a space in Las Condes, Vitacura or Providencia.

Today exist a big environment of incubators, so maybe you can get some funding with startupchile, incuba uc or uddventures.

@JulianGarcia / InstaGIS Inc.

Chile, or Chilecon Valley as many have stated, is the ideal place in Latin America to start your business. The best way for a foreigner to enter the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chile is through Startup Chile. Why? Because you get a Visa, a Bank Account (a benefit few foreigners have in Chile) and 40K (no equity).

If you are not entering through Startup Chile, it is important for you to enter with a Chilean partner or a spanish speaking partner. Though many know english in this country, our legal and banking system is in spanish, therefore it will be difficult for you to start a business in Chile if you can’t handle the legal matters.

If you are just relocating because you need a place to code your beautiful web or mobile product, then Chile is great. Good places to sightsee, hike, relax while you are doing the hard-core work.

@KomalDadlani / Lab4U

While there are several advantages of relocating to Chile, I would keep few things in mind while relocating for the first time:

1. You must, I mean a must to learn a bit of Spanish if not fluently.
2. Familiarize yourself with Company Registration Process.
3. Understand how SII system works.
4. Familiarize yourself with the banking system.

@NadeeraNilupamali / Rock Your Paper

Chileans are peaceful, friendly and very helpful. They basically like foreign visitors. Santiago is a first world city, with an excellent public transportation system. Public health stinks, yet private health insurance is affordable and easy to get. Santiago is a prosperous environment for work, education and entertainment.

Watch out for continuous rattles and shakes. I big quake stroke northern Chile last April. Be prepared to deal with Chilean’s Spanish. They speak it very fast. Unless you know at least survival Spanish, just buying groceries will be a trying experience.

@Jorge / Fibras Andinas

A great way to get started is to tap into the local startup groups (although not necessary, speaking Spanish is highly advised):

Chilean Entrepreneurial Association –
This is a national level group whose main mission is to bring together entrepreneurs and represents their interests to the Government. Foreigners and locals are invited to be a part of ASECH.

Startup Chile Meetup Group –

This is a great resource for anyone in the Chilean entrepreneurial community. Startup Chile is a world renown entrepreneurial program from the Chilean Government. They often have big names like Woz and Vivek Wadhwa come speak at events that are open to everyone.

AndesBeat –
Since 2011, AndesBeat has been a trusted and credible source for news, trends and people driving Latin America’s technology and start-up culture.

@ColinFain / Agronometrics

Get to know all accelerator programs available. I recommend Wayra, Startup Chile and Incubauc. These programs will give you the opportunity to show your product to several investors in different industries.

Don’t be afraid to knock doors. Possible Chilean customers really like to know new stuff in the market.

@DavidRiquelme / Cloudintelligence

Be prepared for a cultural shock, but in a good way. Chile is very different from other Latin American countries and is usually referred to as the “Europe” of the continent.

This reflects mainly in our social aspect, in comparison to neighboring countries we are very traditional and it is much harder to get a Chilean to warmly welcome you into their inner circles at the first try.

@FranciscaChacón / Rehapp

Learn Spanish. (Drink Pisco Sours to help loosen the tongue.)

Be passionate and persistent. (‘Yes’ often means ‘no’— until you prove you actually are doing your crazy idea and have no intention of going away.)

Have patience. (‘No’ sometimes means ‘yes’— but only if you’re willing to wade through a ton of absurd bureaucracy.)

@LangdonPage / Monkey Puzzle Media

Bureaucracy is slow. Necessary first steps for doing business in Chile, such as incorporation, receiving a visa, and getting a Chilean bank account, do not happen seamlessly. Sadly, notaries are still the only way to legalize contracts.

Network. In Chile, who you know is very important. So get out there and meet people. You can quickly make connections that will open doors and provide new business opportunities. Know who the influencers are and align with industry leaders and Chilean experts in innovation.

Join the community. Santiago has a vibrant and growing community of entrepreneurs, which is helping to push forward innovation in the country and greater incubation and financing support to startups.

@JakeMoskowitz / Voyhoy

Chile is a beautiful country with a stable economy and economic growth. Unlike other countries in Latin America, it is safe to walk around and people are serious when doing business.

It is fairly easy to get incorporated and there is a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs: Startup-Chile, Corfo and Asech to name a few.

@AlecDickinson / AmberAds

Any tips or advice we missed? Let us know via Twitter ?

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