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Innovación Chilena: A Platform for Entrepreneurs

Innovación Chilena: A Platform for Entrepreneurs

Posted by PanamericanWorld on May 18, 2016

Our Startups Stories section has focused its attention on Innovación Chilena, an online platform that connects companies and entrepreneurs, and keeps them posted on markets, news, funding programs and interesting events. Founded in July 2015, the platform aims at generating contact, cooperation and support networks in a bid to foster competitiveness. PanamericanWorld sat down with one of the creators of this project, Karina Durney, a computer engineer graduated at the University of Valparaiso and professor at Adolfo Ibañez University, with vast experience on regional media, since she worked for Grupo Mercurio, in the IT area.

How does Innovación Chilena work?

We receive information from around the globe, from entrepreneurs to governmental organisms, incubators, journalists and other media representatives devoted to such segments as SMEs, innovation and startups. We check if the information is directly linked to Innovación and/or enterprises and we post it. We have also conducted researches and interviews.

What were your main achievements in 2015?

We gained a significant number of daily readers in just a few months. Many people ask us how to "undertake a project" or they ask for advice in their search for funding.

How do you foster the culture of innovation in people or companies?

Our team loves innovation and enterprises. In fact, we’re entrepreneurs. We read both printed and digital press on a daily basis, we have subscriptions to international magazines and some of us give innovation and enterprise lessons in universities, therefore, we are perfectly aware of the importance of boosting the culture of innovation in people and companies, in an effort to obtain "collaboration", educate people on trends, business models and new practices. We know that "sharing business ideas" is good. We also know that business mistakes and failures are key elements to generate a resilient and innovative culture.

What are your plans for 2016?

We’re planning to grow, grow and grow by democratizing the access to the information related to cases and examples of innovation and enterprises. Raising awareness in the people, truly contributing to the Chilean and Latin American ecosystems. Keeping on sharing innovative and enterprising experiences and "inspiring everybody", by sharing knowledge on technologies and ways to do things better.

What do you make of the startup ecosystem in Chile?

The ecosystem in Chile is very special. There are highly-motivated groups, which let the world know about their projects and innovations, by means of social networks, talks, fairs and other channels. On the other hand, there are skeptical groups.

The thing is that we have such government institutions as CORFO, SERCOTEC and PROCHILE, which are great, and they are strongly supporting everybody in terms of training, funding-related consultancy (NON-REFUNDABLE subsidies). Therefore, there are concrete opportunities, but they have to be taken. 

We believe that the network of private investors is the weakest element in Chile. As for entrepreneurs, there is a growing number. CORFO is an example, since 3,000 entrepreneurs were proposed as seed money in 2015. That clearly shows that the people are interested in startups. In terms of companies, the numbers are proportional, with instruments like Voucher and Prototipos de Innovación that have tripled their proposals within a year.

What would be your tips for other startups?

3 main tips:

1) Having a good work team is a key element. 

2) Properly validate your "business ideas" before developing them, with all the cost entailed by such action. Listening to your customers helps you improve your startup. The ideas that have successfully worked in the United States won’t be necessarily fruitful in Chile, since the cultures are different. Validation will give them differentiation, because people’s needs are the starting point. Fall in love with problems instead of solutions.

3) Think about scalable and ideally exponential business projects, with positive impact in thousands and millions of people. In other words, projects with a significant market willing to use or acquire the solution.

 

Innovación Chilena on Social Networks:

Facebook  / Twitter  / LinkedIn / YouTube

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