Let’s Learn From Chile#1

In April 2012 the government and the parliament agreed on a new law to establish a new fund that invests in small and medium size enterprises. The fund objective is to support small businesses and to boost the economic development in Kuwait. The fund size was US$6 Billion!!! In May I asked one of my friends to provide me with the new law to read.

I found out, such as many others, that the law is flawed and if the government go ahead with this project it will waste its US$6 billion dollars without reaching it’s goals. So I decided to write a report and submit it to government officials. I got the report done by the 2nd week of June, but by then a political turbulence started here in Kuwait and there was no government anymore. So instead of sharing this report with the government I decided to share it here in the blog with everyone 🙂 The report is a 36 pages document and I think most of you will find it boring, so I’ll just share a small part of it (I’ll upload the full report in slideshare later). The part I want to share is a research I did in two countries: Chile and Finland. These two countries are an interesting two cases and they did an astonishing job in terms of creating a Startup Ecosystem.

Let’s start with Chile. Chile created something amazing called Startup Chile, watch this beautiful video explaining what they do:

Startup Chile:

Program description:

Provide US$40,000 of equity-free seed capital, and a temporary 1-year visa to develop their projects for six months, along with access to the most potent social and capital networks in the country.


To convert Chile into the definitive innovation and entrepreneurial hub of Latin America by attracting the world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to bootstrap their startups in Chile, and create the next US$1 billion company.




Board members: 8 (4 global, 4 locals) (2 from Stanford University, 1 from HP) No. of Employees: 16


-320  Startups benefited from the program until the end of 2011
-630 apx. is the number of people that benefited from the program
-Teams represent 36 countries around the world
-Money spent on the startups = Only US$12.8M!!! (To you still think we need US$6 Billion)
-Total funds raised by some of the startups = US$5M (outside investors)

-More than 20% of startups in the program are local startups

Also watch how the Chilean President treated the entrepreneurs like HEROS. (I hope you understand Spanish)

In the next post we will discuss the advantages and challenges facing Startup Chile and the Chilean Ecosystem, and what can we learn from them based on Steve Blank’s visit in 2011.


Update: click here to read Let’s Learn from Chile part#2

Leave a comment


  1. You made a number of nice points there. I did a search on the theme and found the majority of people will consent with your blog.

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