October 4, 2021 | Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The cradle of entrepreneurship and innovation: Local Chilean solutions to global problems

The cradle of entrepreneurship and innovation: Local Chilean solutions to global problems | Marca Chile

From north to south, our country is a laboratory where talent, ideas and technology come together to develop local solutions for global problems. Chile ranked third globally for the highest total entrepreneurship activity rate in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2019/2020. It was also ranked the most innovative country in Latin America by the Global Innovation Index 2020 and placed second in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the world by the 2021 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking.

In a never-ending quest to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants and confront the challenges of the 21st century, Chile has promoted a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem that places innovation at its core. Because of this, the country has become a laboratory where talent, ideas and technology come together to develop local solutions for global problems.

An entrepreneurship-friendly ecosystem is key to both growth and a thriving economy. Created in 2010, the business accelerator Start-Up Chile was the first of its kind in the world. As a leader in Latin America, its disruptive model has been replicated in over 50 countries. It has been ranked among the top 10 accelerators globally and called the “most revolutionary” accelerator by the prestigious Forbes magazine. In over ten years of existence, Start-Up Chile has supported 1,960 companies in 85 countries, generated 15,000 jobs around the world, accumulated sales of US$1.2 billion both locally and abroad, and created a portfolio of over US$1.4 billion in net assets.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are in our DNA, and there are several studies to prove it. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2019/2020 ranked Chile third globally for highest total entrepreneurship activity rate. The Global Innovation Index 2020 named us the most innovative and entrepreneurial country in Latin America. And, according to the 2021 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, our country is second worldwide in early-stage entrepreneurial activity.

Some globally recognized Chilean startups that have helped propel the country’s ranking forward include: NotCo (which makes plant-based alternatives to animal products), Betterfly insurtech, financial company Fintual and the shopping app Cornershop. In recent years, it has become common to see Chilean ventures with operations in different countries manage to raise funds internationally. Betterfly, for example, received US$60 million in an investment round in June 2021, making it the highest valued Chilean startup in Series B with a value of US$300 million. In addition to this, Cornershop became the first Chilean unicorn after Uber acquired 100% of the company, giving it a value of US$ 3 billion.

At the same time, Chile has stood out for its commitment to sustainability. The country has set an ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with 40% of the energy matrix to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Chile has the highest solar radiation on the planet (in the Atacama Desert), along with thousands of kilometers of coastline, a mountain range and wind currents running from north to south. These and other natural resources propel us towards a generation of non-conventional renewable energy. The Antofagasta Region is home to two emblematic projects: Cerro Dominador, the first thermosolar plant in Latin America; and Cerro Pabellón, the only geothermal plant in South America.

The Magallanes Region in the far south of the country has the natural characteristics to make Chile a relevant player in the production and export of green hydrogen with the potential to produce 13% of the total global production. This energy source, also known as “the fuel of the future,” does not generate emissions, is friendly to the environment and could eventually replace fossil fuels.

International figures, such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, have praised Chile in this regard, further confirming that Chile is inspiring many countries around the world.

 

 

 

 

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