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Chilean Entrepreneurs Convene at SXSW Interactive 2014, Establishing Chile as the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Latin America, and Beyond

- Chile ranks first out of Latin American countries for economic freedom, global competitiveness and human development.

SANTIAGO, Chile, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading Chilean entrepreneurs will gather at SXSW Interactive 2014 to promote the advances of Latin America's innovation hub, urging businesses to "Innovate! Go South, but Really South. "This will be Chile's second year attending the conference and its first year hosting a panel. In addition, the Chile Pavilion, along with CORFO's initiative Start-Up Chile and ProChile's initiative CONTACTChile will facilitate a number of events throughout the festival designed to encourage networking and collaboration and share the spirit of Chilean ingenuity.

Chile has just finished its "Year of Innovation," a commitment to raise public awareness and support of entrepreneurship. The government has invested more than US$1 billion in programs and incentives to encourage a positive business environment, including an initiative that allows entrepreneurs to start a business through an entirely electronic process at zero cost and in the space of one day. In addition, Chile passed the Law of Tax Incentive to encourage companies to invest in areas of research and development.

"Chile consistently ranks as one of the most important destinations for innovation and entrepreneurship in the world," stated Francisco Correa, Coordinator of ProChile in North America. "We have worked hard to actively create an environment that allows for businesses to develop and succeed with minimal barriers. Chile believes that innovation will be a key factor in growing our competitiveness as a nation, from products to people."

Between 2013 and 2014, Chile was recognized by organizations around the world as the top country in Latin America for economic freedom, global competitiveness, trade enabling, ease of doing business, human development and more. Likewise, Santiago was recently identified as a leading global hub for innovation.

A number of other initiatives from Chile have been highly successful at launching domestic and international business. Plan C: Crowdfunding Chile, for example, is the world's first government-driven program to support new products and services by raising funds. Similarly, CONTACTChile helps Chile-based companies to enter the international marketplace. Finally, the world-renowned program Start-Up Chile offers aspiring entrepreneurs US$40,000 in equity-free funds and a year-long visa to get their business of the ground.

From March 9th through the 12th, 2014, the SXSW Chile Pavilion will provide an area for entrepreneurs to display the exciting businesses and products coming from Santiago and beyond, informing attendees about the opportunities that Chile offers for entrepreneurs and innovation. Notable Chilean tech start-ups such as Prey Project, First Job, Betazeta Networks and Revstr will all be present to showcase the best of the country's ingenuity.

Also on March 9th, Chile will host a panel entitled Hacking Entrepreneurship through Government, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT at the Holiday Inn Town Lake. Leo Prieto, Co-Founder & CEO of Betazeta, Paolo Privitera, CEO of pick1.com, and Maitetxu Larraechea, Director of Communication and PR for Start-Up Chile, will present how the government's dynamic public policies have helped to cut down on the red tape that inhibits innovation in other nations. The session will be followed by a cocktail hour featuring Chilean wine at the Chile Pavilion.

On March 11th, three exciting events will conclude Chile's participation in SXSW: at 4:00 pm, festival-goers can stop by the Pavilion for some Chilean wine while learning about the innovation opportunities in the country. Later, from 6:00 pm9:00 pm, the country will host a networking event at Parkside restaurant, inviting innovators from around the world to "Come and Join the Real South Fiesta". As a part of this event, the 2014 International Social Innovation Festival (FIIS) will be launched, the largest social innovation festival in South America, located in Chile. FIIS will emphasize Chile's focus on importing and exporting talent around the globe, attracting some of the best minds in technology while sharing Chile's rising stars with the world. The event will also serve as the opening of the 10th round of applications for Start-Up Chile.

Finally, starting at 8:00 pm, festival attendees can also experience a Night of Chilean music, featuring popular Chilean bands.


SXSW Trade Show

Chilean Booth (1213-1215- 1312- 1314)

Austin Convention Center

500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701

March 9-12, 2014


Follow ProChile

Attendees and interested innovators can keep up with all of the SXSW ProChile action by following the hashtag #SXSWChile. ProChile, the Chilean government agency in charge of promoting exports of goods and services, will also be tweeting from the event at @ProChile_US.

About ProChile

ProChile is the agency within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile responsible for promoting exports of goods and services. ProChile also contributes to encourage foreign investments and tourism through a network of over 50 trade offices worldwide and 15 regional offices throughout the country, with specialized teams that contribute to positioning Chile's strengths in international markets. ProChile also provides first-class information and diverse tools to exporters for better business management abroad and detects business opportunities for importers as well. In the U.S., ProChile has representatives strategically located in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Washington D.C.

About CONTACTChile

CONTACTChile is a ProChile program that aims to internationalize Chilean innovation, creating a comprehensive program focused on promoting national projects throughout the rest of the world.

About Start-Up Chile

Start-Up Chile seeks to convert Chile into the innovation and entrepreneurship hub of Latin America attracting high-potential domestic and foreign entrepreneurs who will use the country as a platform to collaborate and innovate across the world. Following a rigorous application process, startups are given US$40,000 equity-free funding and a work visa to develop their project. All participants are required to engage in social impact activities to share their knowledge and experiences.


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