They seek to promote Chilean startups to internationalize from Miami - Start Up Gazzete
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They seek to promote Chilean startups to internationalize from Miami


Miami has become a pole of attraction for Chilean investors and entrepreneurs, who are looking in the United States for an opportunity to internationalize their projects. Just an eight-hour flight from Santiago, the iconic city on the Florida coast is seducing those who see this place as a point of expansion, considering that its growth has accelerated, after being positioned as the number one city for startups in The United States in the Kaufmann Index 2017 ranking and number 11 in 2019 in terms of investments, placing it on a par with San Francisco, California or New York as a pole of innovation development.

Despite mobility restrictions, digitization has allowed the possibility of generating networks of contacts and applying for possible investment funds that appear along the way, to reach Miami with the necessary tools. This is part of what the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) proposes, a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurship, associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which this year officially landed the country with a “Soft-Landing” program to Chilean companies that want to expand into North American lands.

The objective of the virtual program is to guide and provide help for those interested to enter this new economy, and that during five days the participants will be able to answer questions so that they do not have to wait for the optimal conditions to return to travel, whose first day is already did in May and that has open registration for another meeting, during the second semester. “We seek to bring closer the possibility of expanding their businesses by making a quick immersion in understanding how to establish themselves, how to develop startups in the United States and how to expand the network of collaboration and contacts,” says Alejandra Winter, Chilean co-founder of the CIC Miami softlanding program .

Winter points out that the Chilean entrepreneurship ecosystem is regarded “with great respect”, and is considered the most important entrepreneurship center in Latin America, which has led investors to pay attention to technological ideas from this side of the continent. After in 2020, Chilean startups attracted a total of US $ 136 million of investment, being a record number of venture capital agreements. “In the last 10 years the focus of entrepreneurship has changed, what used to be done out of necessity today has become the identification of an opportunity or being able to fulfill a dream,” she says.

However, the local market is small and after events such as the social crisis and the effects of the pandemic, the focus is on moving towards internationalization and giving urgency to this need. Julia Lucidi, Senior Relationship Manager at CIC Miami and Leader for Latin America, internationalization is not about leaving the country, but rather finding a bridge with new work networks. “What we are looking for is for Chilean companies to open new horizons and be able to deliver new practices, more innovations, a greater network of relationships to Chile, as well as more investment and capital.”


Possibilities of growing

CIC is one of the oldest companies in the United States dedicated to collaborative spaces for startups and the development of innovation districts. Its Miami affiliate makes it part of the innovation ecosystem, and since its founding in Florida more than 150 startups, governments, investors and corporate venture capitalists have received support for the expansion and exploration of the US market.

“CIC’s location in Miami offers companies a strategic bridge for collaboration. 35% of clients have expanded internationally, while 47% of clients do business within and outside the US, ”emphasizes Lucidi.

Although the company’s presence started three years ago in Chile, its impact had been on a small scale, collaborating with startups that sought its help. One of the success stories is that of GenoSUR, a national startup dedicated to biotechnology, which in April 2020 became known for selling one million PCR tests to the government. The company created by Daniela Mendoza and Matias Gutierrez, was supported by CIC in conjunction with the GoGlobal program of ProChile and Corfo, which allowed it to reach Miami and work from its headquarters, expanding in the market and opening offices in Mexico and Spain.

Its success has been such that in December it entered into an alliance with 7 Holdings Group (7HG), an expert US logistics service provider, to open a manufacturing plant in Miami-Dade County that will produce portable sample collection kits and transport devices for SARS-CoV-2, and other respiratory viruses.

“While GenoSUR has grown in the United States, it continued to grow in Chile, marking the point that our idea is not that there is an exodus of Chilean entrepreneurs, but rather that thes companies scale and expand their businesses, ”says Alejandra Winter, emphasizing that the possibility of a Chilean company growing in the United States is high, although with difficulties.

CIC’s Soft-Landing program in Chile contemplates three vital aspects: legal and economic foundations, understanding the business culture and generating contact networks. According to Winter, opening a market abroad does not generally imply different rules of the game, but it does require a quick immersion in the business and entrepreneurship culture of the place. In addition, there are government funds, such as the SBIR (Small Business Research and Innovation), which aim to support scientific excellence and innovation through federal funds for research and thus support the economic growth of the country. .

Author avatar
Joshua Smith

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