Contxto – CORFO has cropped up on this site every once in a while. However, for those not in the know, the acronym stands for Corporation for the Promotion of Production—the Chilean economic development agency known for dolling out capital for startups.
Recently, this Chilean governmental entity paired-up with ERA Global to provide soft landing support to Latin American startups seeking international growth.
ERA Global stands on the other side of the partnership. It is a New York City-based firm that assists international startups in entering the U.S. market.
Their job is basically to get entrepreneurs into an equity-free, six-week acceleration program alongside over 400 mentors. On a more institutional level, it also partners with various global government initiatives, like CORFO.
All clear for take-off
Now that you’re up to speed, let’s sink our teeth into the main event.
Together, ERA Global and CORFO will launch a program as part of the Chilean government’s inconveniently militaristic-sounding “Consolidate and Expand” efforts. These are specifically reserved for early-stage startups. Those invited can anticipate perfecting their business models, strengthening products, services, and processes, not to mention augmenting their tech capabilities.
Other areas of this program will relate to product and market fits, improving marketing, and sales strategies, learning how to pitch to U.S. investors, in addition to fundraising networking.
Latin American companies that have gone through the programming ERA Global has to offer reportedly raised more than US$350 million. Further demonstrating the benefits, alumni have gone on to reach a collective valuation of over US$2.5 billion.
Applications for this new effort will reportedly end on December 16. Selected companies will receive notification of their admission in June 2020.
Latest open call in Chile
Recently, CORFO also revealed its third open call for startups to participate in their domestic innovation program. Regardless of size or age, startups can apply until December 16 by 2 pm.
This economic agency’s conspicuous support for national businesses stands in stark contrast to the government’s actions in recent days. Various Chilean officials stand accused of grave human rights abuses against protesters.
Rocío Fonseca, innovation manager of CORFO, seems to know that this is a prescient issue in people’s minds. “Although today we are experiencing a turning point as a country, it is important that we continue working on the future of Chile in the medium and long term,” she said. “Innovating is key and it is with this focus that we are giving in this call.”
Some will be happy with the investment alone. Meanwhile, others are perhaps hoping that the same push for innovation will apply to the imminent redrafting of the Chilean constitution.