By Perks |
Originally posted on Entrepreneur Week
SANTIAGO, CHILE, November 18, 2011
This past week marked the global launch of Entrepreneur Week in partnership with Corfo, Que Pasa,Sofofa, Startup Chile and American Airlines; highlighted by an intimate meeting with President Sebastian Piñera at La Moneda Palace.
The three day event focused on educating, mentoring and inspiring more than 350 local entrepreneurs to create scalable and successful businesses. A delegation of 20 seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders from the United States descended upon Chile to share lessons learned throughout their careers, having raised more than $500m in venture financing alongside a collective 271 years of business experience. Nam Bui, Co-Founder of Inc Magazine’s Business Owners Council came to Chile to help “Dispel the mindset that failure is not an option, because it will engender more Chileans to take the leap of faith and the inherent risks of being an entrepreneur.”
Although Chile is labeled as a developing country by the world at large, Founder of Entrepreneur Week, Gary Whitehill believes there is significant promise, “The Chilean government has been one of most proactive governments that we have sought to work with internationally. The barrier to entry and thus assurance for success, improves exponentially with the support of the government to foment change, influence growth, and make the necessary investments to foster innovation.”
The inaugural event is only a taste of what is to come over the next four months in the region. Building upon the launch, the Chile Entrepreneur Week (#EWchile) USA delegation will return in late January for a four day event. In addition, Entrepreneur Week will expand its presence in the region with South America Entrepreneur Week in April, a 10 day event series in Brazil, Chile and Peru.
South America was chosen as the main expansion point for Entrepreneur Week because, as Lauren Perkins of Perks Consulting stated, “The Entrepreneurs that attended Chile Entrepreneur Week were from all around the continent. They were engaged and hungry for more knowledge.”
Chile is on the cusp of a key inflection point for its entrepreneurs, and more specifically, PresidentSebastian Piñera’s economic development strategy: to create and harness a robust and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. The delegation shared their thoughts and insights with the President, which includes:
- Brant Cooper, a renowned lean startup practitioner had this to say about his experience, “like all startups, Chile’s entrepreneurship ambitions face uncertainty and formidable obstacles, including network infrastructure, equipping schools with technology and even overcoming cultural impediments. But to Chile’s leader’s credit, they seem to have recognized these risks and are facing them head on.”
- Michael Ellsberg, author of “The Education of Millionaires,” provided his viewpoint to the President, “Many Chilean entrepreneurs told me that there is a strong, overwhelming family and societal stigma in Chile associated with trying something and failing. This must change in order for there to be an entrepreneurial culture in any country. The cornerstone of an entrepreneurial culture is recognizing that failing is almost always a part of later success.
- Sisha Ortuzar, Co-Founder of the famous Wichcraft restaurant chain and a Chilean-born entrepreneur said, “One of the biggest challenges that Chile faces right now is its image in the international market. Most people don’t know much about Chile, or what Chile can do.”
Entrepreneur Week is committed to helping foster entrepreneurship and innovation Chile and will continue to expand its efforts in the region alongside its strategic partners. Chile Entrepreneur Week is the first of multiple entrepreneur events to be held in South America over the course of the next year. For commentary and updates follow follow us on twitter via @NYEW for English and@EWchile for Spanish.
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