Chile made its mark in Austin, Texas, at South by Southwest’s (SXSW) mega trade fair last week. Sponsored by ProChile and Start-Up Chile, the exposition featured wine tastings, Chilean musicians, information about Chilean tourism and legislation, and over 30 Chilean start-ups from the country.
Cristian Schalper, cofounder of Chilean start-up GiveO2, had rave reviews about his experiences in Austin.
“The possibility to be present at SXSW has been an incredible opportunity for meeting people and developing new ideas, and most importantly, for expanding the network of my start-up,” Schalper said.
Idea sharing and best practice seminars were also a large part of the SXSW experience. Chilean Sebastián Valin, the CEO and founder of ComparaOnline.com, was invited to participate in the panel, “Building Successful Teams in Latin America.” He joined two other Latin American entrepreneurs for the riveting discussion.
Chile’s “Year of Innovation” campaign was also highlighted at SXSW. The campaign is investing US$ 1 billion into nearly one hundred public and private initiatives in Chile.
To help propel the campaign, ProChile international assistant director Carlos Honorato explained that their presence at SXSW was just the beginning of their ambitious agenda.
“For 2013, we have determined a series of activities that will help national entrepreneurs leave the country and show their talent to the world and sell their ideas—international fairs, seminars in Chile and abroad, and ‘demo days’.”
Also featured at the Chilean Pavilion was the country’s groundbreaking legislation that enables businesses to be created in one day.
“In the last few years, Chile has emerged as a pole of innovation that is spoken about throughout the world,” director of Start-Up Chile Horacio Melo said. “This positioning would not have been possible without talented entrepreneurs, both Chilean and foreign that made Chile the center of their operations.”
Chile’s presence at SXSW concluded with “Sounds From Chile” on Tuesday evening at Friends bar. Musicians Caravana, Gepe, Fakuta, Diego Peralta, and Protistas reflected the Andean nation’s diverse soundscape.
“It brings us great happiness that Chile has been present at SXSW” Melo said. “Important players in international business have been able to connect with the entrepreneurs who represented Chile.”