When it comes to governmental startup initiatives, Startup Chile has many lessons to teach and learn from. The concept of importing entrepreneurs rather than just businesses, is a proven method of fostering economic growth and innovation.
Startup Chile as a key talent importer
In countries where most investments rely on human resources to create greater value rather than extracting earth minerals and resources for high revenue stream, a foundation of high level economic growth will be created for years to come. The Startup Chile initiative is a great example of importing entrepreneurs to boost internal growth industries and innovation. Back in 2010, the Startup Chile initiative kicked off by providing Startup Visa and millions of dollar of funding to selected entrepreneurs and their business plans to establish their business in Chile. The Chilean government realized a key element of economical growth: Talent!
Entrepreneurs with proven business concepts get selected for the program. The Chilean government provides these entrepreneurs with a 6 month program to visit Chile and offers $40K, high end office space with full facilitation, mentors, massive international network and potential investors. The aim of this initiative was to make Chile the destination for entrepreneurs to establish their startups, and for them to choose Chile as their permanent residence. Today there are teams from 5 continents working in Chile and building their world class startups targeting the international market. This has helped local Chilean entrepreneurs and has attracted many investors to this location of the world. The Chilean government has made a great long term investment that is already paying off as we are talking. There has been startups from more than 70 countries that attended the program and have raised millions of dollars in investments, and several of them had successful exists already.
The US has always been the main destination for entrepreneurs, However the country doesn’t have a startup visa to ease the flow of entrepreneurs entering the country. Many give up on the way of getting the visa. Countries like Chile enter this competition by providing a stress free way for entrepreneurs to enter their country and focus on their startups. Startup Chile has set great examples all over the world. Many European countries have also initiated their startup visa program with more following.
Governmental startup initiatives are tailored to the country’s need
Other countries like India also have similar governmental startup initiatives. Recently announced Startup India initiative is also another great example of governmental support. The goal of these initiatives are tailored to the country’s needs. Comparing India and Chile, India has a large talent pool and great amount of financial and human capital to harness the countries startup scene. Though they also provide convincing programs for startups and entrepreneurs to work in India, the main objective is to boost Indian entrepreneurs.
What about Iran?
How can the Iranian government boost the Iranian startup scene, boost its economy and bring more innovation to the basket?! like India, Iran also has a large and educated talent pool that needs investing. Looking at the facts and figures, Iran has the best condition in terms of education and youth population in the region. The government can lower the brain drain rate (one of the highest in the world) by giving Iranian entrepreneurs and talents reasons to stay. In the past years the Iranian government is paying good attention to the local entrepreneurship scene and has realized its great importance for the country’s development and economical growth.
Iran also has another magic card in its hands: The Iranian Diaspora. Persians in the United States are well known in many industries including technology and investment. There are more than 3 million Iranian expats living outside of Iran which among them are entrepreneurs, business leaders, well known investors and engineers.
By looking at successful examples of importing talent, the Iranian government can also take similar steps focusing on the Iranian diaspora. The key advantage Iran holds is that targeting the Iranians outside of Iran alone is enough to make Iran the regional startup hub and perhaps someday a destination for startups and investors globally. An initiative like Startup Chile that would bring Iranian diaspora active in the startup scene to their home country of Iran, could boost a great amount of economical growth for the country and would also train and mentor the next generation of Iranian entrepreneurs. We can say the Iranian diaspora is Iran’s golden asset. Many of the Iranians outside of the country are looking for a reason to move back to their mother country and start their own businesses.
A governmental startup initiative like Startup Chile and Startup India could be an answer to this riddle.