Building International Social Capital at the Startup Chile Accelerator
19 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2013 Last revised: 19 Jul 2014
Date Written: September 21, 2013
Startup Chile (SUP), a business accelerator launched with much international fanfare by the Chilean government in 2010, is seen as a key reason that Santiago is now ranked among the world’s top startup cities. One of SUP’s primary goals is to link Chile’s innovation ecosystem to the world and to influence the culture of local business through contact with world-class international entrepreneurs. In this paper, we use one lens to examine its success at achieving these aims.
For this preliminary work, we conducted field interviews with SUP entrepreneurs and staff. Specifically we conducted one or more interviews with thirteen SUP firms from across the 2010-2013 generations. We introduce our framework for analysis, which we label “the Cherimoya graph.” Our focus in data collection is on three link categories: 1) connections between foreign and Chilean entrepreneurs (where both were accepted to SUP); 2) connections between SUP entrepreneurs and the broader Chilean ecosystem (and by implication the transfer of social ties to the larger Chilean business community); and 3) connections between Chilean entrepreneurs within SUP and foreigners outside of SUP. We found that SUP has created numerous structures to foster networks and that some are succeeding. However, network creation was uneven and most noticeably, the Chilean and foreign SUP entrepreneurs did not forge as many links as expected. Additional research with additional interviews and social network analysis methods will follow shortly.
Keywords: Chile, Startup Chile, entrepreneurship, accelerator, incubation, innovation policy, social network, social capital, clusters
JEL Classification: M13, O18, O20, O31, O54, F43, L5, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation