Bicycling Through and Creating New Business Ideas in Santiago
We are finding that Chile is a welcoming business environment for the entreprenurial spirit. An expat from the U.S., Peter Murphy introduced us to his business venture here, La Bicicleta Verde, the Green Bicycles. After detailing the successes and challenges of starting and growing his business in Santiago and Valparaiso, he led us on a 8.5 mile sunset bike ride along paths and through neighborhoods. Along the route he stopped to point out historical and cultural highlights. Below is a photo of our group along the beautiful bike path next to a sculpture of bicyclists as the sun is sets over this bicycle-friendly city.
Further proof of the entrepreneurial support came later in the week when we visited Start-Up Chile. This is a government-sponsored program that gives work visas, tech support and a $40,000 grant to teams developing new business ideas and prototypes. Grants are competitive with several rounds of awards each year. The next deadline is in March when a group of judges chooses the best prospects. The projects need not be related to Chile and one current winner detailed for us his idea to power technology devices, such as tablets and projectors, in educational institutions in poor areas of India with recycled automobile batteries. Check out the website and consider an application.
Since we do not have many days left in this warm and sunny environment, we are making the most of each one. In my next blog I will detail our day in the Andes. Meanwhile, the following is a picture related to my last entry — our visit to Caterpillar and their dealer Finning.