Entrustet Settling into Startup Chile

Capital Entrepreneurs member company Entrustet moved to Santiago, Chile for 6 months for Startup Chile.  Jesse and Nathan have been in Chile for almost two weeks now and have started to settle in.  Here’s a summary of their blog posts and press coverage since they’ve moved to Chile.

Wisconsin IT Startup Relocates to Chile, Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week

This week is global entrepreneurship week and Chile is celebrating. The Chilean Government wants to be the startup and innovation hub of South America and believes that it needs to inspire Chileans to take risks and start businesses. We attended an event in front of La Moneda yesterday called Chilean Entrepreneurship Day, which featured successful Chilean entrepreneurs, government officials and many Chilean students. It’s great to see a government that’s getting behind entrepreneurship and innovation and actually doing something. All governments say they want to foster innovation, but Chile is actually doing it. We’ll keep you updated on the Chilean startup scene, Start-Up Chile and other interesting things we find from Chile in our series here on WTN.

First Impressions from Santiago

Eastern Santiago very developed and clearly first world.  If it weren’t for everyone speaking Spanish, I could be in any other mid to large city in the US or Europe.  The center, where our office is located, is a little older and really busy, but still nice.  There’s people everywhere during the day.  It’s filled with shops, restaurants and businesses.  We’re not sure what it’s like at night, but people have told us it can get rough downtown.  There’s got to be at least 6-7 universities headlined by Universidad Católica and Universidad de Chile, so there’s lots of young people seemingly everywhere.

Digital Firm takes Chilean Detour

Now the two Madison entrepreneurs are on their way to Santiago, Chile, where they will spend six months running their two-year-old digital estate planning services company. Entrustet, which operates in the emerging “digital afterlife” industry, is among 25 companies from around the world that are receiving a $40,000 grant and free office space in Santiago in exchange for temporarily locating their business there.

“We think entrepreneurship and starting your own business is an adventure in itself, so why not keep the adventure going and go somewhere else?” said Lustig, 25.

Punishing Failure and the Ramifications on Entrepreneurship

On just the first day here in Santiago, Chile, I had a very interesting conversation with a thoughtful Chilean businessman about the cultural difference between the U.S. and Chile regarding the punishment of failure. He explained to me that the biggest impediment for entrepreneurs in Chile is the fact that Chilean culture harshly punishes failure in general. All the other Chileans in the room concurred.

As I spoke more with this Chilean businessman, it became truly apparent how debilitating it would be for entrepreneurs to grow up in a society that punishes failure. And it makes perfect sense, right? I mean, If I had my family and friends looking over my shoulder constantly and warning me not to fail, I would never have started Entrustet. I would never even have set up the food stand outside the Newton Little League field when I was fifteen.