Chilean entrepreneurs will soon have an opportunity to incubate their projects with one of the biggest forces in global technology today: Microsoft. The corporation announced plans to open a Microsoft Innovation Center, an incubator dedicated to early-stage ICT businesses, in Chile. The announcement was made by Microsoft CEO Jean Phillippe Courtois and Minister of Economy Félix de Vicente this week.
Microsoft will support entrepreneurs and projects by way of its networks, know-how, technologies, training capacity and investment links, helping to develop Chile’s growing technology and software industries. Courtois said that the hope is to have 2,000 companies participating in the program and accessing Microsoft’s BizSpark program. The expectation is for the center to impact 6,000 entrepreneurs over the next six years.
The Microsoft Innovation Center in Chile will join 15 other incubators that currently receive support from Corfo. Hernán Cheyre, Executive Vice-President of the entity, commented:
With the launch of this incubator, we are taking another step in strengthening ICT development in Chile, taking charge of the development of the software industry, which, at the same time, is a platform for new and innovative businesses. If we want to become a country of entrepreneurs, the addition of this incubator with Microsoft is without a doubt, a huge contribution.
It’s worth noting that Corfo’s support of the Micorosoft Innovation Center would not have been possible just a couple of years ago. In 2012, regulations changed to allow the government organization to fund incubators.
“In recent years and as part of the programs that have driven this government to convert Chile into a pole of innovation and entrepreneurship in Latin America, these types of initiatives have acquired a great amount of relevance,” Minister de Vicente reflected. “The creation of this incubator, in addition to the support of Corfo and the Ministry (of Economy), will allow us to strongly develop this industry, which is key in the country’s development process.”
There are over 100 Microsoft Innovation Centers worldwide, including Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico in Latin America.