Guide to the Startup Chile Accelerator: Startup Visa for 2 Years and Grants Up to 100K USD

The Startup Chile accelerator is accepting applications for its new program cohort from November 2nd to November 28th. Projects from any industry and founders from any country are eligible to apply. Upon successful selection, participants can look forward to a two-year work visa for Chile, a free incubation program, and a grant ranging from $15,000 to $100,000 USD provided by the Chilean government. Startup Chile presents an opportunity to enter the Latin American market while enjoying European comforts and gaining valuable experience before approaching top North American investors and accelerators. In this article, we delve into the application requirements and peculiarities.

What Participation in the Startup Chile Program Offers?

Startup Visa

For startup founders from other countries, a two-year work visa is granted, with all bureaucratic concerns handled by the hosting organization. Your only responsibilities are ensuring that your passport is valid for at least 24 months and obtaining a police clearance certificate from your home country.

Equity-Free Funding

A crucial aspect for startups in their earliest stages. Fundraising when you’re just beginning product development is always challenging, and relinquishing a significant share of your company for minimal funding is a common issue. In Startup Chile, you essentially receive a grant from the government. Funding amounts ranging from $15,000 to $100,000 USD are suitable for propelling your project from ground zero through the early stages of development and growing towards attracting next-level investments.


An energetic and intense program where mentors and experts provide knowledge and skills in product and business development, train presentation skills, and actively guide you towards success. The incentive to perform is present; startups displaying growth during the program may receive additional funding.


With partners ranging from Microsoft to Walmart, Startup Chile offers a valuable networking opportunity. The program facilitates communication between startups and potential partners across various sectors: investors, corporations, government, and universities.


Last but not least, access to office space in a co-working environment in Santiago.

Requirements for Startups

Industries: All.
Growth Stage: From a business-idea to $1 million in sales.

While there are no rigid formal criteria, startups should align with four fundamental characteristics and be able to confidently demonstrate them.

1. Technological Aspect
Startup Chile accepts projects from any industry, but the product must have a technological foundation.

2. Innovation
The product should stand out from existing offerings in the market and embody an innovative component.

3. Scalability
Chile is interested in projects with the potential for global scalability, primarily focusing on Latin America initially and expanding to the rest of the world. To achieve this, the product must have a sizable market and incorporate mechanisms for rapidly acquiring new customers.

4. Impact
A positive “Impact” beyond commercial potential. In addition to understanding the commercial prospects, you must articulate how your product will contribute to making the world a better place.

Founder Requirements

Доля в стартапе: от 10%.
Возраст: от 18 лет.
Equity Stake in the Startup: Minimum 10%.
Age: From 18 years and above.

The project leader must be fully dedicated, working exclusively on the startup from the program’s initiation. The program’s leader must be present in Chile throughout the program. There may be some flexibility in this requirement for other team members.

Requirements for Obtaining a Work Visa
- Passport validity must extend at least 24 months beyond the program start date.
- A properly legalized (with an apostille) certificate of no criminal record from the country of permanent residency or citizenship.

Foreign (non-Chilean) applicants can apply only as individuals. Funding is transferred to either the individual or a Chilean company. If the startup is already registered as a company in another country, the applicant receives funding as an individual.

Types of Accelerator Programs for Startups at Different Stages


Stage: From a validated idea to an early-stage prototype.
Funding: From $12,000 to $18,000 USD.
Program Duration: 4 months.
Projected Number of Startups in Cohort: 40–50.
Successful completion may lead to automatic enrollment in the next-level program — IGNITE.
Bonus: Startup Chile actively promotes gender equality, so strictly 50% of selected startup leaders must be women.


Stage: MVP (Minimum Viable Product), early validation, less than three years since inception.
Funding: From $30,000 to $60,000 USD.
Program Duration: 4–6 months.
Projected Number of Startups in Cohort: 30–40.
Successful completion may lead to automatic enrollment in the next-level program — GROWTH.
Bonus: Startup Chile actively supports the advancement of women in business, so startups led by women may receive up to 90% co-financing.


Stage: Operational companies with revenue from $100,000 to $1 million, aiming to scale their business using Chile as a platform.
Funding: Up to $100,000 USD.
Program Duration: 8–12 months.
Projected Number of Startups in Cohort: 15–20.
Bonus: Similar to the IGNITE program, women founders may receive a higher percentage of co-financing.

If you are unsure which program aligns with your startup, you can apply to multiple programs. In such cases, if the committee finds interest in your project, they will determine the most suitable program for your startup.

How to Apply to the Startup Chile Program?

To apply, register on the portal through the provided link, select the program, and complete the application form.

The application process for the accelerator is extensive, requiring detailed information about the applicants and their product, from personal details to a short video pitch of the project. Therefore, it is advisable to start the application as soon as possible to allow time for refining necessary documents and tailoring your startup materials to meet the specific requirements of the organization.

Basic Information

You can choose to fill out the application in either Spanish or English. Startup Chile caters to an international audience, so communication in English poses no issues.
Among other standard contact details, you’ll need to provide your passport number with a validity of at least 2 more years.

General Startup Information

This section contains essential information about the project. You must concisely and attractively describe your product.

- A 7-word concept
- Brief description for publications
- A 90-second video pitch — crucial for showcasing your team’s ability to articulate key information about the startup clearly and coherently.

Product Category:
You’ll need to choose the industry, product type, business model, and the current stage of your startup.

Sustainable Development Goals:
Chile recognizes the UN Sustainable Development Goals and aims to contribute to their achievement. Impact is a requirement for startups. To convince the committee of your project’s positive impact on the world, you need to align your project with at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals. If you’re just now considering the beneficial effects of your project, don’t worry. Solid impact can be found and implemented in any project. Here is the link to the UN website for more information.

Detailed Startup Information

This section comprises extensive text fields for a structured description of all aspects of the project, aligned with a classic pitch deck.
- Problem and its significance
- Product and its problem-solving approach
- Technology of the product and its scalability
- Intellectual property
- Detailed revenue generation model
- Target market and its size
- Project track record and achievements
- Current startup economic metrics
- Competitors and your competitive advantage
- Aspects of the project that are still uncertain and require further development.

Plans for Chile

In this section, elaborate on why developing your project in Chile is beneficial, whether you plan to establish a legal entity there, and how you intend to finance the associated costs. Applicants are expected to express a thoughtful approach to the program, outlining goals to be achieved by the end and the actions leading to them.

Team Participants’ CVs

This section has numerous fields. It’s essential to present the leader, founders, and other team members effectively, demonstrating how their experience will be utilized in their respective roles within the company. Don’t forget to showcase achievements and use the STAR methodology in your presentation.


Include recommendation letters from individuals associated with the project, providing contacts and even links to LinkedIn profiles. A well-developed LinkedIn account for your referee enhances the credibility of the recommendation.

Accelerator Program Timeline for 2024

Application Period: November 2–28, 2023
Results Announcement: Late January 2024
Program Commencement: March 2024
If you are planning to apply for a startup visa and need assistance with both the application process and preliminary market analysis, strategy development, and financial modeling, feel free to reach out to me. I will prepare the necessary documents for your business and assist you in submitting a well-prepared application.