A recent report from Education First (EF) ranks the level of English spoken across 60 countries worldwide; in short, things don’t look good for Latin America, which is the worst-performing region worldwide in terms of proficiency. Of the 16 countries EF has designated to have a “Very Low Level” of English, an equal percentage (44%) were divided between Latin America (including Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala) and the Middle East. Five Latin American countries (Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Uruguay) obtained a slightly higher distinction as having a “Low Level” of English. The only Latin American country that obtained a “Medium Level” of English proficiency within the report was Argentina. The report concludes: “A poor level of English is still one of the most important competitive weaknesses in Latin America.”
Luckily, there are a couple of entrepreneurs that are making strides in turning this all around.
Editors’ Note: This press release comes courtesy of Start-Up Chile. The Chilean program re-initiates its search for bootstrappers who will receive equity-free seed capital of USD$40,000 and a 1-year work visa to launch their startup in Chile.
SANTIAGO, Chile, June 10th— Start-Up Chile announces the opening of its 8th round of applications seeking to select, fund, and host up to 100 startup companies in Chile, giving them access to a global network for those determined to make their projects global. Since the program´s opening on 2010, more than 670 startups coming from 50 different countries have participated in Start-Up Chile.
Save the date: On April 13th and 14th, the best developers, designers, entrepreneurs and students based in Chile will compete to win the Santiago Hackathon.
With 150 competitors, the Santiago Hackathon is one of the biggest tech events hosted in Santiago this year. The participants will have 24 hours to create incredible products and have the chance to work with Chilean and foreign entrepreneurs from all over the world alike.
It will be about 24 hours of working and the challenge isn’t easy; the ‘hustlers’ will work all night long, heads will be spinning and in the end everybody will be dead tired, but hopefully happy with their final product.
Yesterday Pinterest acquired Livestar (a company that launched at TC Disrupt SF 2012, where AndesBeat organized the first ever Chilean Pavilion at the conference); Google released Keep (as a way to get into Evernote space, seems so), expanded its Google+ Platform Team, improved it’s Sports-Related Search Results and made Digg.com links disappear from Google’s search results. Plus yesterday also was the International Color and Happiness Day! What a day, huh?
But you know what? At the end of the day, that news wasn’t relevant at all in Chile’s start up world, because everyone’s attention was on Start-Up Chile Demo Day VIP and what could happen inside of Av. Providencia #229, Santiago, where 21 companies had the chance to flirt with investors for a few minutes to bring some funds and hit their next milestones.
If you weren’t invited to the event, no worries because I wasn’t invited either! Continue reading →
Sitting in the auditorium of the Carnegie Library (Historical Society of DC) in my hometown of Washington, DC I could not believe my eyes when I saw Founder Institute alumni, Pablo Ambram from the multi Award Winning Agent Piggy pitching at Distilled Intelligence 2.0 (probably he was surprised to see me outside of Chile too, haha). And as it turns out it was not just him who had traveled from Chile ‘The End of the World’ South America – 6 other startups had made the trip as well. They were each competing against 99 other teams for seed capital + 6 months mentorship at The Fort Accelerator in Washington, DC.
And for good reason, according to Fortify.VC co-founder Jonathon Perelli, last year’s inaugural teams from DI 1.0, 9 in all, have raised US $30 million and created 200+ jobs. This year, from preliminary numbers they are anticipating DI 2.0 teams to achieve at least double the success.
It’s kind of like the Olympics, a fraction of a point is the difference between whether you win or lose.
– Pablo Ambram, Agent Piggy, after hearing he had just missed advancing to the finals