Chilean Startup Program UC Mentor Network Closes with 99 Applications

By April 24, 2018

Chile’s UC Anacleto Angelini Innovation Center launched its first version of the UC Mentor Network, a startup initiative. Aiming to develop startups with high potential for scalability and internationalization, the startup support program closed its first call with ninety-nine applications.

The initiative offers five mentorships with an assigned expert, an induction session, networking events, and three specific workshops, during a period of five months. During the process, the companies can grow profitably, rapidly, and sustainably over time.

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Alex Parnas, director of entrepreneurship at the UC Innovation Center, was quoted by, “We are very pleased with the variety of projects that applied for the first call of the UC Mentors Network. They all have an innovation component that allows them not only to grow quickly but also to scale to international markets. The support of a mentor at this stage is crucial because a mentor knows the way and has done it before, decreasing the margin of error and increasing the likelihood of success.”

The initiative is part of the UC Innovation Center’s aim to connect in order to generate a positive relationship between entrepreneurs with mutual benefits and rewards for an effective business.

The program includes ventures such as Observatorio del Juego, which uses games as an effective means of motivating students to actively take part in learning. There is also Muelle Digital, which is a marketing agency formed to promote communications between companies and startups. Also, IQ Build is a web platform to control construction projects, by keeping tabs on personnel, costs, and production, and Majen, a beauty products company that uses essential oils and natural ingredients.

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In the area of payment methods, Fastbilling is a billing system for electricity services on a web platform. This innovation will reduce the length of the process from six days to thirty seconds. In addition to this, there’s also Pago Fácil, a platform for digital entrepreneurship of payment systems.

Startups contributing to the environment are Green Glass, an initiative that plans to reuse existing bottles to create new glass and Mi vaso, which aims to deliver bio-sustainable solutions by leasing reusable glass.

For drinking water solutions, FreshWater Solutions is an electrical system that has come up with a process that allows production of water from the vapor available in the air, which can then be filtered, purified, and sterilized. The system generates between 9 and 30 liters of drinking water in a day and was the winner of the National Innovation Award.

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Also, Chile-based AWaK 8.5pH is a premium drinking water provider, which produces alkaline water that hydrates up to six times more than normal drinking water, regulates PH levels in the body, and prevents diseases.

Startups in the farming sector include Easyplant, a company that provides mechanized fruit tree planting services, and Quillagua, a social startup that seeks to promote rural trade through a model of collaborative and sustainable agricultural production.

The food industry startups include Fishextend, which has come up with an edible film that helps extend the shelf life of salmon fillets up to 26 days. Snacks Kisa are trying to preserve fruit varieties that are the natural heritage of Chile, making healthy snacks out of them. Their work is motivational for small fruit growers as well. At the same time, Bocali Desarrollos SpA produces quinoa-based food without preservatives or chemicals, that lasts a year without refrigeration. In addition, Yahgan is a sustainable food startup that uses fresh and natural ingredients for its preparations as well as traditional preservation methods that extend shelf life, and Green Equitable is a franchise of sustainable restaurants.

In healthtech, while 3D prot helps design prosthetic limbs with the help of high-quality 3D printing technology, Hubbimed is a device that monitors a baby’s heartbeat during pregnancy.

Startups in robotics and AI, such as Arkytas Robotics, develops robotic applications and electronic designs for the mining, defense, and other industries. Cognivit develops AI that uses simple conversation by text or voice to sell a product or understanding and solving queries.

According to Ministry of Economy reports, 70% of companies with a mentor survive twice as long, compared to those without a mentor. With this idea, the program hopes to develop startups by providing them with the required guidance.