Being in Chile at this moment, as an entrepreneur taking part in the Startup Chile program [in which the government granted us with $40K and plenty of support to grow our company from Chile, thus creating jobs and innovation for the country..], I wanted to share my view of today’s demonstrations here.
Today we witnessed one of the biggest students demonstrations in recent years. We were advised by Startup Chile staff about the situation, so most of the entrepreneurs worked from home. I worked from a Starbucks downtown (still don’t have Internet at my place!! #$%!) and after that I walked to a fellow Startup Chile entrepreneur’s place, witnessing first-hand the demonstrators and police in the street.
I’m writing this because I just saw a post on the popular entrepreneurship blog Launch, reporting on the situation and its impact on the Startup Chile entrepreneurs, in a certain tendencious way. I didn’t like it. Being originally from Argentina myself, and having lived in several countries (Spain, France and the US) I know how these kind of sensationalist headlines create distorted perceptions of a country and the actual situation there.
Sincerely, I’m not that informed about the issues that are being discussed in the country regarding their education system that are causing the protests, so I haven’t formed an opinion about the situation. However, I do think that people’s demonstrations should always be envisioned as a healthy democratic exercise. Especially in countries that have experienced authoritarian dictatorships in the past century, in which people weren’t allowed to express their opinions publicly.
So I wanted to send a message to all my entrepreneur friends applying to the Startup Chile program: there is nothing to worry about! Chile is an amazing and safe country, fun, beautiful and a great place to do business. In any democracy and dynamic social system, there are issues that the society discusses, and street demonstrations are part of these social dynamics. So, move your ass and complete your application for the program, because there isn’t enough place for everybody!! ;)