VelocityTX Turns to Chile to Bolster San Antonio’s Startup Scene

San Antonio—Four new businesses from Chile will be opening up shop in San Antonio in late 2018, joining a program run by the emerging technology startup center, VelocityTX.

VelocityTX, a resource center for entrepreneurs and startups that’s also trying to attract more businesses to San Antonio, is planning to bring four companies from a group of 10 that graduated last week from an institution called Austral Incuba, an incubator run by Universidad Austral de Chile, a university in Valdivia, Chile. Velocity TX and Austral Incuba decided last year to partner on a program they call 6+3, where graduates of the incubator spend six months in Chile preparing to enter the U.S. market and three months in San Antonio trying to establish their businesses in the U.S.

VelocityTX hasn’t yet decided which of the 10 new Austral Incuba graduates it will pick to come to San Antonio, though the group hopes to have them selected around May, according to spokeswoman Jenness Gough. Those that are selected should be in the U.S. by the third quarter of 2018, if not sooner, Gough says. VelocityTX has indicators and interview questions it plans to use to help it select the startups, such as companies that have growth potential, have already received investments, or have established revenue.

The companies will get grants to come to the U.S., though VelocityTX declined to disclose how much the grants pay or who is providing them. The organization, which was established as a nonprofit by the Texas Research & Technology Foundation (TRTF), will provide office space and work with the founders on housing assistance. VelocityTX has a similar program with Brazilian startup group called Outsource Brazil.

The companies that graduated the incubator include a sheep’s milk ice cream producer named 8 Reinas (Queens, in English); a business that aims to connect entrepreneurs and investors called Broota; and multiple biotech companies, such as drug developer InnoBioscience and diagnostic maker Pathovet. (That’s all according to a press release from Austral Incuba, which was translated by Google Translate, of course.)

While there’s no promise that the businesses will succeed in finding a permanent place in the U.S., VelocityTX believes it has done enough research and validation to limit failures, Gough says.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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