I think it’s safe to say Startup Chile is the most established and successful international incubator out there — at least from what I’ve heard. As I’ve said before, it’s a brilliant strategy by the government. Pay entrepreneurs to come live in your country for 6 months, have them teach the local population what it takes to build successful companies, be part of the “story” of 100 companies every 6 months, and as a result have hundreds (thousands eventually) of well connected entrepreneurs traveling the globe who tell all their friends about Chile. It’s a proven fact that non profits’ best donors are the people that come visit because they form an emotional bond to the organization — and countries are no different. A countries most passionate advocates are going to be those who have spent a considerable amount of time as a resident. If you live in a country for 6 months (length of Startup Chile), you’re going to develop an emotional bond toward the country — I’ve spoken to about 8 or 10 entrepreneurs who have gone through Startup Chile and they all rave about Chile, so the government has succeeded on that front.
Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if 3-5 countries launched their own government-funded programs in the next 3 years. It wouldn’t surprise me if Indonesia was in that list — with Startup City Bali as the catalyst. Or Kenya with the iHub. Or Ghana with Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. Or Israel. Or India.
Incubators are certainly not going away. I’d say we’re going to see this scene explode in the next few years, as countries and cities jump in on the quest for the best entrepreneurial & engineering talent all around the globe.