Silicon Valley, the famous technological mecca since the 1980s, has become one of the most relevant technological clusters in the world. This area from the south of San Francisco Bay is home to successful companies such as Google, HP, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Therefore, for countries like Colombia, this place becomes an inspiration and achievable source in terms of innovation and regional development. A technology hub to concrete businesses.
For the Latin American region, having a technology hub as the main headquarters for future successful ventures has led countries to start a race against the clock to become the next Latin American Silicon Valley. So countries like Colombia, since 2014 have invested major amounts of monetary resources to promote development and technological innovation within the nation.
Carried out, considering the governmental purposes that the nation has to establish itself as a technological power. Mainly, under the orange economy as a development model for economic and social transformation.
Colombia hoping to be ‘Latin America’s Silicon Valley’, president Iván Duque tells Euronews.
From the development sphere, Colombia reduced tax rates to attract foreign investment. A 0 income tax policy was created. Held for startups with the condition of a minimum amount of investment and jobs created in the first seven years.
Likewise, an entrepreneurship law was established. Made to cover five fundamental axes that will encourage the creation; consolidation; and sustainability of micro, small and medium-sized companies to increase social welfare and generate equity. As a consequence, facilitating the processes for those who want to create a company.
Four pillars that will lead Colombia to become the next Latin American Silicon Valley as a Technology Hub
1. Educational investment
In educational matters, the ICT ministry under the leadership of Karen Abudinen has been launching several projects. One of them is Digital Talent. Where “Programming for boys and girls” have enabled 500,000 children to be trained in computational thinking, through the preparation of 8,500 public school teachers. Besides, the education of 50,000 young people in the last year of school interested in learning to program started. Additionally, continuous efforts and results have been visible with more than 7,000 Colombians trained in the fourth industrial revolution.
2. The link between company and university.
Colombia not only commits to technological education with programs such as Computers to Educate, Connected Homes, and the 10k Project of Digital Centers; but also to boost entrepreneurship after acquiring knowledge. With these programs, it has been possible to impact more than 300,000 homes. Provide 160,000 chips with internet connection for students in 9th,10th, and 11th grade. But at the same time, 14,453 rural schools have and will benefit from free internet connection from now until 2030.
The country is clear that the foundation of a person is knowledge. However, exploiting it makes us one of the most qualified Latin American countries. Investing in the formation of networks of young entrepreneurs and businessmen with the help of iNNpulsa and the Presidential Council for Youth- Colombia Joven; through two initiatives: CEmprende Junior and the Young Entrepreneurs Network in alliance with Fenalco.
3. Development and Innovation
CEmprende Junior is a program created to support the development and innovation within the country. A pilot program of virtual training in entrepreneurship. It seeks to reach 1,000 young people in two groups differentiated by age ranges: young adolescents (between 14 and 17 years old); and young people (between 18 and 21 years old), in addition to 100 teachers in the country. Among the purposes of the initiative are to prepare young people to be successful and generate socio-economic development in the country. And, in this way, contribute to the reduction of unemployment and the number of NEETs in Colombia.
Between 2019 and 2020, resources exceeding USD 536 million were invested from the Science, Technology, and Innovation Fund. From where 437 projects were approved to promote development in the country and to impact different sectors.
4. Interconnectivity to become a technology hub
Investments of more than US $ 1,200 million have been made to connect the 1 and 2 status, besides the rural areas of the country. Furthermore, parks malls, streets, and health centers along Colombia are setting up for internet connection every minute. Therefore, the private industry in the next five years will invest more than USD 7 million to maintain the connectivity margins so far.
“With the Wave of the connectivity program, we have made progress in these 18 months, increasing by five million Colombians connected to broadband Internet of more than 10 megabytes, thus achieving a historic growth ”.(Mantilla,2020)
To sum up, Colombia is currently striving to be the next Silicon Valley in Latin America and we are sure that in the next few years it will reach the goal to establish itself as a technology hub. But what do you think, do you agree?