The hallmark of any healthy economy is the presence of opportunities for enterprise and investment. As long as people know that their efforts, as long as they are appropriately directed and effective, will bear fruit, they will be willing to put in the time and effort required to succeed. The authorities of Medellin are well aware of this fact and have gone to great lengths to make the city an attractive business and investment destination.
As part of their efforts, they have partnered with local business entities and stakeholders to launch the ‘Ruta de Emprendimiento,’ or Entrepreneurship Route initiative that seeks to inspire, cultivate, and strengthen local entrepreneurs and companies.
The initiative, referred to as Ruta N by many, has set aside millions of dollars to boost the efforts of 912 entrepreneurs and business people in Medellin. These will include 80 enterprises in the cultural and creative fields, while 140 will be entities in need of seed capital to kick off their operations.
The Ruta N Business Development Process
Success in any enterprise requires careful and deliberate planning, which is why the organizers of the Ruta N fund have set up a step-by-step framework of business development designed to give successful applicants the best chances of success. At each phase of a business’s project, the Innovation Laboratory of Ruta N will accompany the enterprise. These phases include:
- The Ideation Phase: Here, proposals will be accepted and considered with minor suggestions offered to promising ideas
- The Pre-Incubation Phase: After an initial selection of viable projects, the Ruta N Laboratory will start offering expert accompaniment to the entrepreneurs
- The Incubation Phase: This will involve experts overseeing groups of promising projects
- The Acceleration Phase: Here, businesses that show signs of continued success and potential will receive focused attention from specialized entities in their field
- The Consolidation Phase: Services here will be assigned by means of special vouchers, to ensure that the enterprise is running well enough to stand on its own
The funds are geared more towards technologically-forward projects as opposed to others as part of Medellin’s vision of becoming the Silicon Valley of South America. Because of this, you can expect your application to be viewed more positively if it falls along these lines.
What You Need to Participate
According to the Secretary of Economic Development of Medellin, Alejandro Arias, more than 1.500 budding ventures have been helped by the Ruta N initiative so far. The goal is to bring in many more as the years go by and to make Medellin an entrepreneurial, creative, and innovative city at the heart of Colombia’s economic renaissance.
To successfully apply to the Ruta N Initiative, you will need to be of legal age, a resident of Medellin, and have the infrastructure you need to launch your enterprise. You will also need to show that you have the relevant technical skill and background to bring value to your proposal and know how to implement it. In short, you’ll need to prove that you have a worthy concept and the vision, skill, and will to see it through.