Chilean Startup Scene Does Environmental, Social Good
Innovative technology in the South American country pulls clean water from the air, delivers low-cost automated wheelchair.
For innovators in Chile, challenges represent opportunities. That’s what Bloomberg TV’s Hello World host, journalist and author Ashlee Vance found on his two-week journey to the South American country.
Take Hector Pino, founder of FreshWater. Faced with a lack of clean drinking water due to environmental factors and a daughter with a kidney condition, Pino researched military technology used on submarines and devised his own system for pulling water from the air to generate clean drinking water.
The device, designed for commercial use and priced at about $1,600, is able to pull the humidity the air in the surrounding areas, filter it and deliver a fresh glass of clean water. Pino hopes to lower the price as well as harness the technology in a smaller form factor, such as a backpack. His entire family uses it at home, and he knows it can deliver the water needed for healthy living for many.
These inventions are just two of the results of the Idea Factory, or IF, a startup incubator in Santiago, Chile, designed to help ideas of this nature flourish. Created by a wealthy investor, the goal of the technology incubator is to support and “nurture tech startups with a social bent,” according to Vance.