sc0p3 writes: "Chile is trying to copy the success of Silicon Valley in fostering innovation by bringing in foreign entrepreneurs and providing grants and networks to kick start their technology companies. What are the key components to a successful tech-community culture where so many communities like this have failed? What recommendations would you have to a programmer aspiring to get funding?"
sc0p3 writes: "As a long time slashdot reader I thought I would submit a story about a non-profit organisation I started a few years ago, ASTRO. I need Slashdot's help to make it happen or it will die.
ASTRO is a global network of people dedicated to making a positive difference in the world. Because we're not all able to go to Africa, it allows you to help simply be being employed by ASTRO in your field of expertise. The excess profits would then be cycled into non-profit ventures, such as curing cancer, saving the rain forest or promoting democracy, peace, sustainability, human rights and freedom.
We had a successful pilot project installing water systems in outlying Vanuatu villages, as well as many commerical development contracts. It is a demonstration of engineers who normally work in a cube, can contribute to saving the world. But it took a long time to get to that point, and ASTRO really needs external support + mentoring to get set up. However, because it's hardly a conventional business model, it is extremely difficult.
Before I close it forever, I thought I'd get slashdot's opinion and potential networking for funding. If anyone has direct, immediate funding + mentoring + ideas then I'll keep it open and try to make it happen. Please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org."