"it's just that the government isn't in the business of throwing money away"
In all seriousness, this is why they shouldn't be investing in startups. Early stage investing is all about "throwing away" a bunch of money and (hopefully) making even more back when a subset of your portfolio wins big. If you're micromanaging each dollar/transaction, then you're really, really doing it wrong.
You do realize that VC funds try to invest in startups that have that 1/10 chance of being a massive success. They don't wilfully throw their money at 9 crappy businesses that they don't think will succeed and really just hope for the 1 they think will do ok. It's simply a reality that you can't have 10/10 startups all succeed so they accept the odds.
Saying investing in startups is all about "throwing away" a bunch of money isn't at all accurate.
The government of Chile isn't looking for a cash return on their investment, they're interested in the long term effects of having globally oriented entrepreneurs in the country interacting with future local entrepreneurs.