São Paulo, Brazil, February 26, 2018
The World Economic Forum and the International Finance Corporation selected 50 outstanding start-ups from Latin America to be part of a special program during the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual regional meeting in Brazil. There they will have the opportunity to tap into a vast network of global investors, corporate leaders, and the region’s leading policymakers.
Their participation during the Forum will help explore how to strengthen technology-driven start-ups in Latin America and what steps can be taken to overcome some common obstacles faced by entrepreneurs in the region, such as securing funding and expanding across borders to scale up their businesses.
The companies were selected by IFC, WEF, and a committee of leading experts on the start-up ecosystem in Latin America based on factors that included revenue generation, funding sources, scalability and the strength of technology-driven entrepreneurship in their home countries. The selected start-ups will have a tailored program at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Latin America that will take place in São Paulo on March 13-15, 2018.
"Start-ups in Latin America and the Caribbean are using creative solutions to address not just local, but regional and global problems. Innovators selected in our first list are entrepreneurs with scalable problem-solving vision who require an adequate ecosystem to thrive. We have identified more than 50 individuals who are ready to reshape Latin America’s narrative through innovation and technology and look forward to welcoming them at this year’s Forum on Latin America.” said Marisol Argueta de Barillas, the World Economic Forum’s head Head of Regional Strategies - Latin America.
Start-ups are slated to play a critical role in helping Latin America’s private sector be more innovative. A recent study by the World Bank showed that companies in the region were 20 percent less likely to introduce a new product than in countries with similar incomes in Europe and Central Asia.
The purpose is to help accelerate the development of the region’s digital economy, promoting inclusiveness, access to better services, from retail to financial services, education, healthcare, and employment.
“Start-ups can play a critical role in promoting innovative solutions to some of Latin America and the Caribbean’s most pressing development challenges,” said Georgina Baker, IFC Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “In the last five years, IFC has invested more than $170 million to support the region and this initiative with the World Economic Forum is part of our efforts to step up our work with startups in Latin America and the Caribbean,” she said.
The entrepreneurs behind these start-ups will be able to meet the World Economic Forum’s members that could potentially partner with them in ventures in Latin America and will also spur a discussion about how policymakers and investors can help these companies thrive and deploy innovative, tech-driven solutions. This new initiative for Latin America from the World Economic Forum and IFC follows a similar effort launched in the Middle East and North Africa in 2017.
The selected firms will also join the Forum’s UpLink initiative, which consists of a dedicated network and digital platform where startups can interact with investors, global peers, multinationals, governments and universities.
Start-ups from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay were selected.
ASAAS GESTAO FINANCEIRA S.A. Brazil
Athon Energia Brazil
CERC CENTRAL DE RECEBIVEIS Brazil
Clinicas del Azucar Mexico
Digital House Argentina
EBES Sistemas de Energia Solar Brazil
Entrega Creativa (Chazki) Peru
Hola Edtech Mexico
Já Entendi Tecnologia Brazil
Kingo Energy Guatemala
Liv Up Brazil
Mandae Technologies Inc. Brazil
Myleus Análises Genéticas Brazil
Nagro Credito Agro Brazil
Pago Rural Uruguay
Pecuaria Sustentavel da Amazonia Brazil
Quero Educação Brazil
Quero Quitar Brazil
S4 Holdings Argentina
Stattus4 Cidades Inteligentes e Sustentabilidade Brazil
TecZelt - FazGame Brazil
The Biz Nation Colombia
Tienda Nube Argentina
Tienda Pago Mexico
Zolvers Inc Argentina
*WEF, IFC, and the Selection Committee decided to select a few additional startups in order to ensure a more diverse representation of countries and industries in Latin America, enrich the discussion during the program at WEF and foster a productive conversation about the startup ecosystem in the region.Of the selected startups, half of them were selected from countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and the other half were specifically from Brazil.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visitwww.ifc.org.
IFC’s Venture Capital (VC) group invests in sustainable technology-driven ventures that make an impact in emerging markets, while also realizing strong returns.:www.ifc.org/vc