Toronto has become one of the main world hubs for startups, especially in such fields as fintech, tech, cleantech andbiotech. The capital of Ontario is no longer a promise; it is a powerful magnet for entrepreneur from every corner of the earth, who find in this city a greatly dynamic business environment, a vigorous ecosystem for startups, the strong presence of investors, great talent, prestigious universities with research programs and a cosmopolitan and diverse atmosphere that contribute to the exchange of knowledge and professional experiences. This favorable enterprising environment has also caught the eye of Latin America, a region that has traditionally set its aim on the United States when it comes to making business. Although the numbers aren’t high yet, many Latin American entrepreneurs have moved to Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal or Waterloo in an effort to develop their projects by making the most of the numerous accelerators based in the territory, as well as the investing power and social, political and economic stability offered by the country, an obvious contrast with its southern neighbor. These are four examples of startups with Latin American mark that have chosen Toronto to go deep into the U.S. market.
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Mexican entrepreneurs Mauricio Meza and Jorge Silva created Komodo startup back in 2010, in Toronto, and they have developed Tecla, a technology that helps people who suffer from motor disability to easily gain access to mobile computers and devices. Their work with DMZ, the incubator of Ryerson University, has allowed them to establish a solid network of relations within Toronto’s startup ecosystem and sustainably grow. Mauricio Meza thinks that Toronto is the perfect city to develop a startup: “Canada and Toronto, specifically, are very close to the United States and that’s a great advantage. The fact that the United States don’t see Canada as a different market, but as part of itself, has significantly helped us.”
Vetelia was founded in Guanajuato, in 2013, by Emilio Sosa and Juan Pablo Garcia in order to develop the “hibridus” electric bicycle, a bike-motorcycle made with a 100 percent Mexican material and engineering. They have revolutionized the sector and unstoppably grown. This startup is described as one of the fifteen companies with the highest impact throughout the country, according to Unreasonable México, an important business institute from the United States, which calls entrepreneurs from all continents to tackle daily problems with innovative proposals. Vetelia moved to Canada last year to materialize its goal: the production of a purely Mexican electric automobile with positive impact on the environment.
LegalBox is a Brazilian startup founded in 2013 in Sao Paulo to help lawyers organize their work in an efficient and simple way. Co-founded by Rafael Miranda and Renata Menezes, they decided to go to Toronto in 2016 and boost the development of their platform. They have joined Legal Innovation Zone, a co-working space and the first legal technology incubator focused on making better solutions for legal service users. LIZ has established an alliance with Ryerson University. Legalbox’s aim is to develop legal tasks in the simplest way possible by using a platform based on a minimalist-interface website and specific work flows for each area related to legal procedures.
This startup is devoted to the making of safety cloths. It was founded in 2015, in Toronto, by Colombian Carlos Zamorano, the engineer that also authored Wigilabs, a digital marketing development store with offices in several Latin American countries. Be Wear was born to meet the growing need for personal safety and protection, but in a natural way so its models can be worn on a daily basis. Its portfolio of products and technologies cover a wide range of uses, not only related to safety alerts or emergencies, but also in the fields of personal safety, safety for children and high-profile safety, as well as a smart system of bulletproof cloths for companies working in the security sector.