Throughout 2016, PanamericanWorld interviewed startups from several Latin American countries. Their answers made up a huge dossier, our startup stories, which helps understand the development of the enterprising ecosystem in our region.
Some days before the year comes to an end, we think it is a good moment to recall some of these interviews, which included two new questions: their most important achievements in 2016 and the identification of those entrepreneurs that stood out in their country over the past twelve months.
Desafío Latam is a startup that was born in Chile and has taken seriously its mission of supporting the transformation of Latin America into a digital-service economy, where designing and developing software is the new pillar.
In 2016, according to Diego Arias, Desafío Latam opened a new campus in Santiago de Chile, launched two programs (Frontend and Android Developer) and organized 12 boot camps in Latin America. As for sales, they will be closing the year with 100 percent growth if compared to 2015.
Among the startups identified by Mr. Arias as the most outstanding projects in 2016, we have: RocketAd, a software that targets the management and optimization of digital campaigns in Facebook— and Rankmi, a platform to measure and develop leadership skills.
The list of startups that shared their storied with PanamericanWorld includes Hibox, an app aimed at providing answers for the three key elements in work teams: coordination, collaboration and communication, by means of the integration of messages, tasks and videoconferences in one platform.
Spencer Coon, one of the co-founders, points out that his startup was ranked this year by Constellation Research—one of the main research companies in the United States— as one of the top six enterprise messaging solutions along with the main global players, such as Slack and Hipchat.
Moreover, Mr. Coon underlines as achievements the fact of having reached out to 10 thousand companies with Hibox, the nomination as “B2B” finalists in Madrid’s South Summit, the funding obtained from ENISA and Rising Startups Spain, as well as the opening of a new office in Barcelona, along with the offices in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.
As one of the most interesting projects in Latin America, we have Parallel18, a platform that, from Puerto Rico, stands out as a bridge for Latin American entrepreneurs to take a closer look at the U.S. market. In 2016, this accelerator received 922 applications from over 40 countries.
Out of those applications, 67 from 15 countries have been accepted in the first two generations of the acceleration program. Some of the startups that stood out in the first generation are: Gasolina Móvil (Puerto Rico); Cinemad (Argentina) and Pair (United States).
Gasolina Móvil is a mobile app used to pay for fuel in gas stations. It signed an agreement with Puma Energy to use it technology in all of the brand’s gas stations in Puerto Rico (over 60 percent of the market), and expand it to other markets in Latin America where the company is present.
Burea is a mobile app that replaces the use of discount coupons for cash rewards after having taken a picture of receipt. Burea has done business with the main brands related to the basic products bought in Puerto Rico.
On the other hand, the entrepreneurs from Sunne Cleantech Labs have developed an innovative photovoltaic technology. In 2016, they put out their first product, Sunne Heater, a solar heater with design and efficiency that were significantly higher than other models in the market.