A recent study conducted by KPMG International 2018 Global CEO Outlook. Growth pains, shows that a significant number of big companies are going to increase their efforts over the next years to come closer to the startups ecosystem. They are working to generate synergies with young enterprising talents and promote new startups that could later join their structures.
Over half of the senior executives of global companies are planning to create acceleration programs or incubators for startups and collaborate with innovative companies, as fintech, insurtech, healthtech. This step has been taken over the past years by big ocean liners in the finances realm, which have perceived the collaboration with startups as the fastest and most effective way to have their bank products modernized and improved.
The study points out that significant demographic changes, cyber threats and the geopolitical volatility put on the table a scenery of uncertainty, which should be tackled with creativeness and new formulas, away from the classic recipes that have been applied over the past decades. Despite this reality, the business leaders are optimists in terms of the technological disruption, since 95 percent (99 percent in Latin America) sees it as an opportunity instead of a threat.
Incubators are going to be, and they presently are, a key element in the Latin American startups ecosystem when it comes to channeling, strengthening and guiding the growth of the important wealth of talent and enterprising projects in the region. There is a growing number of these organizations throughout Latin America and we have highlighted the six most outstanding and influential representatives.
Wayra is managed by Spanish Telefónica and it has stood out over the past years as the breeding ground for important companies linked to the Information and Communication Technologies sector (ICT), such as SocialGest, Akdemia, Bovcontrol or Hitmap. It has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, and offers an excellent portfolio of services for startups, including funding, consulting and networking. Having a strong presence in Europe can help companies reach out to the other side of the Atlantic and establish alliances with other startups based in the old continent.
SocialLab is pretty well positioned throughout the region: it operates in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay. It supports entrepreneurs in early stages. The chosen projects are to bring about massive social impact and sort out problems faced by humankind. These solutions must be innovative and internationally sustainable. They propose several workshops, mentors, boot camps, consultancy services, an innovation platform, access to an important network, etc.
This Medellin-based Colombian business incubator is focused on boosting the development of projects that target such fields as science, technology and innovation. It features an important social component expressed by its daily activity. The incubator not only buttresses entrepreneurs, but it also advises investors, students and universities, thus generating important synergies between the company and the academic world, the main hotbed of talent in the region. It offers a wide range of services not only to people interested in doing business, but also those who want to launch scientific and educational development projects.
This Argentinean incubator is one of the most dynamic ones in the region. It is mainly focused on marketingmanagement, business models and growth strategies. Although its head office is based in Argentina, it has operations in several countries of the area, such as Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. With a portfolio that engulfs 170 Startups, NTXP Labs handpicks those startups with a founding team made up of at least two members. Likewise, it gives priority to co-founders trained in terms of business management and technical topics related to the product. On the other hand, the startup must have an operational MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and the project’s scope is to be global, or at least regional.
Startup Chile is one of the first incubators that were born in Latin America thanks to the State-driven movement by means of CORFO (Corporación de Fomento is the Spanish name). This initiative has not only fostered the birth of Chilean startups, but also other regions of the world, since attracting investment to Chile is one of its goals. Numerous entrepreneurs were attracted by the funding possibilities offered by the program (up to $45,000) and the opportunity to gain access to a contact network with local and international investors that are willing to invest.
This is an initiative of the Colombian government and, since 2012, it has supported innovative entrepreneurs and benefited over a thousand companies in the country. Nowadays, INNPulsa attached to the Network of the Pacific Alliance’s Innovation Agencies along with Chile, Mexico and Peru. This incubator, with a great portfolio made up of successful startups, fosters several types of projects that range from communication to the marketing of goods.