“Is the accelerator model working in Latin America?”

Last week I moderated a panel called "is the accelerator model working in Latin America?"  The event was put on by LAVCA (Latin American Private Equity and Venture Capital Association).   I am obviously interested in the start-up world here but am also curious how it is working in other places around the world.  I see new economies and opportunites happening here and want to hear if this model is working in other areas of the world.  The answer is, it is.  Different perhaps but working.

There were three panelists who I really hope I can keep in touch with.  Frederico Lacerda who is the co-founder of 21212 located in Rio de Janiero, Cesar Salazar who is the Venture Partner at 500 Startups  located in Mexico City and Gonzola Costa who is the founding partner of NXTP Labs located in Buenos Aires.  Each of these men have either been entrepreneurs or investors and what they are doing for the Latin American community is inspiring. 

Each of them are not only engaging the entrepreneurs who are interested in going through the accelerator program that is offered but they are reaching out to investors, Government officials and alike to create a road map for each company to grow and hopefully succeed.  I believe one of the reasons for success in the tech start-up world is the supportive community that has grown around it.  All three of them are working on just that. 

Of course every country has a different trajectory but as the world gets flatter, roads get crossed.  Will we see a Latin American start-up grow to be as large at Facebook one day and go public in the US marketplace?  We might and that would certainly prove the model that we are all united through this thing we call the world wide web. 


Comments (Archived):

  1. Guest

    I can only speak from my family’s experience which is mainly in Mexico and El Salvador. Two major obstacles are corrupt governments and personal safety of the human capital. Paying off judges and ransoms can really be a drain on a start-up budget. I’d be interested to hear their thoughts on this.

    1. Gotham Gal

      We talked about this. They are working with each government to embrace what they are doing. Also they are working with all Latin American countries so each environment tends to be a little different

    2. César Salazar

      Hi Kelly, I think you’re describing border town Mexico. In Mexico City and most of other places around the country, people are not afraid about their personal safety and do not need to pay any money to corrupt officials. Of course, this is not the entire story, but it is for the vast majority of tech entrepreneurs.

      1. Guest

        I’m also describing DF and central Mexico.

  2. angela

    Thanks for sharing your experience with LAVCA. I am very interested in the start-up communities both here in NY and globally. For the next few months I will be working with high-impact entrepreneurs in Buenos Aires. The growth of start-up communities is really fascinating despite the government and capital hurdles many of them face. Look forward to hearing more about your involvement in Latin America. Interested to hear your continued thoughts. More about the work I will be doing here: http://angelainargentina.wo

    1. Gotham Gal

      You should definitely reach out to the people who were on my panel.

      1. angela

        Thanks! I absolutely will do so.

  3. Quintin Adamis

    it’s definitely interesting to watch as things develop. I’ve had my eye on a few of the growing markets such as India, China, Singapore and Africa as well. I was on the LAVCA site a few months ago, I remember they had a few UI bugs to work out :/ Ive been a bit out of the loop with Latam these days, but can’t wait to see what great startups are going to come out of Brasil and Colombia.

  4. César Salazar

    Hi Joanne,Thanks for sharing your experience in the panel. Hopefully it will create more awareness among investors and entrepreneurs about the opportunities south of the border, especially in the early stage.

    1. Gotham Gal

      i hope so!

  5. Geekette

    If you’re interested in examining whether the accelerator model is working in Latin America, you should also take a look at the Startup Chile program. Surprised it appears not to have been mentioned/discussed.