The internationalization agency of the Canary Islands Government, Proexca, recently launched Canarias Latam Tech, a program aimed at forging the connection between Latin America and Europe, providing high-growth Latin American startups a platform to expand into European and African markets.

“We will work with the startups on an immersion program in the Canary Islands’ technological ecosystem. This edition will take place in the first week of October, and we will delve into topics of interest such as financing, access to the European market, Canary Islands digital infrastructure, public and private initiatives and support to scale a business, talent, etc.”, they exclusively explained to Contxto.

The Canary Islands have positioned themselves as a strategic place to establish operations in Spain and Europe. Their annual GDP grew 7.4% compared to the 3.8% recorded for the whole of Spain during the first quarter of 2023. Also, thanks to their geographical location, they are a privileged place to establish institutional and commercial networks with the rest of Europe and West Africa, offering privileged access to this market.

BBVA GDP growth forecasts by autonomous communities
BBVA GDP growth forecasts by autonomous communities. (Source: BBVA Research)

The region boasts extensive air and maritime connectivity, renowned universities, technology parks, and one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, Atlante, capable of performing more than 3 trillion calculations per second.

Canary Islands’ geographical appeal is complemented by tax incentives, with a 4% corporate tax rate for innovative companies and significant reductions in R&D and Technological Innovation, making the archipelago promising for businesses.

“We are convinced of the potential that the Canary Islands have for the scalability of Latin American businesses towards Europe or Africa, and we have already received expressions of interest from several technology-based companies,” Proexca explains.

The Vision of Canarias Latam Tech

Dácil Domínguez Reyes, Managing Director of Proexca, assured that they are working jointly with the entire technological ecosystem of the Canary Islands so that digital companies interested in settling in the Canary Islands can better observe all the possibilities and verify the security of operating from the Canary Islands.

Canarias Latam Tech seeks to diversify the Canary Islands’ economy and generate highly sophisticated jobs, attracting technology-based companies from Latin America. Selected startups will participate in a five-day trip to the archipelago, where they will attend workshops presentations, and connect with partners and companies of interest.

Selection criteria include being incorporated, having recurring revenue, and being technology-based. Applications are open until August 20th on the program’s website.

A market study by PROEXCA and Deloitte analyzes the main actions in the technological field in Europe, Spain, and the Canary Islands. The benefited and growing sectors include Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, 5G, Big Data, IoT, Quantum Computing, Robotics, and Microchips.

summary of the relationship between plans and strategies and the sectors on which Proexca has an impact
Summary of the relationship between plans and strategies and the sectors on which Proexca has an impact. (Source: Proexca)

Therefore, Canarias Latam Tech will focus its first edition on technological projects, delving into financing, access to the European market, Canary Islands’ digital infrastructure, and talent, among others.

The Canarian Ecosystem

The Canary Islands, especially Gran Canaria and Tenerife, have become significant innovation hubs. Still, other islands like Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, El Hierro, La Palma, and La Gomera have specializations in tourism, renewable energies, and aerospace.

The region has experienced significant growth in the digital and entrepreneurship field, with a 235% increase in R&D activities from 2019 to 2022. It has also hosted ministerial meetings on the digital economy of the OECD.

“With a rich mix of incubators, accelerators, investment funds, Business Angels, universities, technology parks, and centers of excellence, the Canary Islands are well-equipped to support startups,” Proexca highlights.

The program’s mentors will have extensive knowledge of international logistics, market access, financing, and technology.

Canarias Latam Tech represents a strategic bridge and a unique opportunity for Latin American startups looking to expand in Europe and Africa. With governmental backing, advanced infrastructure, tax incentives, and support from mentors and partners, companies can find fertile ground in the Canary Islands to grow.