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Startups looking to start or scale their companies are in luck, as more and more acceleration programs are emerging for companies in Latin America.
These programs vary both in the type of support they give and in their duration. However, all of them have the objective of helping startups and their founders to identify and strengthen their capacities. They also seek to support them in discovering where their growth opportunities lie, diagnosing and identifying customer segments and accessing secure resources, including capital, training and talent.
We take a dive into some of the acceleration programs currently active in Latin America, with open calls for their next entry dates.
500 Startups Latin America
500 Startups is a Silicon Valley seed capital investment fund. It manages more than US$200 million and has invested in over 1,500 companies in more than 50 countries around the world for more than 10 years. The fund supports startups born in Latin America since 2011.
In 2020, 500 Startups Latin America announced a new acceleration program called Somos Lucha. With this program, it seeks to have a greater relationship and rapprochement with accelerated startups. This transformation also includes the investment of US$60,000 that it gives to the companies in their portfolio.
500 Startups Latin America will have an open call from March 7th to April 6th. The program will start on May 23rd with an intensive work plan of 16 weeks. It goes until September 7th, ending with the aforementioned investment of US$60,000 per company, with a maximum of 10 companies per batch.
Grido Challenge for NXTP Corporate Partners
Grido Challenge seeks startups and entrepreneurs from Argentina and Latin America with the potential to scale their projects and generate new business together with a leading company in the region.
NXTP Corporate Partners is an open innovation platform that links startups with large corporations to benefit both organizations. Its corporate clients include BNP Paribas, Sura and Scotiabank.
Now it is collaborating with Grido, an Argentinian company that ranks fourth in the world among commercial ice cream chains. Its stores are visited by more than 250 million people a year. It currently has more than 1,800 franchises throughout Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru.
Together with NXTP Corporate Partners, Grupo Grido seeks to detect disruptive solutions and innovative business ideas aligned with its value proposition.
The selected entrepreneurs and startups will have the opportunity to become strategic partners of Grido or receive investment from the company to carry out pilot tests.
This non-profit acceleration program will support 12 agtech and/or fintech startups that wish to boost the agricultural sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has a fund of more than US$2 million. This money will be distributed among the 12 selected startups from these sectors that have operations in Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and/or Mexico. The money will go towards helping them carry out the necessary activities to benefit the agricultural sector with innovative solutions.
The open call will be until June 30th, 2022.
Latitud invites thinkers and entrepreneurs from Latin America to build the next generation of world-class technology companies.
Around 100 entrepreneurs from various companies in their ideation or pre-seed stage participate in this acceleration program. More than just operating as an accelerator, Latitud also connects its members with large investors and offers discounts on technological services that could be of great help to them.
Latitud Explore Fellowship is a 6-week program designed to help select early-stage founders accelerate their progress with practical help and advice from top Latam founders and world-class operators. This call (LF6) will be open from March 21st, 2022.
On the other hand, the Build program is a highly selective 6-week remote program for founders who have strong signs of traction and are working to scale their offerings and teams. In it, entrepreneurs learn from world-class speakers and join a community of other startup founders throughout the region. This call (LB0) will open on March 28th, 2022.
MassChallenge México offers hybrid support for 4 months. During this period, startups attend four important dates to learn to identify their specific problems and receive advice on product development, sales and legal advice to scale their businesses.
Since 2016 they have helped great entrepreneurs like Bitso, and they have received more than 2,500 applications. MassChallenge Mexico has launched their seventh annual call for its Acceleration Program for Startups in LatAm.
Some of the benefits they offer are the 4-month Accelerator Program valued at US$50,000, as well as investments by their partners of up to US$100,000 for the winners of the program.
Applications will be open from February 15th to April 6th, 2022.
Newtopia is a Latin American equity fund and is presenting its first US$50 million fund to invest in talent and technology startups in the region. Through investments and a mentoring-based model, Newtopia VC seeks to help early-stage entrepreneurs with the goal of enabling them to grow regionally and/or globally.
The chosen startups will receive an investment of US$100,000 each, as well as the opportunity to participate in Newtopia’s first 10-Week Program. This program will be developed under a hybrid remote/on-site strategic mentoring scheme in which workshops and talks will be held with key players in the ecosystem, among other activities.
Orion Startups is an acceleration/investment program for early-stage startups based in Chihuahua, Mexico. Its objective is to take companies from their concept stage to a position of access to capital in a 5-month program.
Companies accelerate in a 5-month program with national and international mentors. This happens throughout offices located in US entrepreneurial ecosystems, such as Silicon Valley, Boulder, Austin, New York and Seattle; and some of the most developed cities of LatAm, such as Sao Paulo, Santiago, Buenos Aires and Mexico City.
Each company receives US$30,000 in exchange for 5% to 10% of capital. They will also join a network backed by Tecnológico de Monterrey.
Startup Chile is an acceleration program created by the Chilean government. It seeks to promote founders with high potential and scale their startups. Its focus is on technology startups with less than three years of development in the Chilean market.
To date, Startup Chile is one of the largest and most diverse accelerators in the world, with a startup survival rate of 53%.
The next process will open in April 2022.
Y Combinator is one of the most recognized acceleration programs in Silicon Valley. Companies from all over the world, including Latin America, can participate in this program. YC provides start-up financing to promising new companies, as well as the necessary advice to accelerate their business idea.
The YC program takes place only twice a year, selecting groups in two periods: January to March (called Winter Batch) and June to August (Summer Batch). We have recently published the list of Latin American startups that belong to the W22.
You’re still in time to sign up for the summer batch, which will be remote with some optional face-to-face components depending on the pandemic. As part of its new standard agreement, YC will invest a total of US$500,000 into each company it accepts.
The early application was until January 31st, but you can still apply until the official deadline: March 24th at 8:00 pm (Pacific time)
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