Before the holidays started, at the end of 2019, LatAm Startups participated in presentations and conferences in different countries throughout Latin America. One of our Directors, Rafael Pinto, travelled to 5 cities and 4 countries: Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico and Brazil. The objective of these trips was to strengthen business opportunities, networking, and links between innovation ecosystems, entrepreneurs, and Startups in Latin America and Canada. To do so, Rafael aimed to promote awareness and the opportunities that Canada can provide as an international hub for expansion.
LatAm Startups participated in Prospecta Colombia, where audiences included Startups, entrepreneurs and university representatives. The event’s purpose was to generate a space for academic discussion with experts from different areas of knowledge that allows for the strengthening and development of organizations, along with making appropriate use of science and technology, and recognizing the roles of public and private sectors and civil society. These are all to further strengthen the micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as the recognition and positioning of the company to make them increasingly competitive, sustainable, and efficient in global contexts. In this event, Rafael was given the opportunity to speak about the Canadian tech ecosystem, its opportunities, and the services available for companies to expand their businesses into Canada.
In Bogota, LatAm Startups organized a breakfast and a presentation to the local ecosystem. We invited anyone who would like to have more information about the Canadian tech industry to participate in this breakfast. Alongside a CEO in our Startup Visa Program, Leonardo Solorzano, and our Scaleup Bootcamp Program Alumni, Daniela Parra, Rafael spoke to key ecosystem players, government representatives, universities, accelerators, entrepreneurs and local companies about how being an entrepreneur is like in Canada, and why they decided to move to Canada. More details about the ecosystem was presented, and they answered questions the audience had.
Third stop: Montevideo. LatAm Startups was invited be part of the Cuti Business Forum. Cuti Business Forum is where the Uruguayan IT ecosystem gathers in order to strengthen the connection with global markets. During the conference, it was the first time they launched the United States edition, aiming at a very targeted market to discuss about. However, Rafael was given the opportunity to speak about the Canadian tech ecosystem as well.
The organizers of CUTI Business Forum met LatAm Startups at the Collision Conference in Toronto, in May, 2019. For the upcoming LatAm Conference 7.0: Entering a New Decade of Innovation, they are going to bring an Uruguayan delegation to Toronto to participate in our conference.
LatAm Startups participated in INCmty, the biggest entrepreneurship event in Latin America, with over 10,000 attendees annually. Rafael was given the opportunity to become one of the judges of their pitch competition. During this conference, Rafael was approached by a Startup that has already applied for the upcoming Scaleup Bootcamp Toronto, taking place next month, in Toronto.
Moving forward, we are excited that INCmty and LatAm Startups are going to identify continued collaboration opportunities for 2020, in order to connect and strengthen the two ecosystems. You may be able to meet the organizers of the biggest tech conference in Latin America during our LatAm Conference 7.0, in which INCmty is invited to participate and present at.
São Paulo, Brazil
Rafael’s last stop was the Câmara Comércio Brasil-Canadá (CCBC), at the Canada House during the São Paulo tech week. CCBC was kind enough to provide us a speaking opportunity to present the LatAm Startups’ programs, including the Startup Visa Program. Breno Assis, an Alumni of the LatAm Startups Hub program, was there to share his experiences and to answer any inquiries about the programs.
The Trade Commissioner of Canada in São Paulo is very interested in the Global Hub Innovation Centre, as it is a value added to their current programs. They are also intending to help us share the word about the Global Hub.
When asked about the biggest takeaways during his trips, Rafael commented:
“I had companies approach me in the conferences and presentations, saying that they were very much interested in expanding their businesses to Canada. This is great because my objective is to build awareness surrounding Canada’s tech ecosystem and the programs available for Startups. In general, people really appreciate the information sharing.”
He then continued: “What I found interesting was that people also appreciate the very targeted services that LatAm Startups provide. These are programs that are focused on Latin American companies.”
Going forward, for 2020, LatAm Startups plans to continue working closely with partners in Latin America, and to keep promoting Toronto and Canada as a global point of entry for tech Startups. With over 70 companies selected as part of LatAm Startups’ programs since 2017, Toronto has proven to be a great market to start an expansion into North America.
LatAm Startups is launching in March 2020 Global Hub Innovation Centre, an initiative that aims to bring international corporations from emerging markets to Canada, and to develop projects that will keep these corporations competitive and in the forefront of their economic sectors.
This is an exciting year for LatAm Startups, and in general, for Startups and corporations from emerging markets. Canada provides a perfect environment for these companies to thrive and to find a solid partner in a competitive environment such as North America. More news and events are coming up. Stay tuned!