Creating your own startup isn’t always as easy as it looks. That’s especially true if you don’t have experience building up a business. Even though the initial idea is a big part of the process, it’s not the only factor that determines success.
In Latin America, entrepreneurs have created some amazing new ventures in recent years. There are many opportunities to start a business in the region, and scale it internationally, whether it is through support from local governments or companies that help startups.
That’s where accelerators, investment funds and startup incubators can make all the difference. Although they may have different areas of expertise, they all share the same goal: to help startups grow and develop their business models. This is possible due to economic resources as well as the business connections, high level mentorships and other benefits that incubator programs and accelerators can offer.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are programs and organizations for different types of startups. They can be tailored to support businesses based on their stage (e.g. seed, early, or growth), which is why it’s necessary to identify the best type of accelerator for a given startup.
Here is a list of top 20 accelerators and funding available to a wide variety of startups in Latin America.
500 Startups is an active early-stage fund that has a large presence in many countries. The company also has a regional hub located in Mexico, Latin America.
500 Startups offers two programs each year in the region, which help 10 companies. The intensive 16-week program includes a $60,000 investment for eligible startups.
This program is for early-stage startups. It provides a creative environment with mentors on-site and strategies to attract more clients. This allows young startups to grow quickly and add value.
500 Startups LatAm has managed a number of startups over the years. wide-ranging portfolioMany Latin American companies have graduated from the accelerator and gone on to achieve great success.
Startup Chile is an example of how government agencies can drive innovation and business growth. As a public accelerator developed by a wing of the Chilean government, Startup Chile’s aim is to motivate business creation throughout the country.
The program is currently open to high-potential entrepreneurs from any country that wants to have their business in Chile. This is to ensure that South America remains a global center for tech innovation.
Today, Startup Chile is a leading accelerator in Latin America and is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. After its founding, 50 countries followed Chile’s shining example and created their own publically funded accelerator programs.
One of the most important accelerators in the world is the Founder Institute. Created in Palo Alto, California in 2009 with the aim to help budding startups become the most important companies in the world, the Founder Institute has directly contributed to Silicon Valley being the globe’s epicenter of innovation.
Its reach is unlimited. Its programs have helped grow 5,000 companies in 200 cities around the world, many of them in Latin America.
The Founder Institute is a model for all other accelerators. It is widely considered to be the largest pre-seed startup accelerator in the world. The Founder Institute offers programs for early-stage startups that last around four months, regardless of whether they are in the Idea Stage or the MVP Stage.
Parallel18 is a startup accelerator supported by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust. It was founded half a decade ago with a goal to promote inclusive and innovative entrepreneurship.
Its mission: To provide high-level access to financial networks, finance and high-level resources to businesspeople from all over the world to help them scale internationally.
A number of successful Latin American startups have passed through Parallel18’s accelerator program and have benefitted greatly from the program’s model that simultaneously prioritizes financing, tutoring and networking.
Parallel18 provides $40,000 of equity-free funding to support startups. This is in addition to providing value to these entrepreneurs, their teams, and their mentorship.
ACE is one the most pioneering companies in Brazil. It spent nearly a decade transforming large corporations into more innovative and flexible organisations. It ensured that the startups it oversees became enterprises with a global reach.
The ACE Startups Vertical provides investment opportunities for startups. The accelerator also offers its highly-trained staff, which uses Silicon Valley-based methods to learn, a high-quality, and highly-trained team.
ACE has been a leader in international business development, starting at the growth level. With more than 450 startups having gone through its program and 115 different investments made, Brazil’s ACE has become a standard-bearer for Latin American accelerators.
This venture fund is a successful mix of investors and founders. It aims to provide financial backing and a new model of growth for startups with a global outlook. TheVentureCity was founded out of a need to promote transparency, diversity and equality within the startup industry.
The international fund invests in software businesses such as SaaS, B2B and Marketplace. Beyond investment, TheVentureCity’s goal is to change the rules of the game and add value to startups by giving their founders a network of support via TheVentureCity’s in-house experts and investment money.
TheVentureCity essentially turns into an extension of a chosen startup’s team that invests in the operation and works together to help the business grow and scale.
Venture funds assist with funding from the initial investment through the first round of funding. The only condition is that the startups must be tech-based and have a global view.
Startup Mexico has grown to be a major advocate for entrepreneurs in Mexico, and around the world. Startup Mexico’s positive impact is based on innovation, business culture, and economic development. The accelerator program recently expanded beyond Mexican borders to include talented business people who want disrupt the global market.
The organization supports promising startups by providing them with a physical space, mentors, workshops, funding, and a whole range of other professional services. This is all done using a proven method that allows each startup operate efficiently to increase its chances of success.
Startup Mexico is a source of both innovation and economic impulse that can extend its support throughout Latin America’s developed markets. This allows entrepreneurs to have more financial opportunities in the region than they would normally be able to.
Seedstars is a global organization that works via emerging markets to impact peoples’ lives with technology and entrepreneurship. The accelerator is a leader both in Latin America as well as Africa.
Through its annual Seedstars LatAm competition, the accelerator looks for the best startups in the region and picks them to represent the region in Seedstars’ global competition in Switzerland.
Seedstars was founded in order to support the millions of opportunities in emerging markets that 85 percent of the world’s population lives in. It focuses on identifying and backing those ventures that can have a significant social impact.
Fumsoft manages this Brazilian accelerator program. It supports startups that have a global impact. This comprehensive program provides mentorship, marketing and technological assessments, as well as access to investors and connections to big businesses in Brazil and around the world.
Acelera MGTI, a supporter for tech-based companies, helps to build up the next generation innovators and competes in startup competitions. This is all done within the framework of Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) and Startup Brazil, the public venture that helps dole out support to foster the creation of new businesses in the country.
Acelera MGTI runs a 6-month accelerator program that gives startups 25,000 reales (about $5,000) of seed capital. For a mere 4 per cent stake, they provide technical support, mentorship and coworking space to startups.
05000 Labs is a Latin American cybersecurity company that aims to improve cybersecurity for startups. Offering a cybersecurity course load that involves hands-on techniques designed to improve digital safety efforts, 05000’s teaching methods rely on industry expert guidance. This style ensures that exercises remain relevant and up-to date with security threats.
Among its top courses are Introduction to Cybersecurity, Crisis Response, Principles of Safe Design, and a list of other innovative classes that will ensure startups are staying ahead of today’s hackers.
05000 Labs is without a doubt one of the top cybersecurity centers in Latin America. They offer a wide range of cyber courses to keep startups and clients safe.
Rockstart was established in Amsterdam in 2011 and is one of the most prominent European startup accelerators. Rockstart provides risk capital and acceleration to help top emerging businesses succeed.
In addition to its base in Europe, Rockstart has an emerging tech program in Latin America that is based in Bogotá. The program supports some of the most innovative startups in Latin America, including those working in the sharing economy, enterprise-software, fintech, and other industries.
These programs provide startups with capital, an experienced community of investors, and access to capital. Rockstart has invested in over 200 startups worldwide, which have raised more than 89 millions euros.
The IMC Comet Competition is a program that aims to create the next generation of B2B tech around the globe. This competition series is held annually by Ingram Micro Cloud. Their mission is to connect innovators, solve problems, and give businesses everything they need to equip and grow their business.
Ingram Micro Cloud offers $1 million cash and $5 million market funds to help startups find ISV solutions. Ingram Micro Cloud offers the additional benefit of a long-term relationship to the winner.
Comet Competition allows promising startups from all over the globe to compete. Ingram Micro Latin America is a market leader for IT distribution in Latin America and has a substantial influence on the region.
Startup Peru is an initiative started by Innovate Peru, a publicly funded operation set by the country’s Production Ministry. This program offers seed-capital competitions as well as incubation for innovative companies that have the potential to make big changes in the market.
The ultimate goal is to give growth opportunities to these exciting new businesses, serving as a resource that can better guide these startups in developing their ideas and making sure their business models contribute to the country’s economic development.
Innpulsa, an organization that was created by the Colombian government to improve the Andean business environment, is called Innpulsa. Innpulsa provides a wide range of programs to local business people through its extensive network.
Innpulsa works under the national government and in concert with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism in Colombia. This allows them to accelerate high-potential startups and provide financing options. The goal is to scale up companies in Colombia so that they can contribute more to economic growth throughout the country.
Innpulsa, however, accepts businesses from other countries, unlike other government-backed accelerators.
Endeavor is a community for entrepreneurs around the globe. The accelerator works directly alongside startup founders and gives them a seal of approval which opens them up to a global network for business connections. Entrepreneur was founded in 1997. It has since helped more than 2,100 entrepreneurs and startups to scale up their business.
Endeavor’s global reach is one of its greatest strengths. It works in North America, Latin America and Europe as well as the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Endeavor has teams throughout Latin America in Argentina, Chile and Peru.
Founders Group offers benefits for Latino startups in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, and Chile. Founders Group’s holistic-based programs combine personal and organizational development to create better people who can build sustainable and ethical businesses.
Founders Group assists entrepreneurs and startups with a variety of programs that involve personal growth, business development, and financing techniques. These programs can provide companies with the tools to make a big impact.
Founders Group offers a unique alternative that promotes technical development for businesses, but also encourages entrepreneurs and their families to grow. Founders Group believes that if businesspeople can improve themselves, then both their businesses and their employees will benefit.
Impact Hub’s gigantic community of local and international startup leaders specializes in supporting business-friendly ecosystems that encourage collaboration and innovation. Impact Hub’s model gives startup communities all the tools they need to bring their ideas to life and get to scale.
Impact Hub has now reached more than 100 locations across five continents using this model. Impact Hub Latin America has centers located throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
The accelerator is focused upon three distinct elements: community and workplace, startup support, programs and events, and startup support.
NXTP was founded in 2011 and now has a pair of verticals it employs, including NXTP Ventures, which has directly contributed to the growth of Latin America’s burgeoning tech ecosystem.
NXTP is a risk capital company that provides funding to active Latin American startup founders. NXTP is headquartered at Buenos Aires.
NXTP Ventures will continue to support startup founders with solid support, in addition to investing. Additionally, the program assists with funding rounds and key hires as well as team building.
The Inter-American Development Bank’s innovation laboratory (BID, for its Spanish acronym) has been a major source of startup funding in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This lab encourages growth in the private sector through the identification, support and testing of new solutions to development problems. Its mission is finding startups that will create new opportunities for the under-served and poor populations of the region.
The BID Lab leaders have a wealth experience in socio-economic growth and in using tools to develop scalable solutions that offer real-world benefits. The BID Lab aims to foster new industries and commerce models that create quality jobs, boost small business, and give more resources and opportunities to the most vulnerable peoples. This lab is the only one of its type that is entirely dedicated to innovation in Latin America and Caribbean.
The National Agency of Investigation and Innovation (ANII), a governmental entity in Uruguay, is designed to generate new ideas and transform them into real-world solutions that will improve the wider Uruguayan society.
This organization provides public funds for research projects, scholarships to local or international students, and programs that encourage cultural innovation and entrepreneurship. ANII also created the National System of Investigators which uses economic incentives in order to encourage the development of cutting-edge business concepts.