Between March 7 and 11, Uruguay hosted the Academy Week. In this event, promoted by the investment fund Newtopia VCfounders of 15 of the most promising startups in Latin America, partners of the fund, unicorns and figures from the ecosystem met in person to live a week of intense agenda.
The opportunity to share secrets, experiences, ask for advice, learn from those who have traveled the same path before, exceeded the expectations of those present. There were workshops, talks, mentoring, internships pitch, activities of networking where entrepreneurs (new, not so new and others very experienced) collaborated side by side.
Some of the participating figures were Marcos Galperin, co-founder and CEO of Mercado Libre; Matthias Woloski, founder of Auth0; Agustina Fainguersch, new Regional Director of Meta; Sean SummersCMO of Mercado Libre; Facundo Garreton, founder and CEO of Terraflos; Elad Levy, co-founder of Dive and House of Fun; Maximiliano Casal, co-founder of Nowports; Guido Vilariño, Director of DevOps at Mural, among others.
But not everything was practical content focused on learning. The framework of the meeting was given by the warmth of Montevideo and the beauty of Punta del Este, in Uruguay. The experiences in the city, the forest and the beach were enhanced with the offer of gastronomy and cocktails that accompanied the climate of camaraderie, where closeness and enjoyment allowed strengthening the ties of the Community. In the words of Jutard duckunicorn with Mural and General Partner of Newtopia, “We are not just check signers. We are forming a Community that makes us proud. Our LPs, mentors, advisors and entrepreneurs are doors and door openers. The idea is that we can all knock on those doors whenever we need to. And give us access to places that otherwise we could not access”.
One of the most interesting activities consisted of sessions of reverse pitch, where international investment funds presented their value propositions and visions to entrepreneurs. “Normally we are the entrepreneurs who pitch to the investors. Newtopia organized this Reverse Pitch where top-tier funds such as Softbank, Kaszek, ALLVP, Cometa, FJ Labs, Monashees and Canary presented us with their thesis and answered all our questions. I value it a lot because it always took a lot of effort to connect with funds”, shared Matias Botbol, co-founder of Maslow and former CEO of Taringa. In this same sense, Martin Repettoco-founder of the Mokens League, opined that “this generates closeness and a link with invaluable contacts in our investment process”.
This Academy Week is the event that officially begins the accompaniment so that the Startups invested by Newtopia can overcome the Valley of Death. “During the next 12 months we are going to have workshops, mentorships, meetings with renowned entrepreneurs, unicorns, investors, etc. with the aim of finding the right product for the market and laying the foundations for them to grow regionally and/or globally. For us it is very important to be super hands-on to such an extent that they feel we are part of their company”, highlighted Diego NoriegaPartner of Newtopia and responsible for Accompaniment to Entrepreneurs.
The next batch it is scheduled for mid-2022, however the registration process is open 365 days a year. “Every month we evaluate more than 100 startups and we have a very rigorous process where we prioritize the team, the size of the opportunity, the execution capabilities and being coachable so that we can maximize the value that we add to them from Newtopia,” he said. Sacha SpitzManaging Partner of the Fund.
“We believe that it is a unique timing to undertake, promote Latin America, generate wealth and quality employment. That is why we are going to continue working side by side, from entrepreneur to entrepreneur, to maximize the chances that they will be very successful companies and have a positive impact in our societies”, concluded Mariano Mayeranother of the co-founders and Managing Partner of Newtopia.
Newtopia’s Academy Week featured the participation of the startups selected for the second Batch –o bottom litter-: Belo, Sirius, Kitchenita, Oliver, RevAI, Sensei Node, Pulppo, Qurable, Mokens League, Eyecue, Worknmates, Aimo and Maslow. An excellent level and energy among the entrepreneurs who were enriched by sharing their experiences in industries as diverse as HealthTech -Health-, HRtech –human Resources-Edtech -education-, Foodtech -food-, E-sports / SportsTech-sports-, Adtech –marketing digital-, E-commerce -online sales-, Fintech –finance– y PropTech -real estate-.
“Newtopia gives us community and focus. It brings us closer to the possibility of conversing with real humans who understand you and had their experience in developing their Startups to take them to the next level,” he said. Angelina Viglioccoco-founder and COO of Wornkmates, the marketplace that allows companies to rent remote workspaces for their employees, with no fixed costs.
“Newtopia adds value to us in networking with investors and entrepreneurs of the highest level. It allows us to ask difficult questions. Behind there is a very strong community that is supporting entrepreneurs who are attacking giant opportunities throughout the region,” he shared Manuel Beaudroitco – founder & CEO of Belothe app in which users can move in pesos and cryptocurrencies, which has just launched its Mastercard and virtual card.
“Newtopia is demanding. You have to be prepared, you need to have done your homework and have traction. The outcome has a lot of potential,” he said. Joseph Gonzalez Russianco-founder of Oliver, a platform that combines a device with artificial intelligence to improve performance and reduce injuries in (non-elite) athletes.
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