Latin America and the dream of having 100 billion dollar companies

Rivers of people walking from one place to another, jumping from conference to conference and from meeting to meeting is what you see in the South Summit Brasil 2022which has brought together in the riverside city of Porto Alegre thousands of founders of startups and investors from Latin America.

Leaders of the technology industry in the region, such as the Argentine Alec Oxenfordco-founder of Deremate y OLXwho sold both companies and is now dedicated to taking companies to the stock market as CEO of the firm Alpha Capital.

It was Oxenford who raised the need that, given the proliferation of startups in the region, begin to attend to the needs of companies in more advanced stages so that they do not remain stagnant.

“There is a lot of talk about going from 0 to 1, popularized by the investor Peter Thiel. But little about going from 1 to 100. We still don’t have a Google, a Facebook or an Amazon in Latin America, companies worth more than US$100,000 (millions). SPACs are trying to solve that big friction because it’s late-stage capital,” Oxenford said.

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For him, it is “disproportionate” that, despite the fact that there have been more than 800 venture capital deals in the region, there have only been a couple of IPOs.

For Maria Benjumea, director of the South Summit, which originated in Spain, promoting the startups It is not an internet issue, but rather an innovation issue that is required in all sectors.

“In the end, they are all companies and they all need each other. The ecosystem is made up of all the economic actors, some are new and innovative and others that have to be transformed,” he told Forbes. “To be startup it is a spirit. Before, it was conceived as a company that was just beginning and that became scale upBut it’s about the culture. Every entrepreneur who is truly an entrepreneur has to keep the spirit of entrepreneurs alive. If not, it stops and what it has to be doing is constantly innovating.”

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During the event, eight early-stage startups from Latin America were among the finalists of a competition at the event, which allowed them to make presentations to 80 investment funds, they are: Omnix (Chile), Bridger Lab (Peru), Amsa (Mexico), Aerialoop (Ecuador), Bleet (Ecuador), Carryt (Colombia), Reworth (Mexico) y Talent (Colombia).

“I met an investor who was coming to Latin America for the first time and he told me that he has three more trips scheduled,” says Juan José Güemes, president of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at IE University, to give an idea of ​​the focus that is placed in the region. “We are seeing more and more startups that are being born in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile that are surprising the world. We see that a series of technologies have matured that allow us for the first time to make universal services that previously seemed reserved for a part of the population”.

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This is something that Sergio Furio, founder of the unicorn, agrees with Creditorswho emphasized that it is necessary to address local problems with local solutions.

“The support we receive as entrepreneurs is now significantly better than before, we have everything we need to build a vibrant ecosystem,” says Furio. “Some will say that everything is made up, but if we are going to replicate what someone else is doing in the world, we are not going to do the right thing, the moment we start to change the game and not copy someone else, we start to grow plus”.

During the agenda thematic lines were presented for industries como fintech, agrotech, govtech, proptech y foodtech.

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