Seedstars Latam Summit 2018: Sum Up of What You've Missed

Dec. 17, 2018

3 days, 350 attendees, 34 investors, 20 startups from 12countries; 200 1:1 meetings between investors and entrepreneurs; plus thousands of interactions and new connections!

The 2018 Seedstars Latam Summit, took place in Lima, Peru from the 4th to 6th of December and gathered 500+ entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, innovators, thinkers, and other stakeholders involved in making a positive impact in Latin America through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. The whole event was hosted at UTEC Ventures, the incubator of the unique and infamous Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) of Peru.

Organized with the support of UTEC Ventures, IDB, Inicia Educacion, Selina, Merck, FedEx, Avianca, Themma and Publicize, the event marked the end of the Seedstars Tour 2018 in Latin America and the Caribbean, during which the Seedstars team visited 12 countries, and selected the most promising startups from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Guatemala.

You missed the Summit? Here is a recap of what happened!

The Summit week officially opened with a cocktail at the Swiss Embassy on the 3rd of December. The Ambassador of Switzerland welcomed all of the entrepreneurs, Seedstars’ partners and staff as well as his own personal list of guests to share drinks and food while discussing the pioneering spirit of Switzerland and how it translated into creating an economic and fruitful bridge between Latin American countries such as Peru and Europe.

Swiss Embassy Peru

Cocktail at the Swiss Embassy of Peru.

Latam Summit Day 1: Back to school with a growth bootcamp

The first day was dedicated to a private bootcamp focused on startup growth. The Seedstars Investment team, represented by Charlie Graham Brown, CIO, and by Fredrik Anderson, Portfolio Manager, started the day with a session on how to perform the best pitch in front of investors, followed by explaining the growth models of a startup, how to create an efficient growth team and how to best use different acquisition channels.

After a day full of learning, all of the entrepreneurs participated in a welcome dinner at the Selina hotel in Miraflores!

"It is crucial for emerging ecosystems [to be]exposed to a network and knowledge that [can]help boost their talent, Seedstars is the perfect event to help talent connect with opportunities." Andrea Puente - SSW Bolivia's winner - CEO Panal Fresh

Latam SUmmit growth bootcamp

Private Growth Bootcamp at UTEC Ventures

Latam Summit Day 2: Investor day with insightful panel discussions and 200+ 1:1 meetings

The second day of the summit welcomed 30+ investors from all over Latin America! Charlie Graham Brown, CIO of Seedstars opened the day by telling us more investment trends in emerging markets.

“Examples such as Goldman Sachs and Startup 500 investing in Jumia and Platzi respectively show us that VCs and impact investors are now turning their interest towards emerging markets platforms” - Charlie Graham Brown

In the morning we had a fireside chat with Greg Mitchell, General Manager of AngelVentures Peru, who told the audience more about the obstacles and opportunities of investing in Latin American tech startups and the future of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Peru.

“Peruvian startups show that by joining acceleration programs, they reach the level of regional startups in terms of opportunities and team. This forces us as local masters to take advantage of this opportunity earlier and help them grow”. - Greg Mitchell

This interactive chat and question session was followed by a panel discussion between Charlie Graham Brown, CIO of Seedstars, Juan Francisco Rosas, General Manager of The Board Peru and Michael Hayes, Chile Regional Director of Agora Partnerships. They further discussed funding in Latin America from an investor perspective, which provided invaluable insights for the entrepreneurs and investors in the audience.

“What we are looking for, rather than social entrepreneurs, are startups that are solving real social or environmental problems, and by doing so, getting profit.” - Michael Hayes

Investor Day 1

Panel discussion between Juan Francisco Rosas, Charlie Graham Brown and Michael Hayes, animated by Romulo Navarrette

Meanwhile in another room of the UTEC, 30+ participants were discussing how to build innovation ecosystems in Latam with a focus in Peru; Themma, a Peruvian startup agency specialized in fundraising was the host. The morning ended with a tour of Barranco, the bohemian neighbourhood of Lima; led by Illuminate Travel.

In the afternoon our dear entrepreneurs had in total 200+ 1on1s with 30+ investors. The meeting matchmaking was based on the industry of expertise, which led to some of the best matchmaking the attendees had ever experienced. Our participant startups were able to pitch their idea and receive feedback; so crucial for iterating an early-stage business! The investors were pretty impressed by the level this year and shared that they would be ready to commit (non binding) to 3.5mUSD investments in the 2018 batch!

1on1 latam summit

1:1 meeting between investors and entrepreneurs

The day ended with a VIP dinner in the magical archaeological site of La Huaca Pucllana, a gastronomic Peruvian restaurant in the middle of pre-Inca ruins where all of the investors, entrepreneurs and relevant stakeholders were able to chat and connect around amazing food!

La Huaca Latam Summit

VIP Dinner at La Huaca Pucllana, Lima, Peru

Latam Summit day 3: think tanks, keynotes, pitches and fun!

The 3rd day of the Latam Summit opened with 3 think tank workshops following innovative problem-solving methodologies to tackle burning issues in Latin America. A group of 30+ experts in HealthTech gathered to discuss “how digitalization can enable a better adoption of HealthTech innovations for customers in Latin America” through the ‘Problem Identification’ methodology. Another group of 35+ actors of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Latam discussed “what kind of initiatives are needed to put in place in Latam to reach the economic growth target through entrepreneurship and innovation”, using the peer-to-peer methodology. Finally, another group of 30+ actors in the education landscape in Latam brainstormed “how EdTech can serve the poorest and the most marginalized of the 57 million primary age children still out of school in Latin America” while applying the 'Ideation' methodology to dig into this topic!

workshop Latam Summit

Workshop about 'How to foster entrepreneurial ecosystems building'

After a good lunch full of networking, the afternoon started with a keynote from Juliane Butty, Latam Regional Manager of Seedstars, explaining Seedstars’ vision for the region and announced proudly the opening of a new Seedspace in Lima, in partnership with Swiss Cowork.

“In the past 5 years travelling around 65 countries and gathering data for the Seedstars Index, we have seen the talents but also realised that most of emerging ecosystems are not ready to absorb more capital. It’s all about building a better deal flow of investment opportunities. In 2019, our objective is to train 10,000 entrepreneurs to get ready to receive investment and introduce them to our network of investors and VCs.” - Juliane Butty

She was followed by the successful Latin American entrepreneurs Hassan Bourgi, co-founder of Busportal (Acquired by Redbus), Peruvian Seedstars Alumnus 2014 who told us about the huge potential of automation and digitalisation in increasing economic growth in Latin America, and Martin Mexia, Mexican Seedstars Alumnus 2017, co-founder and CEO of Payit, who explained his mission to give access to financial services to the 84m Mexican who still don’t have a bank account by offering them the possibilty to pay and receive money through an app. Then Carlos Jordan, the co-founder of Ultracasas.com and Seedstars Alumnus 2018, took us back to his road to success on raising the biggest round in Bolivia’s tech history. Finally, Jonathan Lewy, CEO of Grin Scooters, answered all questions about scaling his business throughout Latin America & the future of mobility during a fireside chat.

‘Your startup needs to answer a need big enough to withstand bad management. That’s how we managed to grow Ultracasas.com so fast!’ - Carlos Jordan

We also had the chance to listen to inspiring keynotes from Edgar Perez about AI, Horacio Melo, CEO of Solarity, on how to educate talents with purpose and from Karina Chez, CEO of KAYA Energy Group about creating a long-lasting social impact through entrepreneurship.

carlos jordan Latam Summit

Carlos Jordan from Ultracasas.com, Latam Summit

13 startups also pitched on the main stage, including QuePlan.cl (Chile), Talov (Ecuador), Getabed Suite (Mexico), RebajaTusCuentas.com (Peru), Canduit (Chile), Blended (Argentina), Boki , Processim Labs (Costa Rica), Roma Evaluaciones (Chile), Apptite (Brazil), Doctor Online (Guatemala), Picterra (Switzerland), Hometuls (Colombia), Panal Fresh (Bolivia), Fortesza (Panama), Defter Sports (Costa Rica) and Okus (Dominican Republic).

rebajatuscuentas

Sully Siucho from RebajaTusCuentas.com

Inicia Educacion finally awarded the Best EdTech startup Prize to Processim Labs, granting the team with a 5,000 USD equity-free check.

Swiss Cowork, Seedstars’ new partner in Lima, awarded the Peruvian local winner RebajaTusCuentas.com with the Public Prize.

prizes latam summit

from left to right: Pierre Giannoni (Swiss Capitals), Sully Siucho and her team (RebaTusCuentas.com), Romulo Navarrette (Seedstars), Javier Chan Ruiz (Processim Labs), Laura Calventi (Inicia Educación)

After this afternoon rich in emotions, all the entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and other stakeholders enjoyed a cocktail and an after-work party in the centre of Lima!

Don’t hesitate to join our Latin American community and effort by reaching out to our regional manager, Juliane, juliane@seedstars.com

A quote from a member of our network:

"Congratulations to the entire Seedstars team on an awesome event ... inspiring ventures, interesting speakers, committed investors!! All really positive and very focused on contributing to society and our environment." - Michael Hayes - Country Manager, Chile - Agora Partnerships