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500 Startups Kicks Off Program to Help New Companies in Latin America

The investment firm will work with startups in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru and Chile and help launch their businesses.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Since 2013, the investment firm 500 Startups has been betting on Latin American companies, and this year will be no exception. In its first year, it will benefit seven companies with growth potential.

Cortesía de 500 Startups

With a record participation of 2,107 companies from all over Latin America in November 2020, seven were chosen from various countries and different industries. The chosen companies are from Mexico, Chile, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

In previous investments, the next step after choosing the companies was to take them to an acceleration program, but now, the process will be different.

The firm will present “Somos Lucha,” a new model that it will use to work with the founders with which it intends to “analyze each step to become the best partners that a startup can have in its first years of life.”

Now, the 16 weeks of the program will be different from how they were done with the acceleration program. For example, they will no longer do group content talks. Now the process will be as follows:

  • Personal advice with the POC (Point of Contact) in order to understand the specific needs of startups.
  • International mentors will be accessible on demand, working in 1:1 sessions.
  • Collaboration spaces between founders, where topics and sessions that are considered important for the entire team are identified.

With this new strategy, the firm wants to focus on what positively impacts companies.

"After 12 batches of the acceleration program, many things have been learned, although, with each edition, changes have been made. The 500 Startups team decided that it was time for a more radical change," the firm explained in a statement.

Image: Courtesy of 500 Startups.

The selected companies this year

The seven companies that were selected will receive an investment of $60,000 each and will enter the new Somos Lucha program, where, for 4 months, they will have a preparation side by side with 500 Startups and international mentors, in a program adapted to the needs of each company. The program will also promote each of the companies' values and shore up their business models.

Again, this year, all the interaction will be totally remote, with the firm's leaders Santiago Zavala, René Lomelí and Didier Quiroz at the head of the entire process.

Among the selected companies are:

  • AlterEstate (Dominican Republic): Cloud platform that helps real estate agencies manage and sell properties.
  • Contalink (Mexico): Accounting software in the cloud that automates and streamlines the work of accountants in Mexico.
  • Instacash (Peru): Loan technology between people, guaranteed by credit card lines as collateral.
  • Mubit (Mexico): Storage service with collection and home delivery powered by a web platform.
  • Educational Portal (Chile): Online school platform that enhances the learning of its students.
  • Shuttle Central (Mexico): Web platform that connects local tourist transport services in one place.
  • Yana (Mexico): Application in Spanish that accompanies people on the path to emotional well-being.

These investments are just the first of several that 500 Startups intends to make in the region this year.