A little more than a year ago, we published a list of 9 Latin American accelerators you should know. It included names such as 21212, Aceleradora, Startup Farm and Wayra, which have had a transforming impact on the Latin American startup scene, as showcased during TNW Conference Latin America’s Best of Accelerators Startup Battle last month.
While it is still valid for the most part, it is now far from exhaustive, as new accelerators keep on emerging. This is particularly true in Brazil, where entrepreneurs looking for seed funding and mentoring now have new opportunities to look into, especially in specific niches. Here are five initiatives you should check out:
Papaya Ventures, starting with mobile
Rio de Janeiro-based Papaya Ventures defines itself as “the first multi-thematic startup accelerator.” In practical terms, it means that each of its two annual acceleration cycles will be dedicated to a specific vertical, starting with mobile.
According to its co-founder and CEO, Luisa Ribeiro, the main advantage of this model is that it lets Papaya find the best mentors for each theme and organize specialized workshops during its six-month program.
After being accepted into the program,companies get R$20,000 in seed funding ($9,880 USD) in exchange of 10% of equity. In addition, they also get access to Papaya’s co-working space, not to mention consulting and mentoring from the accelerator’s network.
Appies’ AppAceleration Program, for ‘geekpreneurs’
As we reported, Appies recently closed a seed round from Trindade Investimentos to create a dashboard for apps and APIs. Yet, it hasn’t given up on its original plan to be an accelerator for developers, and it is now launching the first cycle of its beta acceleration cycle, due to start in early October.
According to its co-founder, Bob Wollheim, the program will focus on ‘geekpreneurs,’ a term he coined to describe gen Y developers with an entrepreneurial mindset. As a matter of fact, Appies will work with individuals or group of individuals who are keen to contribute to the geek economy – but are leaner than startups.
According to its blog, the program will “select 10 developers from all over the world that will be accelerated during 3 months and will receive an online media package, mentorship on creating a business plan and a canvas business model, technical guidance, a design package, outsourced business development, access to a marketplace and a matchmaking (dev/designers) and will also be able to participate in the Appies online Demo Day (early 2013) and will get support for the necessary funding.”
Pipa, for sustainable ventures
‘Pipa’ means ‘kite’ in Portuguese, and it is also the name of a new accelerator that helps to aim sustainable startups to successfully take off. “Our goal is to support entrepreneurs that are truly committed to creating high-impact businesses that generate financial, social and environmental value. We do this in two ways: education and acceleration,” its founders explain.
Pipa is the result of a partnership between several entities from Rio de Janeiro – Tátil, Cria, Perestroika and Engage – which will all dedicate time and resources to the accelerator and education programs. Each of them will also bring a different area of expertise, from design, branding and communication to sustainability and technology.
Programa Locaweb Startup, including support from Endeavor
Programa Locaweb Startup is the result of a partnership between Brazilian web hosting company Locaweb and the Brazilian branch of global entrepreneur network Endeavor. According to its promoters, the purpose of this new initiative is to find Brazil’s top three Internet startups – and give them a boost.
Organizers initially picked up 30 companies, which they then shortlisted to a list of three semi-finalists. The winners will be announced during a grand finale that will be held on September 25.
As part of the 6-month program, the selected companies will receive R$30,000 ($14,820 USD) and get free office space, in addition to back office support. Both Endeavor and Locaweb will also provide the teams with access to their networks of mentors – which is probably the program’s main asset.
Tree Labs, a new option in São Paulo
Tree Labs is an ongoing startup acceleration program that provides teams with traditional acceleration services for 6 months – seed funding, but also consulting on marketing, accounting and technology. At the moment, five startups are participating in the program – Agendor, Assina me, ClickArq, Logovia and Recruto.
According to Tree Labs co-founders, Cesar Mufarej and Anthony Eigier, they found the inspiration to launch an accelerator as they were looking for a tech company to invest in, but couldn’t find startups that were investment-ready. Serial entrepreneur Rogério Silberberg then joined them as Tree Labs’ third partner, while also serving as a mentor.
As you can see, several of these new Brazilian accelerators aren’t based in São Paulo, and most of them focus on specific sectors. This seems to confirm a global trend; as our managing editor Martin Bryant noted in a post about the UK, going niche could be the best route for regional accelerators to get a slice of startup action.
Image credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA / Getty Images
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