The most important event for venture capital in Peru has teamed up with PECAP to put on the 2020 edition. The series will occur over a five day period in August and a diverse list of speakers has already been announced.
Startup founders are always the highlight of the event and this year Diego Olcese, Gonzalo Begazo, and Tatiana Guichard are already confirmed as speakers. More great founders are sure to particpate as well.
The organizing commitee, led by Jaime Sotomayor, has done an impressive job of organizing a full agenda that includes keynotes, panels, and workshops on a wide variety of issues.
Durante las últimas semanas, la muerte de George Floyd a manos de un policía en EE.UU ha devuelto a la actualidad el movimiento de la búsqueda por la igualdad de la población afroamericana, conocido como “Black Lives Matter” (BLM). A pesar de su origen en el activismo político, el colectivo que comenzó como un hashtag utilizado en redes sociales, hoy está consiguiendo cambios que van más allá y están permeando distintas industrias, entre ellas la de venture capital.
Fondos como SoftBank y Andreessen Horowitz han creado vehículos con la finalidad exclusiva de invertir en startups fundadas por afroamericanos y otras minorías. Hay firmas que han ido aún más lejos, publicando el make-up étnico de los founders en sus portafolios: por ejemplo, Initialized Capital reveló que el 7% de sus founders son afroamericanos, y un 9% son latinos. Sin embargo, estas minorías siguen subrepresentadas, ya que componen el 14% y el 20% de la población estadounidense, respectivamente, según la proyección al 2019 del US Census Bureau. Con el objetivo de resolver esta brecha, BLCK.VC, un grupo de inversionistas y emprendedores afroamericanos, lanzaron la campaña: “We won’t wait” .
The startup ecosystem in Peru and other smaller markets in LatAm have come a long way over the last five years. We still have a long way to go. Maintaining support of entrepreneurs in Peru and other emerging tech hubs is vital to Latin America’s future.
UTEC Ventures has set itself apart as the top startup accelerator in Peru. The program is on par with peers across Latin America and continues to attract promising startup founders from Peru and abroad. UTEC Ventures recently opened applications for its latest cohort which is aimed to support fintech and post-covid solutions.
A long, consistent, approach is paying off and the results speak for themselves.
Last year, I wrote about some of the best newsletters and websites that share information on the Peru and Latin America startup communities.
This year, more people are sharing. The new content goes beyond news. Fresh voices are both providing deeper insights into how to launch startups and building broad platforms for startups founders to share their stories.
Positive actions have been taken by traditional actors to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 in Peru. The government has taken strong steps to enforce a quarantine and implement fiscal stimulus. Many corporations are working overtime provide basic needs, including food, health and financial services.
However, opening up effectively poses an entirely different set of challenges. This is where startup founders come in. Peru’s startup founders have been thought leaders in analyzing the effects of the crisis and offering solutions.
I was recently reminded of the Stockdale Paradox, which highlights the benefits of balancing optimism with reality when faced with extreme challenges. James Stockdale was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. He said the following:
The members of PECAP have chosen new leaders to set the course for the coming year and continue to build the venture capital asset class in Peru.
Maria Pia Morante, of Acumen LatAm Capital Partners, and Meghan Stevenson-Krausz of INCA Ventures became new members of the PECAP Board and continuity was achieved as Alain Elias, of PAD – Red de Inversionistas Ángeles , Martin Aspillaga, of Salkantay, and Jose Deutsua of UTEC Ventures will continue another year. Jose Deustua takes the helm as President, after the very successful leadership of Alain Elias that culminated in the recent publication of the 2019 Report.
Last month the Peruvian Seed and Venture Capital Association, PECAP, published its Directorio de Miembros PECAP 2020. This is a great step to provide access to information on active early stage investors in Peru.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has increased its presence in Peru and, with that its support of local startups. Alex Harasic, who previously founded startup Operatio, is now Business Development Manager, Startups & Venture Capital, for Chile and Peru.
Solidarity among Peruvians has remained strong during the first weeks of the goverment-mandated quaratine period. Citizens are staying home and doing their best to manage the challanges brought by the novel coronavirus.
This solidarity of the general population has extended to startups, many of which are in a great position to provide support. In some cases, this support comes in the form of providing resources and ideas for managing time at home. In others, startup support comes in the form of a digital channel to provide direct resources to people most in need.