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Top 10 Latin American Startups of 2009

We have picked the most outstanding and promising startups in Latin America this year by way of nominations followed by a joint popular and editorial vote.

Background

Latin American entrepreneurship is having an impressive revival in the tech sector and this time around, there is activity throughout the whole region, where in the first wave, it was mostly concentrated in Argentina.

From the new generation we have seen Sonico raise $4M, Buscapé sell for $374M, Chile becoming a haven for tech investors and entrepreneurs, Argentine entrepreneur Santiago Siri make presence not only once but twice with Popego and the Whuffie Bank respectively in TechCrunch 50 two years in a row, as well as newcomer ClaseMovil (also in our Top10).

Those are just to mention a few of the international cases, as there is a miriad of other local and regional success stories, not only for specific startups but also of the community as a whole. We have seen the rapid rise of startup-centric communities like TequilaValley in Mexico, Lima Valley in Perú and Palermo Valley in Argentina to name a few.

Opportunities and Challenges

The benefit of startups in Latin America right now is how cheap the technology has become to innovate, and the top entrepreneurial talent that has resulted from a cultural shift towards entrepreneurship and innovation.

The main obstacle of very limited venture capital going in the consumer web or technology sector remains. However, many of the startups on this list have adjusted to this reality by making their operations very lean and efficient and in some cases, aiming for and achieving their break even points quicker.

Our Top 10

What is impressive to see this year is that although some of the startups are aiming at local or regional markets, the majority are actually taking the leap to compete globally.

Here goes the list:

(In alphabetical order)

  • clasemovil_logoClasemovil: (México) Seeks to improve education in students between the ages of 6 and 12 through a platform and wide array of edutainment content. Although they are currently only in Spanish, they were selected to present at TechCrunch50 (Clasemovil in PulsoSocial)
  • drimio_logoDrimio: (Brásil) An social application for Brazilian brands to communicate with its consumers sharing ideas, opinions and content (Drimio in Startupi)
  • eventioz_logoEventioz: (Argentina) This startup has created a freemium tool to create, promote and charge for events online. (Eventioz in Winred)
  • helsaude_logoHelpsaude: (Brazil) Connects patients with doctors, hospitals, dentists and other health provider and has a very robust search and filtering option. It is like Kayak for healthcare. It’s database has more thane one million health providers. (Helpsaude in Novobr)
  • joincube_logoJoincube: (Argentina) Joincube allows companies or work teams to have a private community of practice or social network. Like Ning for the internal operation of a company. (Joincube in PulsoSocial)
  • letmego_logoLetmego: (Colombia) With the first beta built in 3 months in a total immersion program (7 developers living and working together in the same house for 90 days) Letmego turns lodging upside down. The travelerers post their itinerary, and lodging providers bid for their stay. (Letmego in PulsoSocial)
  • navegg_logoNavegg: (Brazil) Navegg is a web analytics tool that provides demographic statitistics like age, income, education and gender in real-time. (Navegg in wwwhatsnew)
  • smowtion_logoSmowtion: (Argentina) Comes from the creators of Keegy.com and is an advertising network for independent publishers, very similar to the federated media model, and remarkably, they reached cash-positive in a couple of months.  (Smowtion in  softwarelogia)
  • tweetboardTweetboard: (Puerto Rico) Tweetboard brings the twitter conversations back to a website by creating a forum-style slider window on any site with a short javascript snippet. (Tweetboard in PulsoSocial)
  • twiteame_logoTwitea.me: (México) One of the attractive elements of twitter, at least in the beginning, was the ability to interface with it via SMS, a feature only available in the U.S. and limited elsewhere worldwide. What twitea.me has done is built an SMS application to send and receive Tweets in México ( Twitea.me  in PulsoSocial)

On november 30th we will be hosting a live streaming event on pio.la where each startup will have 3 minutes to present their startup to the audience and a panel of judges in order to compete for best startup of the year. Stay tuned for more details of the event.

12 Responses to Top 10 Latin American Startups of 2009

  1. Web Ideas noviembre 26, 2009 at 2:51 am #

    So many web services. Thanks!

  2. alejandro noviembre 29, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    muy buenas cosas, me gusto mucho tweetboard. la mismas personas detras de letmego son los de voice123, alex (founder) es excelente, me alegra que hayan posteado su nuevo proyecto en el blog.

  3. Fernando Labastida diciembre 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

    Felicidades por la lista! Lo que me gustó es que ahi van representados empresas de muchos paises, desde México, hasta Puerto Rico, Colombia, Chile y Argentina. Silicon Valley Latam es toda la región!!!

  4. y2010? junio 24, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    Looks like 2010 might be an even better year for Latin America with group buying sites such as clandescuento.com, cuponzote.com, and peixeurbano.com.br

  5. Federico julio 27, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Hola, en cuanto sea posible podrían informar de la posibilidad de inscribir Startups para el 2010.
    Gracias.

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