iBillionaire hits the NYSE and an in-depth look at what makes Start-Up Chile and Start-Up Brasil tick. These and more are the top stories in LatAm tech and entrepreneurship over the past seven days:
To accompany his agency in its regional growth, Nick Law, Global Chief Creative Officer at R/GA, traveled to Buenos Aires. Law is the creative mind behind the immensely successful Nike+ and a driving force in R/GA’s creative division.
In an interview with PulsoSocial, Law emphasized the fusion of creativity and technology:
Information is tracked to see what people are looking for and what to sell them. Nike collects information from its platform, and people provide that information because they know they’re going to get a service in exchange. They don’t respond the same way they do with spam. Today, creativity by itself isn’t possible without technological support, it’s impossible in today’s world. It’s hard for a company to have an idea and execute it, but you learn with practice, thinking and doing at the same time.
European mobile payments leader SumUp set its sights on Latin America in July with the backing of BBVA Ventures. At the time, the company remained quiet on the issue of where it would be launching first, but last week, it made the announcement: Brazil.
SumUp officially opened offices in São Paulo and will now attack the local m-payments market in full force. It’s got its eye on the little guy – an estimated 22 million SMEs and micro-businesses in Brazil.
AgentPanda is the only Latin American company accelerating with Evernote this year. We talked with company CEO Daniel Artunduaga about how the team made it to Evernote and what the program has added to the project overall.
About to launch an app designed for travel agents, AgentPanda has high hopes for its product’s potential reach. Luis Samra, who heads up Evernote’s Latin American division, reflected on the project:
What is interesting about AgentPanda’s solution is that it’s a global problem. It’s not just a problem in the United States. It’s something that can be resolved on a worldwide level.
From a distance, Start-Up Brasil and Start-Up Chile seem to be very much the same thing: government-funded programs aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and startup culture in their respective nations. But just how similar are they? Not as much as you may think.
We spoke to Chile’s Horacio Melo and Brazil’s Felipe Matos in an effort to dig a bit deeper into what each of these programs has to offer and identify some key points of departure. An example: Chile’s equity-free proposal vs. Brazil’s involvement of accelerators that take a stake.
“Some would expect SUP Brasil and SUP Chile to just be competitors, but our answer to that is to host a Demo Day together,” Melo said. “We are sharing talent and investors because, anyway, each entrepreneur and/or investor will decide whether Chile or Brazil fits their needs better, and that is just totally fine. Our countries are different, and our tech ecosystems are different, too. Entrepreneurs and investors will be wise and choose what they need the most at the moment. Our job here as government is to give them options.”
Last week, Buenos Aires-born startup iBillionaire made a quite unusual leap. Originally launched as an iOS app in April, the company launched the iBillioniare Index (BILLION) to compete directly with the S&P 500.
“The index was always in the plan, and I think it was a natural step for us,” explained iBillionaire co-founder Raul Moreno. “Finance is about investing, so we knew we had to be more than an information portal. Sometimes, I compare us to a newspaper. We want to be more than a site with information, selling ads about what apartments to buy in the classifieds. We want to be the newspaper and have the classifieds, and we also want to build and sell the homes listed.”