Challenges that the pandemic has installed in the region motivate startups and exporters from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru to offer more innovative and creative solutions.
The difficulties imposed by the pandemic on global trade have been taken as an opportunity for hundreds of Latin American startups to develop innovations and projects with greater creativity, allowing companies to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
This was one of the conclusions of the eighth version of the Pacific Alliance Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum, LAB4+, organized by the bloc’s promotion entities (ProChile, ProColombia, the Mexican Ministry of Economy and Promperú), which was developed in a 100% digital format, with the participation of technology companies from the AgroTech, EduTech, FinTech and HealthTech sectors of the four countries that make up this bloc.
“Without a doubt, 2020 has been a tremendously challenging year. Both for our companies and startups, and for us as promotion entities, we have had to innovate in order to continue connecting them with the world. In this sense, the fact that there are projected businesses for US$ 22 million in LAB4+ speaks positively of the work done, as well as of the dynamism and interest generated by the innovation of service companies and startups in the region” explained the General Director of ProChile, Jorge O’Ryan.
Flavia Santoro, President of ProColombia, said that “this meeting gained greater importance due to the current circumstances and there we were able to demonstrate the steps that the bloc has taken in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation. We celebrate these results and we are going for more, with the aim of providing greater solutions to the pandemic and that our companies continue to grow in international business”.
Dr. Sergio Silva, Head of the Global Economic Intelligence Unit of the Mexican Ministry of Economy, commented that “There could not be a more appropriate activity to conclude a year characterized by the digital adaptation of companies and governments than LAB4+ with its business innovation component. The participation of Mexican companies and start ups was very outstanding, both in the call for papers and in the results of the Forum. We continue working so that MSMEs can find new financing and business opportunities in the regional bloc and in North America”.
For his part, the Executive President of PROMPERÚ, Luis Torres, highlighted the participation of Peruvian companies in LAB4+, which achieved the highest commercial projections in the bloc with almost US$ 10 million as a result of 77 appointments between the service business rounds and the round of investors with the startups, thus demonstrating the valuable contribution of the Pacific Alliance in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation among its member companies.
In this edition, 37 service exporting companies and 42 startups from the 4 countries participated. The latter also participated in mentoring days for two weeks to participate in pitch sessions with investors from Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Canada.
The topics of entrepreneurship and innovation have become a key aspect in promoting internationally the exportable offer of each country and as a Technical Group, since the origins of the bloc, the development of an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation within the PA has been promoted. The focus is on enhancing the internationalization of an offer with high added value, disruptive, and with potential for scaling up.
This activity is key to the internationalization of startups and service companies from member countries, and the objective of this meeting is to strengthen and generate commercial ties between exporters and buyers of the productive chain of industries and services 4.0 and to promote the raising of capital among entrepreneurs and private investment funds.