A consortium of investors and technology companies launched an early stage financing competition aimed at identifying the most promising technology entrepreneurs in Latin America, supporting the local technology ecosystem and creating networking opportunities between Silicon Valley and Latin America.
The competition is being organized by Riverwood Capital, a global technology private equity fund, in collaboration with Qualcomm Ventures, the venture investment group of Qualcomm Incorporated, Bill Tai, a partner at Charles River Ventures and serial entrepreneur, Veronica Serra, a partner at Pacific Investimentos, and Silicon Valley Bank. Additional supporters of the Latin America Start-up Challenge include the Latin American Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (LAVCA), Endeavor Global, Mandic, ALOG, Globant, Startupi, Webholic, AndesBeat and others.
The competition will accept applications from entrepreneurs in all Latin American countries seeking to create technology companies targeting the mobile, web, cloud or big data space. Applications will be evaluated based on innovation, business viability, market potential, and application development progress. Entries will be accepted from May 30, 2012 through August 17, 2012.
On October 4, 2012, five finalists will be announced and invited to present at PuntaTech, which will be held in January 2013 at Punta del Este, Uruguay and where a final winner will be named. The winner will receive US$100,000 in angel investor funding as well as a variety of other corporate sponsor prizes.
In addition, Qualcomm Ventures will select one winner of the QPrize Latin America competition who will receive US$100,000 in convertible note funding from Qualcomm. This winner may be a different winner from the one selected at PunaTech and also will be eligible to compete against winners from other regions in the QPrize Grand Finals competition for an additional US$150,000 in convertible note funding.
Additional details on the Latin America Start-up Challenge, the application form and general guidelines are available at www.latamstartupchallenge.com.