StartUp Europe Latin America: Building Bridges for StartUps

On March 19th 2018, YouthProAktiv joined the High Level Seminar “Startup Europe Latin America” organized by Startup Europe Latam Assembly which is a cluster of startups, corporates, entrepreneurships actor, universities, policy-makers and public administrations. They aim at connecting startups, venture capital funds, angel investors, corporates, and specific ecosystem intermediaries to make EU-LATAM cooperation more effective, while ensuring sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

Startup Europe Latam Assembly gathers numerous partners being at the core: FINNOVA (Spain), IESE BUSINESS ANGEL NETWORK (Spain) STARTP OLE (Spain), EMPRENDE UP (Peru), INTEC FOUNDATION (Spain), EUCAPITAL (Belgium), PAD BUSINESS SCHOOL (Peru), XCALA ANGELS (All Latam), CONNECT BOGOTA (Colombia), LATAM Ventures (All Latam) among others. Many of them gave us their opinion about the startup situation in these countries and the problems that they have in order to scaling up across continents. For instance, they talk about the lack of funding or the difficult to share the talent between Europe and Latin America, as said Mr. Javier Vallaure, CEO of ALLPAGO.

Mr. Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament welcomed the audience. He highlighted the need to strengthen relations between Europe and Latin America due to the general great benefit that labor market and SMEs will experience in consequence. “It is important to support SMEs through financing and a beneficial legal framework” he concluded.

Mr. Roberto Viola, Director General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of European Commission focused on the importance of a unique market in Europe, which is difficult to spread to other continents. Moreover, he highlighted the importance of innovative entrepreneurship and the creation of an auspicious environment for startup development based on good relations with Latin America.

Ms. Julia Prats, associate Dean and Entrepreneurship Professor of IESE Business School, as moderator of the seminar, introduced different entrepreneurs that focused on the opportunities and barriers to scale across regions. Different challenges were exposed by Mr. Javier Vallaure, CEO of ALLPAGO, Germany, Mr. Stefano Portu, Founder SHOPFULLY, Italy, Mr. Eduardo Amadeo, founder of Mountain Nazca- Partners, Argentina and Ms.Isabelle Chaquiriad, Director Xcala Angels, Uruguay. Not only the lack of financing in Latin America but also the strong framework regulation, the difficulties for attracting new talents, the not always easy flows between Europe and Latin America and the bureaucratic barriers were discussed as main challenges.

For the closing of the panel Ms. Julia Prats started the discussion on “Supporting entrepreneurs across-regions” gathering the different inputs of Mr. Javier Salinas Director EmprendeUP, Peru, Mr. Felipe Chediak, Director BuenTrip Hub, Ecuador, Ms. Elisa Bustamante, Director Creame, Colombia and Mr. Agustin Moro, Gobal Head of Business Development and Global Strategic Partnerships Telefonica Open Future, Spain. Focusing rather on the keys for improving the startup process, the highlighted the need for local accompaniment and collaboration programs with Europe as way to develop a successful startup ecosystem.

Collaboration & dialogue arose as key factors key for the scalability of start-ups across Europe.