The largest global competition for startups in emerging markets, Seedstars World, is bringing together the best entrepreneurs from 12 Latin American countries November 28 - December 2, 2016, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Local winners of Seedstars World across Latin America will participate in an intensive two-day boot camp and spend one day with investors. The event will end with a regional conference open to the public, which will feature disruptive conferences, networking sessions, lectures, and inspirational workshops on how to influence the lives of people in emerging markets through entrepreneurship and technology.
The best entrepreneurs in the region will present their businesses and discuss the challenges and opportunities of launching a startup in Latin America. Here’s a look at the 12 Seedstars World finalists of Latin America for 2016.
1. qAIRa Nano+7, Peru
qAIRa is a Peruvian startup on a mission to tackle the world’s largest environmental risk: air contamination. The startup was born as a research project from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) and has attracted international attention for its drones that have the ability to monitor air pollution in difficult to reach places. qAIRa has focused on the mining sector in Peru, where most mines are located thousands of meters above sea level. The startup’s mission to inform and empower citizens for effective environmental change is a leading example of the powerful expansion of drone technology into the public sphere.
2. Sur3D, Uruguay
Sur3D is on a mission to make the wonders of 3D printing available to everyone. The Uruguayan startup is creating new 3D printing experiences where people can create one-of-a-kind products without any design or modeling experience needed. Founded in 2013 by software engineer Alejandro Lozdziejski, Sur3D facilitates the designing and 3D printing of products with its flagship product SELVA, which converts images, drawings, and logos into 3D STL files for 3D printing.
3. TrainFes, Chile
TrainFES is a Chilean startup that develops medical technology for the rehabilitation of people globally with paralysis. The team has designed easy-to-use, portable devices using technology that is currently used in top rehabilitation centers in the world for patients after strokes, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, or neurodegenerative diseases. TrainFes devices are designed to be used in the home, controlled remotely through a telemedical platform which is connected directly to the patient’s smartphone or tablet.
4. Criptext, Ecuador
Criptext bills itself as a more secure way to send emails via a Gmail and Outlook plugin that allows users to recall emails and encrypt their messages. Criptext recently secured $500,000 in a seed round for its technology that is intended to be used by companies sending a lot of sensitive information. This includes healthcare companies, law firms, and wealth management firms. In the wake of recent hacks around the world, Criptext has proven itself to be very useful.
5. Ultracasas, Bolivia
Bolivian startup, UltraCasas.com, is an online portal to share and search for properties to buy, sell, or rent. For sellers, the platform provides many tools, such as information about your buyers and payment facilitation. UltraCasas.com has quickly become the largest real estate portal in Bolivia, with more than 4,000 listed properties and thousands of monthly visitors.
6. QueroQuitar, Brazil
QueroQuitar is a Brazilian startup that not only provides financial planning services, but it allows consumers to locate, negotiate, and repay all of their debts in a different way. Dedicated to helping people solve their financial problems through a friendly, online service, QueroQuitar offers a secure, private online platform that is accessible at any time of day so consumers can get the information they need when they need it.
7. SmartPoll, Argentina
SmartPoll, an innovative startup coming out of Argentina, provides a means of direct communication and real-time access to a large group of people on a topic for instant results. Polls can be used in situations such as large events, training sessions, and large businesses or government organizations. Users can propose a question to the audience, audiences can answer from their mobile devices, and results can be revealed in real time on a projected screen.
8. Blue-loop, Costa Rica
Costa Rican startup, Blue-loop, is solving the problems of supply chains of large companies. Blue-loop, a software as a service company, centralizes a wide range of data into one easily accessible and visible place through its integrated applications and systems for enterprise end-to-end supply chains.
9. Mesfix, Colombia
Fintech innovation in Latin America is thriving, and Mesfix is one of the many startups leading the way. The Colombian startup offers a crowd-factoring marketplace for SMEs to sell their invoices and obtain liquidity, and investors earn by making that cash available immediately.
10. Apli, Mexico
Apli is revolutionizing the traditional labor market in Mexico with its on-demand platform for jobs. The service connects workers of all kinds with companies struggling to compensate for high turnover of personnel or companies that have a peak demand period and a shortage of workers. Apli is set to transform major sectors of the economy by matching certified workers and companies through their location-based application.
11. Red Oxigen, Panama
Red Oxigen is representing Panama with an augmented reality game that promises to boost visits and sales in stores while collecting information about customer behavior. End users, or buyers, also have access to an organized shopping list, personalized shopping preferences, review options, and loyalty programs.
12. Edupass, Dominican Republic
Last but not least, Edupass, from the Dominican Republic, is a hub for students navigating the admission process. Its mission is to expand university access to aspiring students everywhere by pairing students with admissions experts from their target universities and academic fields for one-on-one mentorship opportunities.