Sequoia Capital hits Latin America 40 years later, with Scanntech US$10M investment

Editor’s note: The official press release was reported on December 7, 2011. 

This may seem like ‘old’ news, however, since we’re continuously hunting uncovered news about Latin America startup scene that haven’t received coverage in the English markets, we decided to publish this information regardless.

Back in 2011, Raul Polakof (Scanntech CEO) discussed the challenges and opportunities of building a business in a small market and how his company survived a financial crisis and the brink of bankruptcy. 9 months later, Scanntech, a Uruguayan based company that provides a platform for small business, received US$10M invesment from Sequoia Capital. The funding are for growing purposes and will help to strengthten Scanntech expansion in the region.

This is the first time that Sequoia Capital makes an investment in Latin America. Sequoia is one of the top vc fundings of the world (they raised 1,35 billion last year to fund new startups), and they are known by leading investments in companies that are developing new technologies and have high-growth potential such as AppleGoogleLinkedinPaypalOracle, Cisco and Yahoo! (check their Internet portfolio). Continue reading

Clouli’s new network leads Latin America into the ‘Age of Knowledge’

Clouli‘s (Cloud + Liberty) new e-learning platform, created under the direction of Sergio Ionele Povea Sáez, former CEO of the award winning Goin Entertainment, is designed with the intention to help Latin Americans ‘free their mind’ through knowledge co-creation and shared experiences.

Based out of Temuco, the capital of the Araucania Region IX (in the south of Chile), also further reaffirms the breadth of startup talent emerging from outside of Chile’s capital city.

Intended to be a mashup that blends the creativity, depth,  infiniteness and design side of TED with the crowdsourced insightful responses of Quora, it appears that Clouli is setting the foundation to support its home country of Chile, in increasing and scaling its human capital knowledge base and talent pool. Continue reading

Chile’s Startup Week in Review….

Gran Chile startup founders and tech entrepreneurs! I am so proud of you. Indeed you have come along way since January 12, 2012. (Note: The week’s highlights and new contest launches follow intro).

I see you are taking your place in the world not as merely startup founders and tech entrepreneurs from Chile, but as rising global startup thought leaders launching out of Latin America; and the next generation of Angels/VC founders and philanthropists in the making.

Over recent weeks, you have been crushing all the misconceptions and beliefs that are often heard among entrepreneurial and startup circles in Latin America.

Startups and tech entrepreneurs – here’s how you are blowing IT up and making big things happen in (and for) Chile:

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Open and Social Innovation: Techolab determined to bring ‘just this’ for all

Editor’s Note: This story is republished from Shonika Proctor’s December 2011 monthly print column in I Love Chile English language newspaper where the article first appeared.

‘What if’ are two of the most powerful words found in the innovation and entrepreneurship space. They are the words that lead us to dream a bigger dream, play with possibilities and create solutions from the edge of our potential. Jesuit Priest Felipe Berríos SJ’s ‘What If’ question was:

What if we could eradicate extreme poverty for those living at the base of the economic pyramid in Chile?’

Before I finish the story of what happened next, it goes without saying that if I were to ask that question to 100 different people from different backgrounds, with or without varying levels of education, careers, socio-economic statuses and so forth, I could very well receive 100 different answers. And if I then grouped those 100 people together coupled with a social network and funding source to implement those ideas this would be Techolab and thus the power and potential of open and social innovation. Continue reading

Chilean national youth robotics team ready to ‘Kinect’ in the U.S.A.

Corazón de Chileno® (FRC Team 2576) is Chile’s multi award winning national youth robotics team. They are the only Chilean team represented in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), an international tournament where more than 4000 teams participate.

Launched in 1991, FRC launches a different challenge every year, made by engineers from different companies like NASA, General Motors and Lockheed Martin.

This year, youth teams from all around the world will be working on the 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition challenge: Rebound Rumble, where the robots will play a game similar to basketball. A very important thing to consider is that the robots will need to be controlled by Kinect, the Microsoft XBox 360 device (a sensory device that allows you to control the XBox 360 solely using body gestures and spoken commands). Continue reading

8 slots available for One-on-One Mentoring with Vanesa Kolodziej

Organized by Tara Roberts who runs Girltank  a movement that connects and support young women social entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world and Girls in Tech Chile, this mentoring activity (for women entrepreneurs and startup founders) is scheduled for March 5th, 2012 (Location: to be determined).

There are only 8 slots available. Vanesa will choose the 8 she thinks she can best help, so make your case as clear as possible. Continue reading

Gled plays with Chile’s entrepreneurial reality

Editor’s Note: This story is  republished from Shonika Proctor’s February 2012 monthly print column in I Love Chile English language newspaper where the article first appeared.

Somewhere between the physical world and the virtual world, the creative world and the technical world, lies the world that Gled built.

Originally started as a project out of the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, UTFSM, (Chile’s leading Science, Technology and Engineering School) by classmates Aníbal Valencia, Juan Pablo León, Tomás Mardones and Gonzalo Vallejos, the multi-award winning company, Gled, has risen to become one of Latin America’s (and in many regards) one of the world’s leading providers of augmented reality (AR) customized applications. Continue reading

IguanaBee buzzes into the game localization market for China

Back in mid 2010 after I read that Playstation had announced the localization of their games for the Latin America market I thought that this would inevitably kick off a cross-pollination of indie game designers and apps.

And it appears that Chilean indie game developers IguanaBee were affirming it in real time.

From developing augmented reality games for consumer based brands to 3D audio games for blind gamers, they are going to the outer boundaries of niche markets in the gaming world. Their next stop…China.

Dongzhe Sun from China (featured in photo above), will be in Chile supporting IguanaBee in China for 6 months.

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While you were chatting…A startup revolution was born

One of my friends was recently asking me about startups and how that world works. And he mentioned this to me in the context of the CNN documentary Black in America, which recently aired, where they were asking is Silicon Valley the new promised land for African Americans? (my thoughts in terms of my current work can be found on point #4).

First, my friends should know better than mentioning something related to a heavily media propagated message into a conversation in which they solicit my advice especially related to business.

And second, they know that my disruption mode is all’ways on (Translation: I like to argue for ‘the sport’ of it). So don’t have kittens when I say something you don’t want to hear. Anyway, I think the conversation started something along the lines of this….

From what I can recall, in the mid to late 1990’s you were spending all your free time chatting on AOL Black Voices when the startup revolution in Silicon Valley was born. And that reality is playing out now.

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Meet AndesMade Advisor: Hannu Krosing

AndesBeat is uber excited to announce Hannu Krosing as the 2nd mentor of our forthcoming AndesMade immersion based initiative to support Chilean startup founders and tech entrepreneurs rapid prototype and quickly get ideas into the marketplace with their bootstrapping mode on. (You can follow our running list with  newly named mentors here!)

Since we have been told time and time again its going to be a little difficult to support our ‘utopian’ dreams of building our community of soon to be ‘bleeding edge’ hackers and startup thought leaders from a bunch of ‘failed and rejected’ Chilean startup projects, we thought we would get a 2nd opinion just to be sure…

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