Peru has been on a bit of an innovation kick as of late. Although the country remains traditionally focused on mining, the Peruvian government is now on a mission to increase investment in innovation by 10x over the next decade. And the goal? To support high-impact Peruvian startups, in order to create more quality jobs in the country.
Just a few years ago, Peruvian entrepreneurs were lacking in support on their rise to success. In fact the country has really only seen one unicorn, movie ticket app Cinepapaya, which was acquired by NBCUniversal’s Fandango. Recently however, the country has proven its commitment to helping businesses grow – through both government support, and private accelerators.
If you’re new to the Peruvian business ecosystem, here’s where to look for support:
Startup Peru was launched by the Peruvian Ministry of Production, with the goal of giving startups the tools to develop creative solutions, and flourish over time. The community offer programs for three different types of companies: those at a business model stage, early-stage companies that have already launched, and high-impact companies working on innovative solutions.
And with these programs, comes a fairly decent chunk of financing. Companies with business models receive funding up to S/50,000 (15,000 USD), early-stage companies up to S/150,000 (46,000 USD) and high-impact companies up to S/150,000 (153,000 USD). Startup Peru has proved pretty popular – this year 837 projects applied for seed capital funding, and 106 ventures were granted it.
Innovative Peru is another Ministry of Production program. This one provides a handful of more specific funds, such as ones that facilitate research and development, or provide money for scientific equipment. Right now, Innovate Peru is looking for companies innovating in biotech, agroctech, and foodtech – and if you’re an entrepreneur in that space, you’re in luck. They have an S/11 million fund (about $3,400,000 USD) to give away.
Endeavour Peru is a high-impact accelerator. While Endeavour has offices in more than 25 countries, the Peru chapter currently supports 24 entrepreneurs, from 14 companies. The program helps entrepreneurs in building their product, perfecting their business model, marketing, sales, and capital. They also boast the Peruvian Investor Network, which seeks to connect entrepreneurs with investors to get a solid Venture Capital Industry up-and-running in Peru. To check out their current companies, see here.
Peru’s first accelerator, Wayra is run by multinational telecom provider Telefónica across Latin America and Spain. This one provides digital startups with up to $50,000 in funding, a workspace in Peru, and access to a global network of mentors and business experts. Even better, it gives startups access to work with Telefónica affiliates based around the world.
Last year the Ministry of Production launched the Capital Entrepreneur contest. This includes a S/5.7 million ($1.7 million USD) that will be delivered to investment funds that devise high-impact proposals for future Peruvian VC funds. In the next two years, the goal is to provide $500,000 USD to 10 projects that’ll make a difference for Peruvian society. So while it might not be a resource at disposal yet, if the contest is successful, it soon will be.
Peru’s business ecosystem is still growing, but some serious strides have been made in the past few years. As the programs listed here graduate more startups, you can expect to see big things coming out of the country.