Colombia has risen from its troubled past as a vibrant country that is attracting both travelers and businesses. A healthy recovery means opportunities for startups, a trend that has been spurring plenty of innovation in and around the Andean nation.
Most of this entrepreneurial activity is clustered in Medellin and Bogota, the largest cities in the country, both recognized as emerging tech hubs in the LatAm region. There, plenty of young, educated and often bilingual millennials joining the workforce turn to entrepreneurship, not out of necessity but as a more suitable fit for their globally appreciated skills.
Thus, Colombia’s great strength is human capital. The country has made great strides toward providing resources to overcome the limitations of a developing economy, mostly through collaboration from public and private entities within and without the nation.
Here are five resources that can provide mentorship, networking and funding to those taking the leap of faith to entrepreneurship in Colombia.
Just like sunflowers are not actually single flowers but radiant bouquets, Wayra is a network of accelerators working together across Latin America, making promising startups blossom. From their offices in Bogota and partly due to their Telefónica sponsorship, they have been offering their selected Colombian startups access to $50,000 in seed funding and broad network of contacts, with several competitive cohorts ‘graduating’ each year.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of Colombia, Apps.co has earned the reputation of being where the money is at. Training, competitions, funding and more, all in a single entity motivated to place Colombia in the world map of technological innovation.
Another show of the Colombian government’s will to foster entrepreneurship, INNpulsa provides business development programs that connect companies with funds, Moreover, it is one of the leading organizers of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country, preparing and providing studies on the status of the field. Stay tuned for their events, such as the upcoming Pacific Alliance South Summit and Heroes Fest.
Ruta N is a massive complex for business development in the heart of Medellín’s Innovation District. Focused on improving its surroundings in a sustainable manner, the center offers financial, networking and guidance to promising business ventures that align with their vision
A hybrid between VC and accelerator, Ventures has been making waves with their success with smaller-yet-scalable business ideas. Honorary mention goes to venture capital SocialAtom, another company also making entrepreneurial networking and funding easier for Colombian startups.