the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

NXTP Labs: Supporting Tech Entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean

Por Susana Garcia-Robles

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Founded in 2011, NXTP Labs is an early-stage investment fund based out of Buenos Aires, featuring a regional accelerator program for LAC tech entrepreneurs modeled after Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator. The fund, like Y Combinator, seeks to accelerate companies which have the potential to reach the vaunted “unicorn” status ($1 billion valuation). However, NXTP Labs’ mission also includes nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America, therefore making it a perfect natural partner for the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

Drones: De herramientas de guerra a la innovación social

Por Svante Persson

Según el estudio de la firma Oliver Wyman, para el 2035 se proyecta que la cantidad de Drones existentes sobrepasará la cantidad de aeronaves en operación.  Igualmente el más reciente estudio de Price Waterhouse and Cooper,  señala que hoy, los costos laborales y los servicios que pueden ser reemplazados por el uso de estos dispositivos representan alrededor de US$127 Billones, indicando que los principales sectores son infraestructura, agricultura y transporte. Por ejemplo los drones pueden ser utilizados para verificar campos agrícolas para ayudar a productores a hacer un uso más eficiente de las semillas, fertilizantes y el manejo del agua.

Shifting toward the knowledge economy

Por Norah Sullivan

The tech world is abuzz with advances in the IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), robotics, and 3D printing. These headline-grabbing innovations are just part of the greater digital revolution that has been sweeping across the globe in the last decade.

In search of high-growth enterprises

Por Irani Arraiz

Photo by Robert Scoble

According to the World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys, about 10.5% of formal firms in Latin America have been in operation for 5 years or less.  This is bad news for innovation and growth in the region.  In a typical year in the US, startups—or businesses that are just beginning to operate—account for about 10% of firms (in a typical year, 35% of firms have been in operation for 5 years or less).  These numbers are important because from this pool of young firms spring those that drive job creation, output, and innovation.  Although we know very little about firm dynamics in Latin America, we can draw some conclusions by looking at what we know about firms in the US:

Venture Capital: Driving Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

Por Yuri Soares

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Startups and scaleups create the vast majority of jobs in the formal economy, providing, on average, 66% of the jobs worldwide, and the greatest share of jobs in low income countries. Moreover, the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is important not just for job creation, but also for economic growth, thanks to its outstanding capacity to increase productivity through innovation. For example, approximately 85% of growth between 1900 and 1950 is attributable to innovation, rather than increased usage of inputs, and the financing of SMEs via risk capital —most notably venture capital, which is also called smart capital because it combines financing with active hands-on support— has been found to be three to four times more effective at generating innovation than other alternatives, such as corporate research or development funding.