StartupBootcamp: A global school

Next week, StartupBootcamp will organize two Fintech Fast track events in Mexico DF and Sao Paulo.

StartupBootcamp is a global network of industry focused startup accelerators. It started in Europe, Denmark and today it is present all around the world with 13 accelerators in 10 locations (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Istanbul, London, Singapore, Miami and New York). Their three month programs give direct access to an international network of the most relevant partners, investors and mentors in their sectors. It won the admiration of Forbes and The Economist, praising their training system for entrepreneurs and an incredible high net worth network.

The StartupBootcamp (SBC) Fintech is the world’s largest accelerator for Fintech Startups. The three month acceleration is opened to worldwide startups with programs in London, Singapore and New York. The accelerator is the first one to receive support from leaders in the financial technology. These include 15 corporate partners, as Mastercard, Banco Santander, DBS Banks, PWC, Rabbobank among others. Yesterday, it was announced Deutsche bank decided to join the partner club too.

I would like to talk about the SBC New York program, whose applications are now open.

The startups selected will receive mentorship from entrepreneurs, investors and partners worldwide and will have access to international markets. In each batch, 10 teams are selected for a three month program to work in the New York facilities and each one will receive USD 20 thousand in cash. The program is led by Jesse Podell, a passionate about Fintech, who travels around the world to “taste” the Fintech ecosystem in other cities.

“Entrepreneurs need to think global from day one”, is a common advice from mentors. Building startups that is global-ready from the beginning will put entrepreneurs in the best position to deploy world changing solutions ahead of the competition. Countries with a small market as Colombia (47 million people) or Chile (17 million people) for example are already practicing this quote when they conceive the product because they want to reach more users. Big countries, as Brazil (200 million) or Mexico (120 million) have the reflex to focus on their local market, ignoring the global potential. International investors feel more confident when they deal with a startup that can be easily adapted to any country. A startup can start small, locally, but it has to have in mind that it needs to grow internationally: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”.

To be close to the moon, a startup should take every opportunity to be in touch with international accelerators, investors, partners or team members. The result of the melting-pot will bring concepts and approaches that can pivot the initial product or service. International actors definitively add constructive input because they see the problem differently and hence the solution. After all, deconstruction is what makes us to think outside the box.

Therefore, when international accelerators launch programs in the US, Germany, Singapore or Chile, for example, Latin American startups need to apply. Doing the path to be selected and joining other international participants, enrich the life of the startups and train them for new benchmarks. A first advice…Go to the StartBootcamp Fintech New York and apply.

Meanwhile, you can also apply to the StartupBootcamp Fintech fast-track events that they are organizing for the next week. (StartupBootcamp Fast Track Mexico and StartupBootcamp Fast Track Sao Paulo)sao-paulo_Fintechmexico_Fintech.png

StartBootcamp will select 10 teams to perform a pitch during one day and receive feedback and mentorship from StartBootcamp NY team and known personalities from the startup local ecosystem.

This is another opportunity to gather the Fintech community in Mexico and Brazil to share experiences, woes and threats. It is also an opportunity to have a chat with the international experts to learn more about the accelerator program or to look for similar references of your product abroad. Don’t ignore the foreigner, he will definitively bring something new.

To end, shoot to the moon now!  Latin American Fintech startups can also become global references. That’s our mission.

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Accelerator programs of Banks: Let’s be friends

The press likes to write about the complex relationship between banks and fintech companies. Are they friends or enemies? It depends, so they are just “Frenemies”.

Instead of digging into this debate, I would like to talk about the friendly side of this relationship: incubator and accelerator programs led by banks.

Besides money, fintech business owners look for efficiency in their operations and opportunities to make their business grow, especially when they are at early stage. With the incubator and accelerator programs, banks become the “partner” who trains, mentors, tests, funds and supports young fintech companies.

Banks have expertise with solid departments dealing with matters where fintech startups are still learning (for example; time management, marketing research, financial planning, governance and regulations).

Let’s be aware banks also represent money. They can be future direct investors or can introduce influential capitalist people and seed investors. On the other hand, they can also become future customers with a national or even international scope.

Banks environment is the best “test kitchen”. As a fellow of an incubator/accelerator program, you will be surrounded by different type of populations ready to test your prototypes and give relevant feedbacks to improve your products.

Finally, networking is key as always. During the entire incubator / accelerator program, the fellow will be in contact with several executives from the bank but also to their network. Moreover, banks select exclusive mentors from the own organization or from the startup environment to go along the fellows during this process. Let’s remember that after the closing of the program, a fellow can always contact them for other matters and may be new opportunities can emerge.

These initiatives are quite famous among big international banks in the US, Europe and Asia. But, what is happening in Brazil?

Bradesco, one of the top banks of the country was the pioneer in Brazil to get involved in the startup world. The bank opened its doors to confront the challenges of innovation and digital revolution. Thus, it launched in 2014 the first edition of InovaBra, an accelerator program with duration of 10 months. In its first edition, 8 companies were selected out of 553 applicants. Today these companies are doing business with the bank. Some of them as Queroquitar.com.br and Qranio.com are also disrupting the current Brazilian startup ecosystem.

After these successful and inspiring stories, now it is time for the second edition.

To be part of the program, the applicant doesn’t need to be a startup that offers financial services. InovaBra is looking for disruptive startups with new business models and new user experiences that can be linked to Bradesco environment.

The accelerated startup will follow an integration process since the beginning, being in contact with several divisions of the bank and different levels of management. After that, there will be a process of experimentation and validation of the prototype to finally define the involvement with the bank.

The application for the second edition is already opened and goes until December 22th 2015.

For further information, please go to http://www.inovabra.com.br

As mentioned at the beginning of this text, to be part of an accelerator program led by a bank will be very positive. Only being part of the selection process will bring more experience to the founders, because it will be very competitive.

Entrepreneurs, click on the link and apply!

Investors keep an eye on the companies selected because they will shake the Brazilian ecosystem soon.

Inovabra