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Expanding the business: The startup panorama in LatAm

Ten Colombian digital companies will go to Mexico and Peru for an exploratory mission in order to expand their business internationally between November 11 and 16. This trip is part of the Apps.co Digital Business Expansion Program, a program of the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MINTIC) that promotes the development and strengthening of digital enterprises, in the company of Seedstars, the global community and investment fund for technology entrepreneurs and startups in emerging markets.

The variety of the startups

Startups offer a variety of services between B2B and B2C from fintech and collection platforms to tourism travel planning. All have a digital element. The companies InteliBPO, Rebus, KAWAK, Taxia Life, Instrumentalia, Sistema Saberes, IGLUW, Planesturisticos.com, and Lookapp will be in Mexico while IMIX will travel to Peru starting this great process.

In preparation for expansion trips, last week they carried out a bootcamp where they made a deep dive into the following topics: how to reach new markets, how to acquire new customers, “buyer people”  and talks with entrepreneurs in the markets from Mexico and Peru.

The startups will focus on three main themes: First, to know the ecosystem by visiting accelerators, incubators, interacting with the main actors in the ecosystem. Second, connect with other Colombian startups already active in Mexico and Peru to share experiences and knowledge to enter these markets. And finally, a personalized business agenda. Each startup will attend with the intention of managing meetings with clients and potential alliances to take into account the concrete steps to enter a new market.

The expansion process

In the preparation stage for the expansion trip, the companies focused first on when and where to carry out their expansion process. Companies identified if they are in the best time to expand as a company, and if not, when is the best time to do so. Then, they went to where, studying the countries that should prioritize. This phase uses seven selection criteria which are geographical distance, cultural distance, government forces, market needs, market difference, competition, and costs.

They finished this phase with a pitch session where they showed their progress in this work presenting their product / market fit studies and the selection criteria for internationalization. The level was very high and it shows a great improvement of all the companies, without exception, compared to their presentations in the selection panel and at the beginning of the program.

According to Maria del Pilar Olloqui, Manager of Digital Entrepreneurship and Apps.co of the MinTIC, “from the Ministry ICT we are very happy to be part of the process of International Expansion of the 10 companies benefiting from the Digital Business Expansion program. It is the first time that our program carries out an activity of this impact and we are sure that the exploratory mission week will bring a great benefit for companies”.

About Seestars

Seedstars is a group founded in Switzerland with the mission of impacting people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The group’s activities cover more than 80 emerging ecosystems through a variety of events such as the Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical centers called Seedspace, venture capital investments and business creation activities.

About Apps.co

Apps.co is the ICT Ministry Program, developed by the IT Industry Development Directorate, focused on promoting the creation and strengthening of digital enterprises based on the generation of market value, while creating and enhancing the Accompaniment and support capabilities of local entities. Its objective is to close the gaps in the development of digital ventures, through the accompaniment offer that fits the needs of digital entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs.


Also published on Medium.

Published inStartups

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