With a rising wave of new tech startups attracting the eyes of major investors in Brazil, remains clear that digital transformation is taking the country by storm. In 2019, Brazil saw 5 startups reach the status of unicorns and ranked third among the countries that had the largest number of startups to be valued at $1 billion or more, only behind the US and China.
Two of them, the real estate startup QuintoAndar and the delivery platform Loggi, have more than the unicorn status to share: both took part at Google for Startups Accelerator program, formerly known as Launchpad Accelerator. Focused on product and tech projects development with the support of Google teams, the program aims especially at startups that are creating solutions with Google’s Cloud, Machine Learning and AI products.
It is this same program that winners of the “Startup Battle”, a competition held by Brazil at Silicon Valley and Google for Startups, will have access in the second half of 2020. The initiative will take place during the second edition of Brazil at Silicon Valley conference, on March 30 and 31, in Mountain View, California. Organized by Brazilian students from Stanford and Berkeley universities, the event has the mission of connecting Brazil to Silicon Valley with a purpose in mind: transform the country’s future through technology and innovation.
“Google for Startups is a sponsor and partner of Brazil at Silicon Valley, as it believes in the importance of fueling the experiences and learning exchange with more mature ecosystems, connecting Brazilian startups to these regions,” said Google for Startups in an interview with LABS. ” Apart from exposing their business to a group of US leaders from different sectors during the conference, they will also have, when they return home, the opportunity to create a tech project on our accelerator and further advance their mission.”
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One of the competition’s criteria is that startups have to fit into tech-related industries. But even with Brazil watching a rising wave of fintechs emerging, other sectors are also rushing to get a share. “Since the start of Google for Startups operations in Brazil, fintech has been the area of greatest concentration among participants. In recent years, however, we have followed an increasing volume of applications from startups in the education and health sectors,” the spokesperson told LABS. “We believe that the moment is very opportune for solutions focused on generating social impact, especially with the growing demand from society for more inclusive and sustainable products.”
With more than 60 Brazilian startups accelerated since its launch in 2016, including unicorns Nubank, Loggi, and QuintoAndar, Google for Startups Accelerator has also a specific edition for Spanish-speaking countries, in Latin America. With the next edition set to happen in April, the program has already supported 30 startups in the region.
During the Startup Battle, participants will have to pitch for a committee of members from Google for Startups and large venture capital firms. In this year’s edition, the focus will be on early-stage companies, from seed capital to Series A investment. “Partners are still being selected. However, Brazil at Silicon Valley has large funds as sponsors – among them, Valor Capital Group and SoftBank, which will certainly have a secured place in the startups selecting board for the competition.” Applications are open until February 14 and results will be released on February 22.