Accelerator firm Startupbootcamp has launched a fintech-focused programme based in Mexico City, targeting the wealth of start-ups that have recently appeared in Latin America.
The company has teamed up with the region’s main fintech champion, Finnovista, on the project, which will be led by Nektarios Liolios, CEO and co-founder of Startupbootcamp Fintech, together with Latin American entrepreneurs Fermín Bueno and Andrés Fontao from Finnovista.
Though based in Mexico City, the programme is open to all fintech start-ups from across Latin America, with ‘FastTrack’ events scheduled to be held in all major Latin American cities from March to May 2017 to introduce companies to the Startupbootcamp team and encourage them to apply.
The programme also has the support of local and global financial giants including Visa, Fiinlab powered by Gentera, BanRegio, EY, and White & Chase.
According to Angel List, there are currently just under 7,000 start-ups in South America, with Brazil, Chile and Mexico as the main hubs. These are drawing more and more venture capital: the Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA) reports that investors poured US$2.3bn into the region’s start-up ecosystem in the past five years.
“When it comes to the mass adoption of new fintech solutions, LatAm remains behind compared to the fintech revolution witnessed in Asia, Europe, and North America in recent years,” notes Startupbootcamp in a release.
“Of course, this presents a great opportunity for Latin America’s emerging startups working on new innovative fintech business models not yet offered by Latin America’s financial services, and of course for organisations such as Startupbootcamp.”
Bruno Diniz, fintech advisor at São Paulo-based Innercore Solutions, tells GTR: “It’s good to see initiatives like this and to know that the programme is being sponsored by such high-profile companies, and that there is more focus on Latin America. People in other parts of the world don’t know much about the fintech potential here.”
However, he believes there will not be much interest from Brazilian fintechs in joining a Mexico-based programme.
“Last year they ran FastTrack in São Paulo, they called start-ups to study in the New York programme, but as far as I know, no Brazilian start-ups jumped on the boat. Brazil has a huge domestic potential market, so I don’t know how interested Brazilian start-ups would be in the programme. I think Colombia, Peru and other Spanish-speaking countries would be more interested,” he adds.