On March 16th the digital accelerator 21212 had its first demo day in Rio. I had the honor of mentoring three of the companies that presented – Simpply, Ainda Tem and iTrip. The event was a great success not just because of the quality of companies that we put forward but also because of the level of commitment we found from investors who believe in this new business model. Armenio Fraga, the Brazilian finance guru behind Gavea Investimentos spoke on the “revolution” that is going on in the private and business sectors through the democratization of access to capital that makes events like these possible in Brazil today.
I firmly believe that the incubator model is something that we should all be pushing for in Latin America, it seems like a very strategic way of accelerating the creation of new markets. The 21212 model focuses on digital companies, but it’s certainly a model that works on other types of industries.
The subject of entrepreneurship is central to our family business, so having the opportunity to mentor at 21212 has been an exciting and gratifying experience. We are excited about taking these companies to the next level and very optimistic that we will find the right investors for each one.
At the end of the day, the judges had the unenviable job of picking a winner. How difficult indeed, given how great all the presentations were and how hard everyone worked to make it to the finish line. And….the winning prize went to…. PagPop, “the e-payment online platform that allows self-employed and freelance professionals to accept credit cards for their fees and sales. Accomplished via any cell phone, landline and the web – anytime, anywhere”.
How does the 21212 acceleration program work?: