For the first time, AVCC is partnering with Wayra Global, Telefonica Digital’s accelerator. Since launching the first academy in the summer of 2011, Wayra has grown to 12 academies and has helped launch more than 170 startups around the world. More than half of its startups are already in a commercial stage, said Gonzalo Martín-Villa, CEO of Wayra Global.
“Miami is an important place — a hub for Latin America. And we feel this is quite an exciting moment for the city and we want to help foster entrepreneurship,” said Martin-Villa, who will be at the DemoDay event and speaking at AVCC.
At Wayra’s DemoDay, 17 tech startups will come from 11 countries to pitch their projects, expansion plans and investment opportunities to about 100 venture capitalists, angel investors and representatives of corporate ventures and accelerators from the U.S., Latin America, Spain and other parts of Europe. Telefonica’s affiliated fund, Amérigo, and the Silicon Valley-based Telefonica Ventures will also be attending.
“Wayra isn’t just its 12 academies. It is a global network,” Martín-Villa said. “We are a global network for innovation, for entrepreneurs but more important now we are a global network for investors.”
And, just as planned, many of the investors will also be attending AVCC and Endeavor.
Although Endeavor ’ s event is not open to the public, it’s a key event for the global nonprofit, as a group of panelists will judge and select Endeavor’s next class of high-impact entrepreneurs. founded in the late ’90s in Argentina and Chile, Endeavor is now in 14 countries, including six in Latin America. “The model is, find the most amazing entrepreneurs, help them grow their companies through the right amount of mentorship, guidance, support, introductions, and they are the ones that will change their countries,” said Allen Kinsey Taylor, Endeavor’s director of global networks, adding that the nonprofit group supports more than 700 entrepreneurs and has 3,500 active mentors. Both Taylor and Peter Kellner, Endeavor’s co-founder, who now lives in South Florida and runs the Richmond Global fund, will also be speaking at AVCC.
More recently, in April of 2011, Endeavor started an investor network that among other things matches entrepreneurs with venture capitalists or angels to mentor them on how to talk to investors and build a pitch deck, Taylor said. Members of the network meet with the entrepreneurs when they go to their home counties, and there have been organized road trips to Silicon Valley.
“The problem we are trying to solve is accessing smart capital — getting the right investors who will be good partners and help along the way,” said Taylor, in an interview in August. “There are not a lot of people who understand how to invest in early stage and growth companies.” Since launching a pilot program with 12 venture capitalists mainly from Silicon Valley, Endeavor found out there are benefits on both sides. “Investors like leveraging Endeavor’s network to get smart on a country much faster than they could do it on their own.”