Technology-based ventures seek investment for international expansion

17 July 2020
Ten startups from Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, and Pereira will meet with 193 capital funds and companies from North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

On July 15th, a new version of the ProColombia Pitch Sessions took place. This online initiative aims to connect Colombian entrepreneurs and companies with foreign investors in order to promote entrepreneurship in Colombia as well as create new business opportunities in Colombia for investment funds and international companies.

Among the projects presented by the entrepreneurs are solutions in logistics, robotics, food distribution platforms, online education, health, sports, finance, and surveying. These ventures, most of which are already making strides in internationalization processes, are seeking capital (between US $250,000 and US $10 million) to further boost their expansion into new markets.

"Supporting entrepreneurship and technological development in Colombia is of vital importance in our country’s process of economic reactivation and competitiveness. In addition, they are drivers that attract increased investment efficiency. With strategies like ProColombia Pitch Sessions, we continue to work with innovative and powerful tools so that the world's investors can recognize Colombia as the region’s best location and export platform,” stated Flavia Santoro, ProColombia president.

For this fourth edition, 30 projects were submitted both directly to ProColombia and via Regional Investment Promotion Agencies (APRI, as per its Spanish acronym) and accelerators.

Of these, 10 were selected that met the following parameters: companies that have technology-based products or services, achieved national and international recognition, 100% bilingual representatives, and demonstrated scalability and success. Under this premise, and given the opportunity to secure capital injection for their growth and international expansion, the entrepreneurs classified to be in an internal ProColombia committee in order to participate in this meeting.

Each Colombian entrepreneur will participate in a session reminiscent of Shark Tank, in which they will interact with 147 capital funds and international investors. Of these, 62 are from North America; 49 from Asia; 24 from Latin America and the Caribbean; and 12 from Europe.

The ten Colombian projects

David Rodríguez, Kiwibot Head of Business—a robot delivery service that has revolutionized deliveries in universities in Medellín and Berkeley (California, USA) and has taken on a special role to apply social distancing—will participate in this meeting with investors. The robot works through an application that connects the restaurant and the consumer; an order is placed, and the location, distance, and time it takes to make the delivery are seen in real time. There are already more than 100 units in operation and the company aims to continue expanding.

Andrés Mendoza, Project Booster for LiDARit—a company that develops multiplatform laser devices for topographic measurements—will also participate. Currently, the company has products in Argentina, Chile, Ghana, Panama, Peru, and Colombia.

Among the attendees will also be David Arango, one of the founders of Vueltap, an application created in Bogotá that offers messenger services in the shortest time possible for clients, brands, or companies. The application works with artificial intelligence and can also be linked to businesses, providing immediate delivery options. Vueltap has been selected to work with MIT's Global Entrepreneurship Laboratory (G-Lab).

CEO Sebastián Hernández will be representing the firm Super Füds. The company has been operating in Colombia for three years and recently opened offices in Mexico, working to become Latin America’s first healthy food distributor with operations based on new technologies.

Also joining the group will be Martha Helena Forero, a founding partner of Ubits—a continually expanding online educational platform that currently has a presence in Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

Representing Lentes Plus—a company that has established itself as one of the most outstanding ophthalmic businesses in Latin America—will be co-founder Jaime Oriol. The company aims to continue expanding beyond its current locations in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia.

Another participating enterprise is Scouting Labs, a company specialized in video analysis and soccer scouting, with data analysis and software development that aids in selecting the best sports talents. CEO Nicolás Maldonado will be representing the company.

Also participating will be Domagoj Rozic, CEO of Minka, an open banking platform supported by blockchain technology that aims to improve the way people interact with money in Colombia and Latin America.

Completing the list is CloudLabs represented by CEO and company founder Jiovany Orozco, who employs online strategies to encourage science and mathematics learning and promote scientific thinking through practice, gamification, and motivating students. Heartbit, a subsidiary of World Tech Makers, is a software and IT-based education startup led by its founder Ilana Milkes, who will also be present.
The previous edition of the ProColombia Pitch Sessions took place on May 7th, when seven entrepreneurs met with 125 investors from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Japan, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.