“Nxtp Labs shows the strength of the tech ecosystem in Latin America“. It is the busiest private accelerating program in the region, and probably the most prestigious one to be accelerated in. Founded in 2011, it settled first at Buenos Aires. It now has offices in most of Latin America’s tech hubs: Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and even Uruguay.
A seed fund, an accelerator, and a regional leader
Nxtp’s acceleration program is rather complete: cash, mentoring and networking. Joining the acceleration gives access to a network of great quality, a whole team of renowned serial entrepreneurs, IT leaders, Business Angels, Venture Capitalists and even public officials. Aside from benefiting from the insights of a significant number of experienced mentors, the network is extended in the whole american continent, from the USA to Argentina, and even beyond, to Europe. The mentors come from very different backgrounds: IT, telcos, media, industry, finance. As a result, Nxtp’s connection to market power has no equivalent in Latin America.
On top of that, a $25,000 cash investment is allowed in exchange for shares in the startup’s equities. They are early stage investors, and they expect high returns, contrary to some public accelerators, such as StartUp Chile.
“Estimated returns”, on Nxtp’s webpage.
They received thousands of applications, of which barely 170 have been selected. They claim to have funded over 170 startups in 15 different countries. Unlike incubators, accelerators only consider companies that already have significant tractions. In the case of Nxtp, a minimum 8% growth rate is expected annually. The Business Model should be clearly validated as well. If a startup complies with these requirement, it might join one of the open spaces located in about every major latin american city, to receive methodology consulting, network connections to partners, investors and potential clients, as well as some technology support.
Mural.ly gathered more than $900K in seed funding
A story that takes root in the Argentine economic crisis
The history of the success of Nxtp goes back to the late 1990’s early 2000’s. Despite the economic crisis, the tech scene was flourishing. Argentina counted with educated engineers as well as visionary businessmen, and struggling against severe economic breakdowns and sometimes corruption seems to have strengthened entrepreneurs. “The choice of starting from Argentina was logical, for the entrepreneurship ecosystem was the strongest” says Maca Lara-Dillon, former communication manager at Nxtp Labs.
A serious economic depression stroke Argentina between 1998 and 2002
Some startups were among the companies that have passed through the struggles, and they were led by solid entrepreneurs. As Maca says : “They are good because the learning process to become an entrepreneur in Argentina is really tough”, and it was worse during the crisis. Some of them are the largest tech companies of Latin America: MercadoLibre, Globant, and Despegar.com, were created at that time. Today their founders are all leaders of the regional tech scene.
And they were among the pool of 130 Business Angels and entrepreneurs who invested in Nxtp Labs back in 2011. Successful businessmen from Argentina, Latin America and beyond, who made it out in the early 2000’s and reinvested their money in the local startup scene. 500 startups was one of the early investors in Nxtp Labs, although the VC’s views are mainly focused on Mexico and Brazil.
Nxtp also received support from many institutions over Latin America: the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), the Mexican Institute for Entrepreneurship (INADEM), and the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN).
A deep understanding of countries and sectors specifics is key to success
The success of Nxtp Labs is such that they no longer need to make application calls to attract startups. They only rely on their reputation and private networking, and leave startups apply by themselves. They select startups according to economic sectors distribution, trying to diversify their portfolio.
Nxtp focus on new technologies applied to specific economic sectors
Part of the success of the Nxtp Labs formula is to stubbornly focus on investing only if they can truly add value to the business. An effective acceleration program requires both good mentoring and deep knowledge of the local ecosystem, which Nxtp Labs both provide. First, they won’t invest in a sector if their network doesn’t include a mentor specialized in this specific area. Second, they’re only interested in markets where they are established and where they have an effective and relevant network. An indispensable condition to provide an effective support to early stage startups.