The Colombian national government and Ministry of ICT, headed by Minister Diego Molano Vega, have joined together to launch Socialatom Ventures, a collaborative effort to improve the ICT entrepreneurial ecosystem. Part of the Apps.co initiative Vive Digital, the program was announced at PulsoConf in September. There, Apps.co leader Claudia Obando announced the launch of the initiative’s consolidation and acceleration phase, which will be implemented by Socialatom Ventures.
The Apps.co initiative consists of several phases, including activation (boot camps and software development training), ideation and prototyping. Now, consolidation and acceleration have begun. This stage brings with it the opportunity to develop the best digital venture proposals in the country. By the end of 2012, 30 companies will be selected to participate. Over time, 250 enterprises will take part in the program, which will focus on the negotiation process for garnering investments and meeting with venture capital investors.
Socialatom Ventures expects to accelerate from 5-10 startups per cycle with a process that will entail two stages, each of which will last 14 to 16 weeks. The first cycle will take place in Bogotá; however, interested entrepreneurs from other parts of the country and abroad are invited to apply. Those selected will receive support for travel to and living in Bogotá during the program.
In addition to program instruction, support and training, participating companies would be eligible to receive $25,000 dollars in seed funds through and agreement signed by Socialatom Ventures and NXTP Labs.
“The Socialatom Ventures team has been working for years with national and international players to develop the digital entrepreneurship ecosystem in Colombia. To achieve our vision of developing high-impact entrepreneurs, today we’ve partnered with NXTP Labs, one of the most important accelerators in Latin America,” said Socialatom Ventures Director Alan Colmenares.
Optional seed capital provided by the Socialatom-NXTP Labs agreement will aid startup teams to support themselves and cover the costs required to for constitution of the company or a subsidiary in the United States.
“We are very excited about this project and contributing to Colombia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through it. This is part of our mission to accompany Latin American startups to grow and endure over time. We have had this goal from the start, and we are now carrying out extensive work with 55 companies and various entrepreneurs from more than 10 different countries,” said Marta Cruz, Co-founder and Director of NXTP Labs.
The Socialatom Ventures program has been modeled after international programs, such as TechStars or Y Combinator in the United States. It will entail a combination of training sessions led by a network of national and international mentors, along with professional services in law, administration, technology, human resources and PR.
The 14-week mentoring program will focus on five main areas: product and engineering, marketing and PR, business development, law and finance, and achieving investments (angel and VC).
Those selected for the program will share experiences with world-class mentors. They will be provided access to the tools necessary to create successful, scalable, global projects, including a workspace to develop their ideas in the city of Bogotá.
Entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to travel to the United States through the program, where they will meet with mentors, entrepreneurs and investors in San Francisco, Boston and New York. Through the Socialatom Ventures – NXTP Labs alliance, a select group of enterprises will join startups from Argentina, Chile and Brazil to participate in a demo day to be held in San Francisco.
How to Participate
Startups must have:
- A pre-formed team with at least one member having broad technology knowledge.
- A product or service that is globally or regionally scalable.
- At least one team member who is able to speak English and travel to the United States (with a visa) if necessary.
Inscriptions will soon open on the Socialatom Ventures website as well as that of the Colombian Ministry of ICT.