FIU’s Becerra-Fernandez shares expertise on Latin American venture development, promotes Americas Venture Capital Conference.

As Florida International University (FIU)’s College of Business Administration gears up for the second Americas Venture Capital Conference (AVCC), November 16-17, 2011 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, word continues to spread about the event’s central role in promoting Latin American entrepreneurship.

At the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco in June, FIU vice-provost Irma Becerra-Fernandez (PhD ’94), founder of the AVCC, was a panelist at the Latin America session, designed to provide a snapshot of the region’s entrepreneurial and investment landscape. Becerra-Fernandez, former director of FIU’s Eugenio Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center, spoke about the accomplishments of the 2010 conference in heightening awareness of Latin American investment opportunities within the North American investment community. She addressed a group of 300 entrepreneurs and encouraged them to apply to present at the AVCC, which gives selected ventures the opportunity to showcase their companies and network with hundreds of interested parties.

Irma Becerra-Fernandez

Applications from ventures that want to present at the conference are being accepted at the AVCC’s Global Initiative Ventures database, http://give.fiu.edu/, through August 15, 2011.

Endeavor develops partnerships for economic growth.

Endeavor works in developing countries to foster high-impact entrepreneurship, seen as the leading force for sustainable economic development. With its origins in Latin America, Endeavor now works in 12 countries, with 604 entrepreneurs who annually generate $4.1 billion in revenue and have created 144,000 jobs.

“Endeavor sees the AVCC as a potential showcase for their successful high-impact entrepreneurial firms,” Becerra-Fernandez said. “The AVCC provides an opportunity for innovative ventures to make a pitch for their second round of funding, and this fits the profile of many of the Endeavor companies.”

Latin America venture capital and private investment show strength.

Becerra-Fernandez also participated in a webinar featuring the Latin American Venture Capital Association’s (LAVCA) release of its 2011 survey on venture investing. At the webinar, hosted by the law firm Greenberg Traurig, LAVCA reported that funding for private equity and venture capital deals in Latin America more than doubled from 2009 to 2010, topping $8.1 billion. LAVCA’s scorecard ranks the business environment for private equity and venture capital, with Brazil, Chile and Mexico continuing to yield the most investment-friendly climates in Latin America.

“One of the things we aim to do at the AVCC is share the best practices of the countries that receive the highest scores,” Becerra-Fernandez said after the webinar. “What are some of the things they are doing to earn those high scores? We want to highlight their accomplishments before the global venture capital community.”

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