With rising global interest in Latin American ventures, Florida International University’s (FIU) 2011 Americas Venture Capital Conference brought together entrepreneurs, investors and service providers in Miami for two days of deal-making, networking and education.
Speakers from the top echelons of Latin American entrepreneurship, venture investing, international finance and government addressed the conference, held November 16-17, 2011 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and presented by FIU’s Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center and College of Business Administration.
“This event provides a great opportunity to connect investors with entrepreneurs looking for capital to grow their emerging businesses,” said Gustavo Arnavat, United States executive director Inter-American Development Bank and a panelist.
“Miami is a central point in linking technology transfers going north and south, as well as connecting investors,” said Jose Maria Blanc, managing director of Intel Capital and a keynote speaker. “FIU has relationships with universities around the world, a great entrepreneurship program and is doing a lot to help exchange ideas and connect people.”
Other keynote speakers included Wenceslao “Wences” Casares, Co-CEO, Lemon.com and founding partner, MECK Ltd; Dave McClure, founding partner, 500 Startups; and Manuel D. Medina, chairman and CEO, Medina Capital Partners, Inc.
Presenters impress and lay foundation for 2012.
Twelve “Top Global Innovative Ventures” and seven “Top Global Emerging Ventures,” companies in growth industries from Latin America and South Florida, presented to an audience of more than 350 from throughout the globe, and competed for over $50,000 in prizes.
South Florida-based Consult A Doctor, winners of the Tres Mares Innovation Prize, a $10,000 cash award and an artwork valued at $5,000, announced at the closing ceremony that it would donate the cash portion of its prize to support the 2012 Americas Venture Capital Conference, slated for November 14-15th in Miami.
“This act of generosity demonstrates that at every level we are forming a community that works in unison toward economic growth,” said Irma Becerra-Fernandez (PhD ’94), conference founder and 2011 co-chair. “In challenging economic times, the conference offers the opportunity to showcase our best efforts to bootstrap and innovate our way to success. We’ll soon share more good news with our global community about its impact.”
At the closing ceremony, PassTheNotes, a company formed by FIU alumni, received a $20,000 term sheet from the Miami Innovation Fund. The five prize-winning companies also received a complimentary year membership to the Founders Network.
Additional 2011 prize winners
FedEx Access to Global Markets Prize: $10,000 in-kind services, for its commitment to global trade—Buscalibre, S.A. (Chile)
CP Capital Inflection Venture Prize: $10,000 in investment banking services—Wormhole IT (Argentina)
CP Capital People’s Choice Award: $10,000 in investment banking services for a company that causes ripple effects of influence on people, industries and business around them (through Facebook voting)—Cinemagic (Mexico)
CVOX’s Wave Maker Prize: $5,000 in strategic communications consulting for a company that causes ripple effects of influence on people, industries and business around them (through Facebook voting)—Grupo de Investigación en Bioingeniería (GIB) Universidad EAFIT (Colombia)