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Latin American cities ripe for startups

Buenos Aires boasts 330 new startups, making it Latin America's largest incubator of new businesses. (David Berkowitz/flickr/cc)

Fresh talent, university and government support and insights into tapping the global Spanish-speaking market. Jamie Stark reports for Gigaom that while the startup scene in Latin America can’t match that of the United States or Europe, some cities are emerging as serious players.

As the region’s largest incubator, Buenos Aires boasts 330 new ventures, as many as Boulder, Colorado. MercadoLibre, an online marketplace, is one of the few South American startups whose shares trade on the NASDAQ, the article says. Unfortunately, red tape and economic turmoil may dissuade some entrepreneurs.

With a startup culture that rivals Cambridge, Massachusetts, São Paulo is the gateway to the massive Brazilian market. Twenty-two incubators have spawned 182 new ventures. Like Buenos Aires, bureaucracy is a challenge. 

The Chilean government funds innovators through Startup  Chile, an accelerator that may be Santiago’s best advantage. Medellín, meanwhile, was named Innovative City of the Year in 2013, with the Colombian government offering startups support through initiatives such as the Ruta N incubator.  Drawbacks there include concerns about social inequality and crime.


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