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This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Startup Mexico strengthens ties with Brazil, opens campus

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Contxto – Since beginning its internationalization efforts in April, Startup Mexico (SUM) recently announced that it will inaugurate its first foreign campus in São Paulo, Brazil in June. The partnership intends to assist entrepreneurs to understand the distinct cultures and trade regulations from both countries.

In Summary

Matias Vazquez, founder of the coworking space Sharing EC, will lead Brazilian operations of the organization.

“In February we had the government authorization to begin operations,” said the national director. “We took the coworking brand to transform the space at SUM Brasil.”

These programs will include accelerator events, hackathon, bootcamps and softlanding support for qualifying startups to enter the Brazilian and Mexican markets. Lessons about tax protocol, accounting regulations, as well as consumer culture, attempt to lower the learning curve for partnering startups.

Created by Marcus Dantus in 2014, SUM Brazil represents the first workshop in Brazil to focus exclusively on Mexico.

“We want to be the company that helps startups in Brazil to arrive in Mexico,” said Vazquez.

This alliance between Brazil and Mexico represents a combined market of 335 million inhabitants. Economically, though, the accumulative trade between the heavyweights won’t exceed US$10 billion. Reason why the incubation and accelerator services at SUM Brazil aim to change that.

In-Depth

According to Vazquez, the first acceleration program should take place in either June or July. Even though the duration isn’t clear, the official plans to take a “female-focused approach.” Specifically, he plans to invite three to four companies with teams of at least 75 percent women.

SUM may have an investment fund, Dux Capital, but it won’t be available in Brazil for the time being due to ongoing legal issues, said Vazquez.

Some Mexican platforms have found great success in Brazil. Mexican-Argentine startup, Cuida mi Mascota, for example, has earned large swaths of the Latin American pet market by launching in Brazil.

“With Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, we attacked more than 80 percent of the pet market in Latin America,” said Ignacio Guglielmetti, co-founder of Cuida mi Mascota.

Smart Fit from Brazil also prospered in Mexico by partnering with Mexican sporting goods sale provider, Grupo Martí. This set off a domino effect in the process. Both Grin from Mexico and Yellow from Brazil soon decided to merge, for example.

“Brazilian companies did not have any export training because the national market was very large,” said Oriol Cortes, marketing director of Smart Fit. “But now there is a generation of entrepreneurs with a more global vision. So, there is an interest to participate in other markets.”

Another huge collaboration between Brazil and Mexico involves Nubank. This past month, the Brazilian neo-bank landed in Mexico as the “Nu” subsidiary. Recruitment has already begun while more Brazilian fintech companies are likely to premiere in the near future.

“The movement that has already begun,” said Vazquez. “Brazilian fintech startups have realized that, from Mexico, it will be easier to grow towards other places.”

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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