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Contxto – The Chilean government recently collaborated with the non-profit Socialab to launch Socialab Ventures, a new accelerator seeking to bridge the gap for startups that have already gained some traction and product-market fit.
Not only do early-stage startups need a periodic helping hand, but also the ones prepared to consolidate. This may entail growing sales, scaling internationally, raising larger rounds, etc.
For this reason, Socialab wants to bring its expertise to the table. According to the website, its the largest network of problem solvers in the world.
At the same time, it seeks to support sustainable and scalable entrepreneurship capable of solving global problems. In Latin America alone, it has offices in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Mexico.
Backed by Chile’s economic government agency Corfo, now Socialab is releasing this new initiative to assist founders. Besides offering its network of over 600,000 creative problem solvers, it also aspires to function as an accelerator. Corfo will finance the operation for up to three years under its fund for corporate accelerators.
While Socialab has helped over 800 high-impact, social and environmental startups, it’s now willing to accept at least 30 more.
Tadashi Takaoka, Corfo’s entrepreneurship manager, said during the launching event that “having a social impact accelerator will help us discover where to contribute, how to convince investors, and how to incentivize more social entrepreneurs with value to add.”
Not your regular pitch
Interestingly enough, SociaLab used a slightly different approach to find the right project partners. During the launching event, participants pitched to the public and a jury of experts.
But hold on, these weren’t founders pitching to investors as you’d expect. Rather, GPs from several funds presented to convince a jury of entrepreneurs that they’re the most innovative. A counterpitch, if you will.
While FenVentures, F1000, Broota and Alerce were some of the participating funds, Pablo Fernández from Alerce Fund came out victorious.
Each gave a 5-minute pitch to the jury of “Impact Partners” from Socialab’s network. These included Komal Dadlani from Lab4U, Horacio Melo from Solarity, as well as Álvaro Silberstein from Wheel the World.
Altogether, these Impact Partners positively impact over 200,000 people in 10 different countries on a monthly basis. Together, they intend to help qualifying startups expand their reach and reach their full potential.
“As its name implies, these partners seek to increase the high-impact these companies generate in the world and the main requisite is to track it,” said Valentina González, Socialab Ventures manager.