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This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Chilean startup, Lazarillo, to attend Florida accelerator program

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Contxto – A Chilean startup increasing autonomy for people with poor vision, Lazarillo, will participate in the upcoming TechDiversity Accelerator. It’s the only Latin American company in this year’s cohort at the Florida function.

In Summary

Users celebrate Lazarillo for its comprehensive navigation app benefiting the blind or partially blind. Featured on our most recent market map, Lazarillo captured the world’s attention for this mapping platform. Embracing innovation, it utilizes voice messages to guide the visually impaired in cities around the world.

Due to this, it makes sense why the panel selected Lazarillo to partake in TechDiversity. Sponsored by Tampa Bay Wave and the Nielsen Foundation, the education program helps entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds to leverage their skills and advance business models.

“The technology industry is one of vast diversity,” according to the Tampa Bay Wave website. “It is made up of individuals who bring remarkable talent and insight to one of the most robust growth sectors in recent history. We celebrate this fact and have designed a program that will ensure it remains true.”

Each company is assigned into one of three groups, depending on their respective phase, of course. These include Build, Launch and Grow. With this, the accelerator collaborates with participants to either identify or achieve business goals over the course of 90 days.

In-Depth

Another impressive aspect of Lazarillo is how it encourages businesses and public institutions to be more inclusive. In this sense, Lazarillo works with 11 partners in 60 locations to implement indoor navigation plans.

These collaborators include bank branches, hospitals, universities and municipalities. Based on the cooperation, the visually impaired can better orientate themselves in interior spaces via the free Android and iOS app available in both English or Spanish.

Since its 2016 founding, the company run by René Espinoza Jimenez has registered over 85,000 users. According to the company, there are more than 11,000 monthly subscribers from 29 countries. On the same token, 88 percent reported improved autonomy, according to a company survey.   

Not long ago, Lazarillo also received support from the Austrian ZeroProject Foundation for its holistic practice and service. Other past collaborations include participating in Microsoft’s startup program plus the Creative Business Cup in Chile. Lazarillo’s involvement with Tech Diversity is its latest resume-builder.

To showcase new talent, the second annual accelerator event supports companies meeting the proper requisites. For example, at least 51 percent owned or operated by ethnic minorities, women, veterans, members of the LGBTQ community, or a combination of all of them.

Other necessities include being a scalable and/or investable enterprise plus having proof of market validation. Whether participants find themselves in the early or advanced stages of development, they can look forward to boosting operations to the next level with mentorship and plenty of workshops.

-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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