South Summit – Pacific Alliance shines a light on innovative startups in South America

By Kwinten Wouters January 8, 2018

South Summit – Pacific Alliance brought the most innovative entrepreneurs of the region together with important international investors in a competition that crowned 4 winners. The first edition of South Summit – Pacific Alliance took place in Bogota on December 1st.

Leaders in innovation and developing businesses belonging to the 4 countries that form the so-called “Pacific Alliance” gathered together at the event. 40 nominees from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Pere were selected out of the 600 initial participants and headed for the crown.

To win the competition, the startups had to prove their strength in several fundamental areas: their innovative aspect, their economic viability, their growth opportunities, their team and their capacity to attract investors.

With that in mind, the 4 most outstanding startups were chosen out of 40 nominees: The Chilean SmartFES, Mexican Quotanda and Colombian Leal and Pulpo WMS.

The 4 medalists were innovative and disruptive across the sectors of ‘New Money’, ‘Smart Mobility’, ‘Healthcare & Wellness’, ‘Content & Channels’, ‘Business Solutions’ and ‘E-services’.

Most awarded was the Chilean startup SmartFES, winning the overall competition as well as the category ‘Healthcare & Wellness’.  Their application allows people who suffer from a foot drop (a muscular weakness or paralysis that makes it difficult to lift the front part of your foot and toes) to wield an electronic neurostimulator.

The prize for ‘Most Disruptive Startup’ went to Quotanda, a Mexican startup that also won the category ‘Fintech’. Quotanda’s innovative technology aims to make access to education more equal as it helps schools to introduce flexible, affordable financing programs for students, without the need to hire additional resources.

The Colombian application Leal was voted ‘Best team’. Their loyalty program allows businesses to digitally identify, retain and reward their best clients.

Credit: J.M. Vargas

The category of ‘Most scalable product’, referring to its growth opportunities, was won by another Colombian startup, Pulpo WMS. Its warehouse-system helps to supermarkets to optimize their logistics as it manages the inventory of products and monitors their performances and costs.

The winners will receive a boost for their business as they are granted access to Area 31, the space for entrepreneurs at the renowned Spanish IE University. Furthermore, they will receive a lot of visibility and connections within ecosystems, investors and innovative corporations.

The Spanish bigger brother of the Latin American version, South Summit, was founded in 2014. In a joint initiative with IE Business School, it wanted to prove to the world the talent, innovation and opportunities of the South.

Over 3 years, South Summit has become one of the worldwide events for innovation, with more than 12.500 attendees from more than 100 nationalities.