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Google will set up its Launchpad accelerator in Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia this year to boost the local startup culture.
The company has already set up a fintech-focused accelerator in Brazil. The announcement was made during the fifth edition of Launchpad, where startups selected from emerging markets are taken to San Francisco for a two-week intensive mentoring course.
Launchpad was first started in Israel five years ago, when selected companies were given US$50,000 in seed capital and credit to use Google products. Now no financing is given; only tools and mentoring.
In the new accelerators some five or six companies will be selected every six months. Launchpad head Paco Solsona commented that the idea was not to compete with other incubators but rather work together.
Graduates of the incubator become part of a mentoring alumni group. Some 1,000 requests to form part of the accelerator were received for the most recent round. Selected companies in the fifth edition of Launchpad include Brazilian fintech Nubank, Argentine social games developer Etermax and Argentine online restaurant reservation site Restorando.
Startup Chile has been one of the flagships in terms of the startup culture in Latin America, with financing from state business development organization Corfo. Argentina recently set up a similar incubator in December called IncuBAte.