A packed auditorium at London & Partners saw the finalists of the LatAm Edge Awards 2016 pitch head to head for the prize of one year’s office space in London and £100k of growth and support services.
The final pitch event for the first LatAm Edge Award took place on 26th October with the overall prize of support to establish and scale up in London for one year, starting January 2017. The prize includes workspace in Tech City, business development, marketing, legal, accountancy and mentoring services. The winner was chosen by a panel led by Paul Jenkinson of Whitespace Ventures, and 8 other experts from the London tech and inward investment community.
The overall winner was TOC Biometrics from Chile.
TOC Biometrics have a patented biometric authentication system that guarantees security, privacy and total traceability – and replaces the need for passwords. The technology protects against identity theft whilst protecting personal data, particularly valuable for enabling the secure delivery of financial products and services.
“All competitors were very strong and innovative in their specific tech sectors, making it difficult to choose a clear winner. But we also had to consider the impact that the award would have on the winner’s business back in their home country – whether management would have enough bandwidth and resources to keep the home business growing, whilst driving growth in a new region” said Nick Jordan from Trade Horizons.
“We had several criteria for evaluating each company. Ultimately, we believe we chose the one that is at the right stage to expand, with the best opportunity for strong growth in the UK in 2017”, commented Sandra Sinicco, Co-Founder of the LatAm Edge Awards and CEO of GrupoCASA. “The Award will make a real difference to their expansion as all of the support and assistance they will receive should enable them make the right business decisions and avoid the expensive mistakes so typically associated with market entry”.
“We are very, very happy with this incredible initiative. It is difficult to describe the rollercoaster of emotions that we are experiencing. This is a fantastic opportunity for our company’s future” says Andres Landerretche, International Manager of the company.
The LatAm Edge Award will be supporting the winner by providing essential services for establishing and growing in the UK, including Blick Rothenberg, London and Partners, PwC Legal UK and Runway East and the co-founders, Trade Horizons, Incisive Edge and GrupoCASA.
“Scaling a technology business effectively requires a combination of key ingredients in addition to the tech stack itself – a true understanding of the market and how your solution meets customer needs; the right channels through which to engage niche audiences; investment to provide the necessary runway; and professional support across infrastructure, legal and accounting; sales roll out and PR exposure” says David Bowler, Founding Director of Incisive Edge (an Incisive Group company).
Amazingly, within just 6 weeks the Award had attracted around 100 applicants from 9 different countries across the Latin America region. The applicants went through two stages of screening to get to the final stage, with the selection undertaken by a panel of both Latin American and UK tech and business specialists.
“We were particularly impressed by the number of companies that signed up from Chile in such a short time period – a good indication of how well the business ecosystem is working within that country”, said Sandra Sinicco, CEO of GrupoCASA.
The Award has been made possible by the support and collaboration of companies and organisations across Latin America and the UK; the fdi office of the London Mayor’s Office – London & Partners; Blick Rothenberg Accountants; PwC Legal, the business development support arm of LatAm Founders, (an organisation that supports the expansion of start-ups from the United States of America to other countries throughout the world); America Economia, the major business magazine for Latin America; the communication companies Smartcom PR of Panama and Venezuela; BMR of Chile; and Percepcion & Image from Mexico.
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