Our Managing Partner, Diego Noriega was present at the fifth edition of the Forbes Promises Summit organized by Forbes Argentina, participating in the panel “Science and Technology, the keys to Argentina’s undertakings”.
The debate was focused on the strong development of technology-based ventures in Argentina in recent years, the impact of the current context in Latin America, and the commitment of the ecosystem to reduce the gender gap.
The panel was moderated by Laura Mafud, Editor of Forbes Argentina, and Diego’s co-panelists were Luis Maria Bullrich, Executive Director of the Innovation Park of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, Marta Cruz, Managing Partner of NXTP Ventures, and Joaquin DiMario, CEO of Walabee.
The development of the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem
The first topic raised had to do with the great development experienced by the entrepreneurial sector in Latin America, particularly in Argentina, in the last few years. To this end, Diego highlighted some fundamental ideas and concepts:
- “The first problem we have to tackle is finding a way for the entrepreneur to do better. The entrepreneur’s journey is very lonely and requires a support ecosystem. Taking risks and generating a support environment is what will lead to transformation”.
- “I think that Latin America, especially after COVID, is at its best moment to venture, develop technology, innovate and promote the knowledge economy.”
- “The entrepreneurial mindset is what will lead us to change, and it is essential to take some success stories as benchmarks. It helped me a lot to have gone to Israel, and to see Beer-Sheva in the middle of the desert, where 15 years ago there were only camels and dunes, and today it is the world capital of cybersecurity”.
Being an entrepreneur in the current context
When analyzing the current context of Argentina with regard to the development of the entrepreneurial sector and in terms of technological innovation, Diego emphasized that countries like the US, Israel, Europe and Asia are seeing opportunities in entrepreneurs and startups from Latin America, which he attributed to a series of determining components:
“The resilience and adaptation of the Latin American entrepreneur , and especially the Argentine, is highly recognized. In this global context, the Argentine stands out and moves like a fish in water in a very difficult environment where others tend to withdraw, lower risks, not move too much. Therefore, it is a gigantic opportunity for these entrepreneurs”.
On the other hand, Diego highlighted that at Newtopia, as an investment fund, “we believe in entrepreneurs who are very careful with the money they receive from investors, and who generate organic traction among investors with a sound and complementary team with commercial vision.” ”.
The commitment of the ecosystem to narrow the gender gap
Another topic addressed in the panel was the gender issue within the entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem and the need to fix this gap. “An issue that worries me is that there must be more women entrepreneurs, but also women investors. Out of 38 startups in which we invested, only one had a woman as a member of the founding team”, indicated Marta Cruz, Managing Partner of NXTP Ventures. .
Diego, in turn, added that “2022 marked a before and after for gender issues and I think it is very positive that the matter is already addressed,” and highlighted the role of the media in this matter: “It is essential that women entrepreneurs and these issues be given greater visibility”.
During this panel, Luis Maria Bullrich, Marta Cruz, and Joaquin Di Mario, provided interesting contributions, each from their own experience, about how they see the present of the Argentine and Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem. “I think that the key function of the State is to be a facilitator, to prop up the initial growth. In Argentina there is a lot of talent and a great desire to solve problems”, Di Mario highlighted.
In turn, Bullrich stressed the importance of “instilling the entrepreneurial gene from high school and promoting scientific vocations.”
Currently, and after the momentum brought on by the pandemic, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America, and particularly in Argentina, is prepared to continue growing and innovating with technological solutions for the problems of today’s world. For this, a correct coordination between the State, private companies and the academia is necessary to promote the sector’s growth.
At Newtopia we are excited to continue spreading entrepreneurial energy to transform Latin America, which has enormous opportunities. For this reason, we support early stage startups with tech DNA. If this is your case, we invite you to apply at Newtopia VC Latam.