Village Capital

Andean Region ShelterTech Accelerator

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Sheltertech andean region

About the Program

Village Capital Latin America is partnering with Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter to launch a startup accelerator program centered on safe and affordable housing. The Andean Region ShelterTech Accelerator will support entrepreneurs addressing an enormous ongoing problem in the region: more than 59 million people lack adequate homes and affordable housing.

“Housing is a human right that relates both to physical and mental wellbeing, and every individual in Latin America deserves this safety. It is the foundation for a prosperous life,” said Daniel Cossío, Regional Manager for Village Capital Latin America. “It is important to create opportunities for innovators who can disrupt the housing deficit that we have in the region by providing targeted and tailored support, beyond a pitch competition.” 

“What’s unique about ShelterTech is the global scope of our offerings,” said Patrick Kelley, vice-president of the Terwilliger Center. “Backed by Habitat’s decades of global experience as a leading housing organization, we are building a network of affordable housing leaders, and connect innovative solutions with global mentors, partners, experts and investors for maximum impact,” he added. 

Selected startups will receive support through tailored engagements with potential partners, corporates, investors, and other experts in the sector. Entrepreneurs will also engage in a rigorous feedback and evaluation process with and by a cohort of startups. Village Capital’s initiatives have been ranked by others, such as the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative, as one of the best accelerator programs in the world.

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Types of startups and scaleups we are recruiting: 

This accelerator is looking for startups from Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru related to the following areas:

Core Housing

Material - Better-quality, more durable products that reduce waste, cost and time in the construction or house repair process.

  • Labor - Training, standardization, techniques, safety and monitoring.

  • Finance - Credit products and assessments. Alternatives to ownership such as renting.

  • Land - Titling access, tenure and transparency of information.

  • Markets - Improved transaction and supply chain practices for new or repaired housing.

Allied Services

  • Water and sanitation - Clean water and sewage treatment, using cost-effective, efficient models.

  • Energy - Off-grid, smart homes and alternative and clean sources.

Eligible startups and scaleups must have:
  • Legal incorporation as a for-profit entity;

  • Have a minimum viable product (MVP);

  • Have meaningful customer or business validation;

  • Committed to solve a key challenge to improve the livability and affordability of housing for low- income families;

  • Based and operating in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, or Peru.

Program Timeline

Applications Open

August 31st

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Applications Close

October 19

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Selection Process

October - November (2020)

10-12 startups are selected to participate.

Virtual Accelerator

December - March (2020 - 2021)

Village Capital’s award-winning peer-selection and Abaca methodology, technical sessions designed by Habitat for Humanity, and individual investment-analysis support. 

Virtual Ecosystem Phase

March - May (2021)

Entrepreneurs participate in virtual sessions with potential investors, partners, and other relevant stakeholders.

The program is followed by a Global and Alumni phase, we will share more information in due course.

Steering Committee

Benefits for Startups

Benefits startups will receive:
  • Ability to network and receive mentorship from potential strategic partners, customers, and founders.

  • Ability to network and receive mentorship from prominent Latin American investors.

  • Access to a diverse and inclusive network of mentors and founders.

  • Access to an investment analyst who will coach them 1:1 on building a financial model, identifying unit economics, and on using financial metrics to drive both their business and investor diligence.

  • Ability to participate in mock board meetings with representatives from potential partner institutions, corporates, and investors that can help their organization scale.

  • Exposure on Village Capital’s program website and other communications collateral.

  • Technical and targeted mentorship from experts in the housing industry.

  • ShelterTech offers catalytic funds to startups. The catalytic funds support entrepreneurs in laying the foundation for growth, getting them closer to customer segments, and attracting new sources of capital and investments.

FAQs from Entrepreneurs

Common FAQs we receive from startups:

  • What is the main goal of the program? The program is designed to help startups identify early milestones and prepare for your next round of capital (if relevant). In short, through virtual, we deliver a targeted, award-winning curriculum and provide countless connections to prepare startups for growth. 

  • Do you take equity for participating in the program? No. We don’t charge companies either.

  • What documents do we have to prepare should we be selected to move on to the semifinal stage in the selection process? We require companies to share basic information during the final interviews, such as Good Standing Resolution, Bylaws, Tax ID and Trademark. The Village Capital team will contact you should that be the case.


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