Village Capital, with the support of Visa Foundation, is launching an investment readiness program for Latin American startups that are tackling the region’s most pressing challenges in the agritech and foodtech sectors. The program will support two cohorts, each of 8 to 12 startups.
Entrepreneurs will benefit from Village Capital’s award-winning curriculum, intensive feedback from their peers, valuable connections and one-on-one mentorship with potential customers, investors, and industry experts. We’re encouraging applications from entrepreneurs building high-growth, scalable solutions focused on addressing the following challenges: Increasing Access to Agricultural Finance and Infrastructure, Feeding a Growing Population, and Preventing Food Waste (more details on focus areas below).
The top peer-selected startup (1) will receive grant funding of USD $15,000 to support operations. There will be one grant per cohort.
Ability to meet with and receive mentorship from potential strategic partners, investors, potential customers, and other founders.
Ability to network and receive mentorship from prominent Latin American and U.S. investors.
Access to a diverse and inclusive network of mentors and founders within the agritech and foodtech sectors.
Access to an investment analyst who will coach them 1:1 on building a financial model, identifying unit economics, and using financial metrics to drive both the business and investor diligence.
Access to live and asynchronous sessions tailored to a virtual learning environment to help their company identify early milestones and prepare for their next round of capital (if relevant) or big expansion.
Participation in mock board meetings with representatives from financial institutions, corporates, experienced entrepreneurs, and investors that can help their company scale.
Exposure on Village Capital’s program website and other communications collateral.
Future of Food LatAm 2021 will host two virtual cohorts that run from June-September 2021. Exact workshop dates to be announced.
Have legal incorporation and operations as a for-profit entity in at least one Latin American country.
Have at least one full-time founder based in Latin America.
Be in compliance under local fiscal and business law.
Have a market-based solution that tackles the challenges above for low-to-moderate income communities and individuals in Latin America.
Have a minimum viable product (MVP), and have raised less than $1M in equity.
Have meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, it can also be successful pilot studies, number of clients, and/or strategic partnerships).
We’re encouraging applications from entrepreneurs building high-growth, scalable solutions focused on addressing the following challenges:
Increasing Access to Agricultural Finance and Infrastructure – Livelihoods for Farmers. More than half of global agricultural production is generated by small-scale farmers, herders, fishermen, and forest-dependent communities. These groups are at risk of suffering from damaged harvests and droughts (which represent more than 80% of the losses in the crop production sector), lack of financing for equipment and supplies, and losing livestock to diseases or malnutrition (generating economic losses of billions of dollars each year). We are looking for startups ensuring productivity remains high through finance, farm management or related infrastructure to continue to feed present and future generations.
Feeding a Growing Population – Nutrition and Health. The world population will increase more than 2 billion people by 2050 and 6.5% of the Latin American population is still affected by the threat of hunger, while chronic malnutrition and diseases such as diabetes and obesity are steadily increasing in the region. We are looking for ventures exploring or producing alternative nutrition options that are healthier, more accessible and/or less harmful for the environment.
Preventing Food Waste – Climate Change, Waste Management, Food Loss Prevention, and Agricultural Productivity. In 2050, the world will need to produce 50% more food and biofuel than it did in 2012, exacerbating climate change and further straining natural resources. Meanwhile, one third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted along the food chain. This is translated into economic losses for farmers and higher prices to consumers, which consequently affects food insecurity for vulnerable groups. To prevent the continuous emission of greenhouse gases, the way we produce and distribute food will need to change. We are looking for startups improving practices to avoid food spoilage and waste across the supply chain, improve farm waste management, and reduce unnecessary detriments to the environment. This includes Big Data and Monitoring, Food Packaging, and Logistics.
Join our growing network of mentors here.
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 workshops, 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.
For more detailed responses to these and more questions. Please click here.