The Innovation for Ecosystem Restoration: LatAm 2023 will address some of the most pressing challenges facing ecosystem restoration entrepreneurs in LatAm, including support for developing ecosystem restoration and a lack of access to investment capital. Our goal is to deliver a catalytic accelerator for entrepreneurs championing ecosystem restoration throughout LatAm.
We are looking for (for-profit) startups building locally viable ecosystem restoration solutions. Eligibility requirements include:
Have legal incorporation and operations as a for-profit entity in at least one Latin American country.
Have a market-based solution that tackles ecosystem restoration challenges in Latin America.
Have at least one full-time founder based in Latin America.
Be in compliance with local fiscal and business law.
Have a minimum viable product (MVP), and 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 users, and/or strategic partnerships).
Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru are among the ten most biodiverse countries in the world, but these same countries are in the top fifteen whose fauna is highly threatened with extinction. Forest degradation represents a threat to biodiversity, local livelihoods, and a exacerbator of the impacts of global climate change.
Although ecosystem degradation is increasingly recognized as a global challenge, LatAm is disproportionately at-risk in terms of regional negative externalities. Growing ecosystem risks, compounded by limited access to investment capital, have created a challenging environment for LatAm’s ecosystem restoration entrepreneurs.
Roughly 1.7% of regional GDP is lost annually to natural disasters, and it's expected that up to 5.8M people in the region could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030 due to climate-related natural hazards, which directly affect the region’s ecosystems.
Equity must be a critical focus of the ecosystem restoration agenda to ensure solutions are representative of the people they aim to support and empower. Village Capital will work closely to ensure our efforts support entrepreneurs outside of major innovation hubs in order to better democratize access to entrepreneurship.
We are looking for solutions focused on restoring forest ecosystems through reforestation, improvement of degraded forests’ condition, conservation of wild plants, protection of essential parts of the forest ecosystem, and promotion of sustainable logging practices.
Solutions focused on reversing the degradation of soils and combating desertification. These can be solutions that promote regenerative agriculture practices like the use of natural fertilizers and pest control, use of crop rotation, and mainly promote farming that uses soil preservation as the entry point to regenerate and contribute to multiple provisioning, regulating, and supporting services.
Solutions that maintain ecosystem structure and function to support food provisioning while minimizing impacts. These can be solutions that promote sustainable fishing practices, that re-seed or transplant key species, that enhance the treatment of pollutants before they reach the oceans, and that promote ocean cleaning practices. Additionally, we are looking for solutions focused on coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass management.
Solutions that focus on rebuilding a natural ecosystem following major human disturbance by restoring natural processes and the complete or near complete food-web at all trophic levels as a self-sustaining and resilient ecosystem using biota that was present before any human intervention.
Ability to meet with and receive mentorship from prominent Latin American and U.S. investors, potential strategic partners, investors, potential customers, and other founders.
Access to an investment analyst who will coach you 1:1 on building a financial model, identifying unit economics, and using financial metrics to drive both the business and investor diligence
Exposure to Village Capital’s program website and other communications collateral.
Access to a diverse and inclusive network of mentors and founders
Access to live and asynchronous sessions tailored to a virtual learning environment to help their companies identify early milestones and prepare for their next round of capital (if relevant) or big expansion.
Startups will also be able to participate in a virtual Investor Forum and mock board meetings with representatives from financial institutions, corporates, experienced entrepreneurs, and investors that can help their company scale.
Learn more about mentoring with Village Capital.