IDB Lab and Google launch acceleration program for women entrepreneurs in STEM

Twenty women-led startups will be selected to participate in the customized LAC Women Founders Accelerator Program.

Photo: Mike Ngo

IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank, joins Google in LAC Women Founders Accelerator, an acceleration program for STEM startups led by women in Latin America and the Caribbean.

WeXchange, an IDB Lab platform that fosters the growth of women technology entrepreneurs in the region and Google, in collaboration with Centraal, the entrepreneurial hub in Mexico, have designed a highly customized, ten-week-long virtual program to help entrepreneurs from the region expand their networks, access mentors and investors, and receive training on key topics to develop their startups.

Startups with at least one female co-founder or one woman on their leadership team, with technology as a key component of their business, and with headquarters and operations in at least one Latin America or the Caribbean country, may apply.

The application period is open until September 12, 2021.

The 20 selected startups will participate in a program that includes workshops on technology, digital marketing, leadership, business culture, and fundraising, beginning with a specific diagnosis of each startup and the unique challenges it faces. The entrepreneurs will also have numerous one-on-one mentoring sessions with investors and experts from Google, WeXchange/IDB Lab, and Centraal’s networks.

The program will include a Demo Day, during the ninth edition of the WeXchange annual forum, that will take place, virtually, on December 1st and 2nd, 2021. During this event, the entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their companies in front of a group of venture capital investors from the region. This year´s forum is being made possible thanks to the support of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

“IDB Lab’s strong commitment to gender diversity and inclusion in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, is one of the cornerstones of the IDB Group's Vision 2025, with which we seek to drive recovery and inclusive growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. This unprecedented alliance between WeXchange, Google, and Centraal will allow us to provide relevant tools to women entrepreneurs in STEM who are developing innovative solutions to solve great challenges, thus contributing to the probability of success of their startups and the development of the region,” said Irene Arias, CEO of IDB Lab.

“We are excited to extend the reach of Google for Startups Accelerator through this collaboration with IDB Lab and Centraal. Strengthening diversity in entrepreneurship is part of our mission and carrying out this program in Latin America will allow us to support women who are creating companies addressing the great challenges of our region. The talent is here, and we want to contribute to its growth and development”, said Francisco Solsona, Lead of Google Developers LATAM.

“Our goal is to empower and strengthen the creation of Latin American startups led by women. We not only want to celebrate their work and successes but, above all, to have an impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the region, so that women entrepreneurs think beyond their borders, and we see more and more startups operating throughout Latin America,” explained Rogelio Cuevas Ruiz, from Centraal and part of the organizing team.

This article was originally published by IDB.