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Latin America’s Top 10 Startup Accelerators & Incubators [2023]

Are you looking for capital and/or mentorship for your startup? Latin America has many startup incubators and accelerators you should definitely apply to. Beyond funding, they also offer entrepreneurs and founders incredible valuable support for product development, sales and marketing.

Whether you are looking to find a co-founder, build your MVP and/or get the seed money you need to get started or scale up, incubators and accelerators are the way to go.

In this article we’ve listed our top 10 startup incubators and accelerators in Latin America. So, if you haven’t yet started to apply, here is a good place to start learning about them.

Accelerator vs. Incubator: What’s The Difference?

Using the terms “accelerator” and “incubator” interchangeably is a common mistake. Whilst they are similar and sometimes can be found under the same roof (organisation), they are very different.

Startup Incubators

As the name suggests, startup incubators are tailored more to startups still in their incubation period for their ideas. As such, incubators help startup founders turn their ideas into early working prototype versions of a product or service.

Joining an incubator comes with many perks for early stage businesses. For example, incubators will typically let you use office spaces for twelve months, and in some cases every several years. 

Yet, not all incubators are equal. Some might be specialised on a specific industry, and others on a specific expertise: do you want to work on your Minimal Viable Product (MVP), or are you looking for help to kick-start your sales and marketing efforts?

Therefore, if you’re interested in joining an incubator program, you should first ask for feedback from founders who are currently in the program. You should find out how long they’ve been with the program and what growth they have achieved with its help. 

Incubators are designed to turn business ideas into prototypes
Incubators are designed to turn business ideas into prototypes

Startup Accelerators

In contrast, startup accelerators are ideal for startups that have already gathered some momentum. That’s why startup accelerators are best for startups with a complete cofounding team, a MVP, and that are looking to accelerate their growth (commercialise their product / service). 

Accelerator programs usually take place between a few weeks to a couple of months. In that time, they’ll give you access to their network, connections, knowledge, and a relatively small amount of funding for your startup. 

When looking for an accelerator program, it is crucial to do your research. Identify the program’s list of alumni. Who among their startups experienced success? How many failed? Who are in their list of mentors, and what accomplishments do these people have that you think would help you succeed in your business?

Taking the time to find the best-fit startup accelerator for your business is essential. After all, you’ll be trusting these people to help your business succeed. 

startup accelerator pros and cons
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Top 10 Startup Accelerators & Incubators In Latin America

Here’s a summary table of the top 10 startup incubators and accelerators in Latin America (in alphabetical order):

NameLocation# startups to dateProgram lengthInvestment size
500 StartupsMexico170+4 monthsUS$60,000
ACE StartupsBrazil300+N/AR$1 million
Founder InstituteArgentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela200+4 monthsN/A
Google For StartupsMexico75+3 monthsNone *
Mass ChallengeMexico1674 monthsUS$100,000 **
Rockstart ColombiaColombia50+5 monthsUS$70,000
Start-Up ChileChile1,9604 to 12 months programsUp to US$90,000
Startup FarmBrazil3086 monthsUp to R$150,000
(for 5% equity)
Startup MexicoMexico100+6 to 10 monthsN/A
WayraArgentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Mexico200+N/AUp to US$150,000

* Startups benefit from unparalleled access to Google’s experts, solutions and infrastructure

** Only successful startups at the end of the program

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1. 500 Startups

latin america startup accelerators and incubators

500 Startups is one of the world’s largest startup accelerator, incubator and venture capital fund. With offices in 15 countries globally, they have invested in over 2,500 startups to date.

Although their headquarters are in Mexico for their LatAm investments, they welcome startups from any country within the region.

Since their first investments in Latin America in 2011, 500 Startups has invested in over 170 companies for a total of $10 million raised capital.

Their accelerator program in Latin America runs for 4 months during which startups receive US$60,000 seed investment and unparalleled access to 500 Startups alumni network and mentorship.

Although 500 Startups is sector agnostic, their 170+ startups portfolio in Latin America includes FinTech, SME solutions, Ecommerce, Marketplaces, EdTech, Logistics, PropTech, HealthTech, HR and much more (see their full portfolio here).

2. ACE Startups

ACE startups logo

ACE Startups is the largest startup accelerator in Brazil. Founded in 2012, it has accelerated over 300 startups and invested in 119 of them to date.

Although, in 2019 ACE Startups switched their business model away from a pure accelerator. Instead, they act more like an early-stage investment fund whereby they accelerate and continue to invest in the startups they support.

At ACE, startups benefit from a network of over 250 mentors and a database of 20,000+ startups ACE has registered and analysed over the past 10 years. As such, startups benefit from an unparalleled expertise, as well as equity investment (up to R$1 million).

Also, ACE Startups isn’t focusing on a specific industry. Instead, they prefer to invest “mostly” in B2B or B2B2C startups with a SaaS and/or marketplace revenue model.

3. Founder Institute

Founder Institute logo

The Founder Institute is another one of the top global pre-seed startup accelerators. With offices in over 200 cities and 65 countries worldwide, the Founder Institute is everywhere and has invested in 5,000+ startups to date.

They have also been investing in Latin America since 2012 where they have offices in 25 cities and 9 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela).

Since their inception in 2012, they have helped 400+ startups in Latin America raised a total US$20 million equity.

Also, like any of their other chapters worldwide, their pre-seed accelerator runs 4-months programs at the end of which graduate founders must commit 4% equity to the Founder Institute Collective (see more on that here).

4. Google For Startups

Google for startups logo

Google has recently created their own accelerator programs for startups. They have chapters worldwide including in Mexico, their LatAm hub centre.

Google for Startups focuses on startups that work in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) only. Also, their programs runs 3 times a year for a total of 3 months.

Although the accelerator doesn’t come with any equity investment from Google (or anyone else), startups benefit from unparalleled access to their infrastructure, engineers and potential customers Google works with.

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5. Mass Challenge

latin america startup accelerators and incubators

Mass Challenge (MCMX) is another of the top startup accelerators in Latin America, based in Mexico.

Since 2016, they have accelerated 167 startups that ended up raising a total US$132 million. Moreover, they are also very selective: in 2020 they only accepted about 5% of startups applications they received.

Although, unlike other standard accelerator programs, they do not invest directly in the startups, nor do they take a percentage of equity. Therefore, they are as they say a “Zero cost and for zero equity” accelerator.

Instead, startups benefit for free from a 4 months program with mentorship, engagement with MCMX’s corporate partners, and a curriculum of classes and workshops.

Only successful startups may receive at the end of the program up to US$100,000 in equity.

6. Rockstart Colombia

latin america startup accelerators and incubators

Rockstart was initially founded in 2011 as one of Europe’s first startup accelerators. Based in Amsterdam, they also have offices in Copenhagen, and more importantly, Bogota.

They provide startups with access to capital, market, community, and expertise by connecting startups to corporate partners and investors.

Since 2011, they have accelerator over 200+ startups that raised a total $100 million equity funding.

In Bogota, they have run a 5 months accelerator program since 2018 that welcomed over 50 startups to date.

In addition to mentorship and the benefits discussed above, startups receive a US$70,000 investment in return for 8% equity.

7. Start-Up Chile

Start-Up Chile logo

Start-Up Chile is undeniably the largest startup incubator and accelerator in Latin America by the number of startups they accelerated to date.

Since 2016 they have incubated and accelerated 1,960 startups that now represent a total $2.1 billion valuation.

Start-Up Chile receives 200 to 250 startups a year. Also, they run different programs:

  • Pre-acceleration program (incubator): 4-month program for early-stage startups with a total US$12k funding (and additional US$8k follow-on for successful startups)
  • Acceleration program: 4-month program for seed startups with US$30k funding (+ potential additional US$30k)
  • Scale program: for scale-ups, it lasts 8 months and startups receive US$90k funding

8. Startup Farm

latin america startup accelerators and incubators

Startup Farm is the 2nd largest accelerator in Brazil (closely after ACE Startups). Indeed, since their inception in 2011 they have accelerated over 300 startups in various industries.

Since 2016, their new accelerator program (Ahead *) now runs for 6 months during which startups receive mentorship from over 450+ mentors, benefits of Startup Farm’s corporate partners and unparalleled access to investors and potential customers.

Although, in return, startups must give away 5% equity for the program, plus an additional maximum 5% for up to R$150,000 investment they may receive at the end of the program.

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9. Startup Mexico

latin america startup accelerators and incubators

StartupMexico is one of Latin America’s top startup accelerator. Also, it’s the largest accelerator in Mexico itself (see our list of the top 11 startup accelerators in Mexico).

Indeed, Startup Mexico has accelerated over 100+ over the past 5 years, in various industries.

Also, it runs both an incubator and an accelerator program: its incubator program lasts 6 months and the acceleration program 10 months.

10. Wayra

latin america startup accelerators and incubators

Founded in 2011, Wayra is Telefónica’s own startup accelerator with over 35 hubs worldwide (in Europe and Latin America). In Latin America, they have offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru.

Globally they have accelerated over 400 startups, of which half of them out of Latin America.

Wayra’s objective is to find and support startups that can work with Telefónica or Telefónica’s corporate partners and clients.

Whilst they are sector agnostic, they are looking at companies that can work with Telefónica’s solutions and partners. Therefore, they look in priority for startups in IoT, Video, Big Data, AI, Cybersecurity, FinTech and Blockchain.

Also, Wayra typically invests up to $150,000 per startup of its portfolio.

All Our Top Startup Accelerators

See more of our top startup accelerators in Latin America by reading our articles below:

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