Startup Grind Peru Conference 2022: Where we are headed as an ecosystem

Startup Grind Perú Conference 2022
© Startup Grind Perú

Two days of workshops, with 28 international speakers and more than 200 attendees.

Startup Grind convened investors, startups, corporates, incubators, accelerators and academia in a 2-day event held at UTEC with more than 200 attendees and 28 speakers, with the aim of promoting the startup and innovation ecosystem in the country.

Startup Grind Peru, part of Startup Grind, the world's largest global entrepreneurship community that promotes startup ecosystems in 200 countries in more than 600 cities, held the Startup Grind Peru Conference on November 23rd and 24th at the UTEC - University of Ingeniería y Tecnología auditorium.

On November 23 at 3:30 pm, in the auditorium, the event began with a presentation of the Startup Grind community by Kenny Lazo, Director of Startup Grind Peru and Carla Luna, Marketing Coordinator of the project in Peru. It should be noted that the community in Peru has chapters with face-to-face activities in Lima and Arequipa and has been promoting the ecosystem in Peru since 2015.

Yenifer Goméz-Velásquez, project assistant of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Andean Countries presented the foundation that currently works in 6 Latin American countries (Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela), promoting projects and actions oriented to education, political training, social market economy, rule of law, human rights, digitalization, among others; building open societies and defending freedom.

Startup Grind Perú 1
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"Empathy leads to trust and trust leads to collaboration that is why it is important to promote the Give First culture that Startup Grind promotes."

Carlos Rodrich

José Deustua, Director of UTEC Ventures, co-organizer of the event, gave the welcoming speech on behalf of the leading startup investment, acceleration and scaling program focused on Latam with more than 73 startups valued at more than 400 million dollars. The event kicked off with a program that included fireside chats, panels, workshops, keynotes, networking spaces and pitch round.

From startupper to investor. Fireside chat with Daniel Bonifaz and Jaime Sotomayor

The first fireside chat of the event was moderated by Jaime Sotomayor, CEO of Shift, Podcaster of “innovation without barriers” and “Web tres” where he interviews entrepreneurs and investors and blogger of “Darwin digital” in Semana Económica, magazine for leading executives in Peru.

During 45 minutes Jaime and Daniel, CEO of Kambista, the first digital money changer in Peru and currently, also investor in startups; shared a conversation full of learning and inspiration.

The fireside chat was oriented to the journey of Daniel, who started in entrepreneurship as Founder & CEO of Kambista and today bets to invest in startups like Flip Inversiones, TiendaDa , Agendalo.io, My good Week, among others. In addition, Daniel has a podcast where he shares content for entrepreneurs with whom he has built high engagement.

Daniel Bonifaz, a professional communicator, entrepreneur, investor, instagramer and influencer with a community of 426,800 followers on Tiktok and 110,000 on Instagram, shared his experience and lessons learned on the path of entrepreneurship, in addition to highlighting the power of habits, discipline and the power of communities.

“I really liked the give first thing; I think what characterizes a startup is that it is asking about problems that society has in small niches.”

Daniel Bonifaz, CEO de Kambista
José Deustua - Managing Director UTEC Ventures
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Investment opportunities in startups

Investment opportunities in startups

This panel was moderated by Carlos Rodrich, Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub UDEP and included the participation of Monica Reyes, Director of Special Projects at The Board, Maria Gracia Agurto Osorio, Analyst Investor at MAGMA Partners and Hernan Haro, Founder & General partner MrPink VC.

During this panel, the investment opportunities in startups and the perspective of what investors look for when betting on a project or startup were explored. Also, representatives of investment funds indicated some reasons why funds do not bet on some startups and it is not necessarily because the startup is bad, but rather because sometimes the fund does not fit with the startup, the core or cannot provide more value than just capital.


In this context, María Gracia of Magma Partners emphasized the importance of analyzing which fund fits you and your startup. For her part, Mónica Reyes stressed the importance of giving feedback to the startup and indicating why they do not decide to bet on them. Finally, Hernán Haro, who has been part of the Argentine entrepreneurial scene for almost two decades and is connected to Silicon Valley, commented that it is necessary to be empathetic, positive and collaborative with startups.

Oportunidades de inversión en startups
© Startup Grind Perú

Fireside Chat with Pedro Neira and Jaime Sotomayor

The second fireside chat of the day was moderated by Jaime Sotomayor, CEO of Shift, podcaster and blogger and had as special guest Pedro Neira, CEO of Megabite, serial entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience working in 5 startups, the last 4 in Latin America.

During this fireside chat, we went through Pedro's trajectory, from 2009 as Co-Founder of the real estate portal Adondevivir, which was one of the first "exits" of the Peruvian ecosystem, and of Mi Media Manzana, an application that before its closure in 2019 became the most downloaded Online Dating APP in Google PlayStore in Latin America.

Pedro is currently an advisor to the Venture Capital Fund Magma Partners, Endeavor entrepreneur, formal mentor in several Startups locally and internationally and CEO and Co-Founder of Megabite Foods, the digital restaurant that is building the Spotify of Food Delivery and Pedro shared a discount code for the Startup Grind community.

This was followed by a coffee break and networking space where attendees were able to experience an augmented reality space and with the help of a smartphone interact with characters such as Mark Zuckerberg, thanks to Dazard Studio. This concluded the first day of the event.

Pedro Neira, CEO de Megabite y Jaime Sotomayor, Director Ejecutivo de Shift
© Startup Grind Perú

Workshop: How to create an MVP with no-code tools

This workshop took place at UTEC Ventures and was led by Herman Marin, CEO of Kaudal and Co-Founder of Laboratoria. Kaudal is a spin off of Laboratoria that trains people without Tech profile so they can create digital content without programming and lighten the workload of IT teams in companies.

The creation of an MVP is usually one of the most complex phases for many entrepreneurs due to the large technological talent gap in Latin America. However, as an alternative, no-code tools can allow the creation of websites, apps, reports and digital solutions without knowing how to program.

Typeform, Zapier and Bubble were some no-code tools recommended by Herman Marín to venture into the no-code world, which is a world still undiscovered and organizations such as Google, Microsoft, Gartner and PMI, already consider no-code as the basis of the next digital revolution.

Herman Marín, CEO de Kaudal y Cofundador de Laboratoria
© Startup Grind Perú

Workshop: How to raise funding for startups

The workshop was given by Rodrigo Fajardo, Program Manager of UTEC Ventures, in this workshop Rodrigo exposed different financing alternatives starting from Bootstrapping or self-funding, Non-reimbursable funds / Awards (Grants), Investment (FFF, accelerators and investment funds such as VC or CVC).

Likewise, investment instruments such as Equity, convertible and SAFEs were also explored to then analyze key metrics that startups should take into account when looking for funding. The metrics recommended during the workshop were TAM / SAM, funel, Retention and Churn, Product Market Fit, Runway, CAC, LTV, MRR, ARR.

The importance of identifying the key moments to seek and receive investment was also highlighted. Rodrigo suggests the following moments: when you have a validated MVP, traction, a tidy cap table, positive unit economics, defined return, among others.

“Take the time to see what kind of fund fits you. Magma does not invest in physical products; we do not believe we are the best allies to make them grow.”

Maria Gracia Agurto, Analyst Investor de Magma Partners
Rodrigo Fajardo, Program Manager de UTEC Ventures
© Startup Grind Perú

Workshop: Mindfulness balance between work and personal life

The workshop was led by Lorena Moscoso, certified in Yoga, meditation and mindfulness by Dharma Yoga Wheel in New York, who is also an entrepreneur and began her presentation with a report from the University of Berkeley that indicates that 72% of entrepreneurs suffer from mental health issues, so techniques such as Mindfulness or Yoga can be useful to cope with these processes.

Having said this, Lorena listed the benefits of Mindfulness and then, through music, she began a process of immersion with the participants, a process that is guided by her voice with instructions on scenarios and situations that lead the participant to a state of relaxation.



Lorena Moscoso, Certificada en Yoga, meditación y mindfulness por Dharma Yoga Wheel en Nueva York
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Building the Blockchain ecosystem in Peru: current events, challenges and opportunities.

This Keynote was in charge of Juan José Miranda, Technology Innovation Lab Blockchain/DLT - NTT DATA Peru Digital Chief. The presentation began with a reflection on one of the biggest issues of technology: the double spend and ownership. Prior to the rise of blockchain, one of the biggest dilemmas in the digital world was that it was not possible to ensure that something in the digital world is irreplicable unless a trusted third party ensures it.

However, the panorama has changed thanks to blockchain technology, which in simple words could be said to be responsible for transmitting, storing value and redefining the meaning of trust. Converting subjective trust into mathematical, cryptographic trust and safeguarding information.

Regarding the current state of blockchain in Peru, Juan José, showed statistics on the increase of cryptos in the country, however, despite this increase, the use and investment in this sector is still a problem for the Peruvian government. Despite this, Peru is fourth in the region in the cryptocurrency approval index, ranking 22nd out of 154 globally, which still poses certain challenges for the country.

Finally, regarding blockchain opportunities, Miranda highlighted the transformation of companies, since changes in business architectures will be driven by the Blockchain, creating distributed value through network intelligence.

Juan José Miranda, Director Digital Technology Innovation Lab Blockchain/DLT - NTT DATA Perú
© Startup Grind Perú

How to take your startup to the next level: Expansion and investment rounds.

The panel was led by Fernando Lago, Director of Liquid Venture Studio and included the participation of Chritophe Robilliard, CEO Kashin; Robinson Lopez, CEO of Agros and Cesar Rivera, COO of Equip; startups that are expanding and have raised investment rounds.

During this panel, the startups shared their process during the capital raising and analyzed the key factors that led them to succeed in their fund raising. They also analyzed the Peruvian reality and the shortcomings and improvements that the country should apply to improve its levels of investment in startups and venture capital.

Finally, the panelists provided recommendations to startups that are about to raise investment rounds, based on their experience; among which stand out the choice of the first investors, defining the equity issue and the best financing method that is founder friendly, etc.

When startups don't fit our thesis, we have to tell them why. Sometimes we don't suit them, we don't help, we don't add more than capital.

Monica Reyes, Directora de proyectos especiales - The Board
César Rivera, COO de Equip; Robinson López, CEO de Agros; Christophe Robilliard, CEO de Kashin y Fernando Lago, Director de Liquid Venture Studio
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The role of the corporate in innovation

In this Keynote, we analyzed the role of the corporate in innovation with Jose Pajuelo Billinghurst, manager of laboratories of the BCP Innovation Center. Josué's presentation began with the analysis of some successful cases of companies that decided to innovate and explore in order to expand, such as the case of Unilever.

Following the analysis, José quoted BCP's innovation-oriented cases such as "ando", a new solution from BCP's innovation center that seeks to help more clients obtain their first loan or credit card and has so far made more than 5,000 disbursements with less than 2% delinquency.

José concluded with some of the lessons learned by the company in the process of developing new things to expand reach and quality of service. He also highlighted the collaboration to gain speed and accelerate others and finally, self-disrupt to prevent someone else from doing it.

Jose Pajuelo Billinghurst, Gerente de laboratorios del Centro de Innovación BCP
© Startup Grind Perú

Peruvian innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem: Analysis, lessons and where we go from here

The 2022 edition of the Startup Grind Conference focused on the analysis of the ecosystem and this panel approached the topic from different perspectives. This panel was led by José Muñoz, Project Coordinator of the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation FNF Andean Countries.

This space featured Marilia Montesinos, Coordinator of StartUPC, incubator of the UPC; Gustavo Vizcardo, Country Manager Swiss EP Peru and Augusto Cáceres - Board Member PECAP participated. During 60 minutes the panelists analyzed the Peruvian ecosystem.

For his part, Gustavo Vizcardo gave insights on the actions that are developed within Swiss EP, Swiss entrepreneurship program that is in Peru since 2015 and seeks to improve the ecosystem of startups and innovation. Augusto was able to share his experience and contribution from PECAP to the startup ecosystem and Marilia from her perspective as an incubator.

Ecosistema peruano de innovación y emprendimiento: Análisis, lecciones y hacia dónde vamos
© Startup Grind Perú

Fireside chat with Daniela Espinosa

The final moments of the event took place in a fireside chat with Daniela Espinosa, Angel investor, former founding & COO of Kushki, an Ecuadorian unicorn. During this space, Daniela had a conversation with Rodrigo Fajardo, Program Manager of UTEC Ventures, full of inspiration and learning.

As an Angel investor, Daniela has been able to advise many entrepreneurs on the process of seeking investment. Daniela suggests that the startup should never focus on money, if you focus on money often do not focus on operating and in terms of raising funding should be raised what allows the startup to operate and that their concern is to sell and not seek more investment.

In addition, he emphasized the importance of learning, currently from his perspective, there are many entrepreneurs without experience and experience matters, which is why many successful startups have teams between 40 and 44 years old. Therefore, it is important to seek advisors and lose the fear of failure, pointing out the culture of Israel.

Additionally, Daniela highlighted personal aspects in decision making and actions such as maintaining clarity of mind, finding what makes your mind clear and sleeping well. In Daniela's words with clarity of mind you can do amazing things.

Rodrigo Fajardo, Program Manager de UTEC Ventures y Daniela Espinosa, Angel Investor, ex founding y COO de Kushki
© Startup Grind Perú

Pitch round to give visibility to early stage startups

In order to provide visibility to early stage startups, the program included 3 pitch round spaces where a total of 15 startups participated, presenting their value proposition to investors, accelerators, startups, academia and other attendees.

During the first pitch round led by Ronald Barzola, Co-Founder & CMO at Datapath and Innovation Chief at SCALE Social Innovation Hub Incubator, the following startups took part: Agendalo, Teyza, Cripto nights, Yala and Points.

Also, during the second and third pitch round, led by Paúl García and Diego Montes from Andino DAO, the following startups participated: Sanimax, Tumi-lms, Grib, Flyteek, Mullankay work, INFOX, Flip Inversiones, AQKU, AppFIVE, Mappi and Sanar Perú

Give first

Give first is one of the most representative values of Startup Grind. We strongly believe in giving before receiving and it is something that is promoted within the community.

Therefore, it is necessary to highlight, in this article, the work of more than 30 volunteers in operational functions that made this conference possible.

Equipo de voluntarios Startup Grind
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About the author

This article was written by Carla Luna, Marketing Coordinator of Startup Grind Peru.

Economist and Communicator.