Every day this month, we’ll give you an inside look at 500 Startups. Today, we’re heading south to the land of Carnaval and Caipirinhas to share some insights about Brazil. If you’re interested in being part of our Spring 2013 Accelerator batch, apply here before the March 1st deadline.
Here’s a fun geography fact to kick off your week: Brazil is HUGE. Seriously.
Beyond its sheer size, Brazil has a booming startup scene along with a population of that’s tech savvy, modern, and hungry for innovation. There are nearly 200 million people in Brazil, and 80 million of those are internet users. Mobile’s massive as well, with more than 1.4 phones per person, with 22 million of those being smartphones. And these numbers are going up faster every year. As one of my teammates noted during our last Geeks on a Plane trip, “We’re seeing Silicon Valley in Brazil.”
Big things are happening in South America’s largest nation, which is why we’ve been so passionate about supporting Brazilian startups and entrepreneurs. 3 companies in Batch 5, UniPay, Qual Canal, and Cuponomia, come from Brazil, and we’re excited to support more in our Spring 2013 accelerator. We even have our own Brazilian ambassador on staff, Venture Partner Bedy Yang, who focuses on partnerships and startups in the region through 500 Startups and Brazil Innovators.
To get an idea of all the innovation happening down south, check out our Geeks on a Plane mini documentary below:
During our most recent demo days, our team even cooked up up some delicious Coxinhas (traditional Brazilian snack) to get our Brazilian founders pumped up for pitching:
Later this week, we’ll profile one of the Brazilian companies in the 500 family, so be sure to check back. Até amanhã!!