Going overseas might be tempting, but for LATAM startups “the market is huge, growing and natural”

By July 31, 2018

For Latin America, the UK might not be the number one location to enter a new market given its distance and the clear language barriers. However, one pair of entrepreneurs has seen great opportunity in this island nation given the recent events of Brexit.

Now that the UK is parting from the EU, and Trump has demonstrated that business and trade alliances with the US are becoming increasingly unreliable, a void has opened up and opportunity has come knocking for two Latin entrepreneurs.

Israel Pons, a Mexican who lived for 24 years in England, along with his partner Adam Bernal, have opened Mind the Gap, an investment fund for startups based in London, whose objective is to search for investment opportunities in the United Kingdom.

According to The Yucatan Times, Pons states that “Derived from Brexit and the end of the benefits available to allocate capital in Europe, investors, funds and “family offices” in the United Kingdom are now looking for new opportunities around the world, so we want their money to reach the Entrepreneurs in Latin America.”

However, as tempting as it might be to try and break into the majestic city of London and the UK, there are still plenty of reasons to keep things local.

To get a better idea of why it might be in Latin startups’ best interest to succeed in their own region before exploring others, we spoke with Germán Montoya, Chief Exponential Officer, Rokk3r, who said “Though each country has its own unique characteristics, the region shares heritage in the form of language, culture and historical and geopolitical development. This means that if an innovative value proposition solves a problem in Lima, it will probably also solve it in Bogotá.”

He adds “I strongly advocate for growth within the region. For decades, borders, geography and politics have strained growth of businesses across Latin American countries, but for businesses that are built on connectivity and exponential technologies, the market is huge, growing and natural. The middle class is expected to grow and so is the level of education and trust. Before trying to solve a problem in another latitude, in another language, I believe the opportunity remains in the region.”

While foreign markets are always tempting, especially during times of great opportunity, it appears the old saying “walk before you can run” is important to remember in order to avoid falling flat on your face, and your business too.

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