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Chile

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Start-Up Chile is a public accelerator program set up by the Chilean government and looks to invest in startups across the world with Chile as their foundation. It has a diverse portfolio, having invested in startups from Europe, North America and Asia. Start-Up Chile primarily gives seed and grant funding, typically investing between $15,000 and $90,000.

Drake Enterprises is a Swiss fund with offices in New York and Miami. The board of Drake Enterprises and its committees are responsible for the direction of the group’s businesses.The firm was founded in 2000 by Mr Nicolas Ibañez Scott, born into a family of merchants and entrepreneurs with interests in Chile and the UK. The Drake Group initially focused its entrepreneurial activities on the grocery business in Chile that was then sold in 2009 to Walmart. Since 2014, the group has been focusing its investment and philanthropic activities in companies such as Papa John's and Glovo.

A master’s graduate in Informatics and Computing Engineering from the University of Porto, Tiago Matos was a web developer for Nokia, with experience in software quality assurance at Wipro Technologies. Matos co-founded Jumpseller and currently lives in Chile, where Jumpseller is the platform most widely used by small and medium businesses for creating e-stores.

Carlos Montesinos, 25, is Co-founder, CEO, and CPO of Airhopping, a digital platform that enables multiple-destination travel planning at the lowest possible price. Montesinos launched the company upon graduating from Valencia's EDEM Business School with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He also studied Business Administration at the Development University in Chile. 

Backed by Jeff Bezos, NotCo uses proprietary, AI-driven algorithm to analyze food molecules and learn combinations of ingredients to produce plant-based alt-meat and dairy products.

Matías Muchnick graduated among the top 10% in business administration from the University of Chile in 2011 and went on to complete a master’s in Finance in 2012. He gained some work experience in Santiago as an analyst at LarrainVial in 2010 and spent the summer working at JP Morgan in Hong Kong after his graduation in 2011.In 2012, he became an entrepreneur and founded the wellness app Chooz, a project sponsored by the Chilean government. In 2013, he co-founded Eggless, the first food company in Chile to offer vegan mayonnaise in Chilean supermarkets like Walmart and Jumbo. He exited the business in 2015 and, in the same year, joined an entrepreneurship bootcamp at the University of California, Berkley, where he approached the biochemistry department to learn more about data and science. He also completed executive programs at Harvard Business School in 2015 and at the Stanford University in 2018.In November 2015, he co-founded the Chilean foodtech Not Company (NotCo) with astrophysicist Karim Pichara, who he met in Harvard, and Pablo Zamora. Based in New York, Muchnick is the CEO of NotCo, which combines AI with food science to create plant-based products that mimic animal-based food like milk and burgers.

Established in 2012, Mountain Nazca is a Latin American VC with offices in Mexico, Chile and Colombia. Its operations are centered in México City, Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Bogotá to back startups willing to consolidate their market positions in Latin American countries. The firm also facilitates cross-border investments between Europe, Latin America and the US. It has managed two exits to date, Petsy and Nubelo, and was the lead investor in 35 of its more than 60 investments. Its recent investments include Destacame's US$3 million Series A funding round, and the Series A funding rounds of Albo and Crehana.

Karim Pichara has a PhD in Computer Science from the Catholic University of Chile where he has been working for over 10 years since 2010. From 2011, Karim Pichara has also been working as a research associate at the Institute of Applied Computer Science, Harvard University, specializing in data mining and machine learning for astronomy. In November 2015, while at Harvard, Pichara and Matías Muchnick co-founded a plant-based foodtech, The Not Company (NotCo). Pichara became the CTO and headed the development of NotCo’s algorithm called “Giuseppe” that can analyze molecular structures of animal-based food to create similar plant-based food that cater to the human perception of taste and texture. 

Based in Sao Paulo, Maya Capital was co-founded in 2018 by Lara Lemann and Mônica Saggioro. The VC manages two funds that invest in early-stage startups in Latin America. The first is worth $26m and the second raised $15m in October 2020. Half of the amount raised will be invested in new startups, while the balance will fund Series A rounds of portfolio startups.Together with co-investors like Kaszek Ventures and Y Combinator, the VC has invested in 25 startups in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Investments include plant-based foodtech NotCo, the car-rental operator Kovi and online education platform Trybe. Maya aims to increase its portfolio to 35 startups, focusing on post-Covid opportunities in diverse sectors like health, finance, mobility and logistics.

Pablo Zamora is a biotechnologist from the University of Santiago, where he worked as a professor and research scientist until 2008. In 2009, he started his postdoctoral research on Mexico’s maize genetics at UC Davis Life Science Innovation Center. He worked there as a senior scientist and associate until 2014. In 2015, he was appointed the center’s Chief Science Officer based in Chile, a position he was in till January 2018.From 2013–2015, he also worked on various plant and microbe genomics projects as a senior scientist in Mars Advanced Research Institute. He was also an editor from 2012–2017 at the Journal of Technology Management & Innovation and worked at the non-profit PIPRA from 2010–2018 as international alliance manager in Sacramento, University of California.In 2015, he co-founded The Not Company (NotCo) based in Santiago. He was appointed CSO in February 2018, a role he led until March 2020, when he left the company to focus on a new project, AptaBuilder, a $60m program that promotes R&D for Chilean technology-based ventures. Zamora still consults as NotCo’s senior scientific advisor.

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