Here’s a relationship you don’t read too much about; China and Latin America are quickly becoming strong business partners with big investments and the launch of the Sino-Latin America Accelerator.
Dubbed “A Land Full of Vitality and Hope” by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Latin America is strengthening ties with its new major trading partner in Asia.
Since 2013, the Chinese leadership has set forth a series of major initiatives and measures on strengthening China’s relations and cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean in a wide range of areas, which has provided new development goals and new driving forces for the relations, according to China’s Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean.
Continuing in this same vein, Magma Partners recently announced the launch of the Sino-Latin America Accelerator in partnership with Chinese co-working space Kr Space and with the support of the Chinese government, the first accelerator from China to Latin America.
The twice annual accelerator program is for startups who haven’t quite figured out product market fit, but are attacking interesting markets and are led by high potential entrepreneurs who want to be mentored by successful entrepreneurs who have done it before.
“We believe that talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity isn’t,” said Nathan Lustig, Managing Partner at Magma Partners.
“We’re using our resources and connections in Latin America, the United States, and China to help Latin American entrepreneurs reach their goals,” he added.
The Chinese and Latin American accelerator is looking for high potential entrepreneurs with startups in two main niches: B2B startups that attack the Latin American market, or startups that have a presence in Latin America, but whose target market is the US, Europe, or China.
In addition to helping Chinese entrepreneurs access the Latin American market, the accelerator program will be an opportunity for Latin American entrepreneurs to learn about doing business in China. The accelerator will help entrepreneurs source products, services, technology, and investment from China.
“Cooperation between China and Latin America has never been more important, and we believe that the Sino-Latin America Accelerator will be a key building block for both startup ecosystems,” said Jie Hao, Partner at Magma Partners.
The Sino-Latin America accelerator will have a physical presence within Kr Space in Shanghai and Beijing, host monthly events, and provide a space for both investors and Chinese and Latin American entrepreneurs to come together.
“The Sino-Latin America Accelerator represents an opportunity for Kr Space to continue supporting Chinese entrepreneurs in new ways and in new markets like Latin America, which we see as a strategic next step over the next decade,” said Dong Bo, Vice President, Kr Space.
Magma Partners also recently announced the first close of its second $15M fund to continue supporting the growth of U.S. incorporated startups with technology and sales teams based in Latin America.
The Magma Fund II plans to invest in 60 pre-seed and seed-stage companies over the next three years in the Latin American region. The firm specializes in companies with technology and sales teams based in Latin America who target the US market and B2B companies that target the Latin American market. Magma Partners invests between $25,000 and $2,000,000 in each company.
According to Foreign Policy, “China has pledged to increase trade with the region [Latin America] by $500 billion and foreign investment to $250 billion by 2025,” and, “In addition to bilateral loans, China also set up $35 billion in multilateral finance platforms for Latin America.”