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500 startups sees Silicon Valley in Brazil


Startup accelerator 500 Startups is serious about growing its presence in emerging markets. According to the accelerator, “big things are happening” in the South American country, which is why the programme has “been so passionate about supporting Brazilian startups and entrepreneurs”.

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In a recent post on its site, 500 Startups noted that Brazil’s mobile landscape is worth paying attention to saying that it is “seeing Silicon Valley in Brazil”.

“Mobile’s massive as well, with more than 1.4 phones per person, with 22-million of those being smartphones,” says the post. “And these numbers are going up faster every year.”

500 Startups was founded by high-profile Silicon Valley Angel investor Dave McClure in 2010 as a seed accelerator with a tech bias. Since its inception three years ago, 500 Startups has grown from a four to five man strong company to the 21 employee international firm it is today.

The accelerator has already featured three Brazilian startups in its program and more will be featured in upcoming programs.

“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.”

Earlier this week 500 Startups announced its expansion into China and the hiring of former The Raine Group associate and venture capitalist Rui Ma, as head of its Beijing outpost.

Things are definitely heating up on Brazil’s startup scene indeed, the country launched its own reality television show depicting its startup culture. The show, Go For It, follows a few Brazilian startups telling their story through a documentary-style format.

Below is a mini doccie from 500 Startups explaining the startup scene down south.

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