Techstars Was Selected by IDB Lab To Implement a Program Directed to Enhance Innovation and Stem-Based Women Entrepreneurship in Central America and Ecuador

Mar 27, 2024

Techstars, the most active pre-seed investor in the world, was selected by IDB Lab, the entrepreneurial innovation arm of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, to implement a comprehensive program to support women-led startup growth and encourage female entrepreneurship in Central America and Ecuador. 

This program, powered by WeXchange, IDB Lab’s platform to support the growth of women entrepreneurs in STEM in Latin America and the Caribbean, will spearhead the launch of a series of entrepreneurial-focused events aimed at creating a pathway for female founders to progress through their entrepreneurial journey. Programming will span 2024 and 2025, and will include:

  • Six editions of Startup Weekend in Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. During these three-day in-person events, women looking for an immersive foray into the world of startups will have the chance to access local community mentors, investors, co-founders, and partners to help them get started on their entrepreneurial journey. 

  • Two editions of Founder Catalyst, a 10-week pre-accelerator program that will provide early-stage STEM-based female founders access to valuable startup education, mentorship, community building, and Techstars’ network of entrepreneurs, mentors, and corporate partners. Both Founder Catalyst programs will be held virtually.

  • An edition of Ecosystem Development Lab, which will convene local community leaders and stakeholders for two days in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to learn key methodologies and foster the region’s unique startup ecosystem, with a focus on empowering female entrepreneurship.

This program is financially supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi), a global initiative established in 2017 with funding from 14 donor governments that supports women entrepreneurs in developing countries by scaling up access to finance, building capacity, expanding networks, and providing market opportunities. 

“At Techstars, we’re committed to democratizing access to opportunities and resources for entrepreneurs across the globe to create the right environment for their ideas to flourish,” said Katie Smith, Techstars Head of Ecosystem Development. “With IDB Lab’s focus on growing the success of women entrepreneurs, this partnership will allow us to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America that supports exceptional female founders building transformative businesses.”

“We have been working since 2013 through our flagship initiative, WeXchange, to unleash the growth potential of women entrepreneurs in STEM in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since then, our region has witnessed a significant growth of women entrepreneurs starting companies in these areas, but we still have a long way to go. We are excited to partner with Techstars, with the financial support of We-Fi, to back women founders from emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems, such as in Central America and Ecuador, in their journey to build and grow successful businesses,” said Magdalena Coronel, chief investment officer at IDB Lab.

Those interested in learning more about the partnership and its programming can find more information here. 

Para obtener información en español, por favor visite nuestra página web.

About Techstars

Techstars is the most active pre-seed investor in the world having invested through its accelerators in more than 4,000 companies. Founded in 2006, Techstars believes that entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to invest in an unprecedented number of startups per year enabling more capital to flow to more entrepreneurs around the world. We do this by operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, as well as by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities.

About IDB Lab

IDB Lab is the innovation and venture laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. Our purpose is to discover new ways to drive social inclusion, environmental action and productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean. IDB Lab leverages financing, knowledge and connections to support early-stage entrepreneurship, foster the development of new technologies, activate innovative markets and catalyze existing sectors.

Media Contact for Techstars

Amalia Lytle