Attendees at the presentation of the report Corporate Venture Capital and its impact in Latin America, conducted by Opinno and MIT Technology Review in Spanish. 

The history of Venture Capital (VC) and Latin America’s potential to create partnerships. 

The event, presented by Mercedes Bouzas, Opinno's Business Development Director, kicked off with thoughts from Beatriz Ferreira, Managing Director of the same company, who explained Opinno's commitment to promote open innovation initiatives in the region and the interest in adding value to the CVC. «We work with many companies, and we have observed that open innovation initiatives are becoming increasingly prominent in the strategies of organizations. The CVC is becoming more and more present and, therefore, we took the risk of launching this report, to find out what is happening in Latin America», said Ferreira. 

For her part, Natalia González Vela, VC expert and author of the blog La Neta del VC, delved into the history of VC from its beginnings to the present day. In addition, she reflected on the evolution of the region and its potential to make progress in the innovation ecosystem: «In Latin America we have done some incredible things in the last decade; this should inspire us to keep moving forward with everything that is coming in the region, because we are just starting. Now the CVC has a very important and strategic role in the ecosystem». 

In addition, Jorge Andrés Crespo, Innovation Managing Consultant at Opinno, explained the key points of the CVC taken from the report and highlighted that 90% of the companies interviewed show an interest in investing in Latin America. He also revealed that Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are the countries that attract the most investment in CVC. As for the areas in which to make these investments, 'fintech' stands as the preferred investment focus for 40% of those interviewed, followed by sustainability, with 30%, and 'health tech', with 25%. Finally, the expert stressed the importance of raising awareness among companies about the need to invest in VC&C: «We encourage you to be ambassadors of change». 

The CVC, a vibrant strategy with a promising future  

Moving closer to the innovation ecosystem and becoming more competitive thanks to the boost of innovation and technology are the reasons that led the participants of the first panel to create a CVC.   

Presented by Karla Berman, member of the Advisory Council for Latin America at Harvard Business School, experts Tatiana Virviescas, Senior Specialist BID Lab; Erick Melgar, General Manager of Progreso X; Héctor Shibata, director of AC Ventures; Sandra Velasco, CVC leader at Mercado Libre and Andrés Hernández, director of GBM Ventures, shared their objectives and experiences with the adoption of this strategy in their businesses. 

In some cases, such as IDB Lab, they also sought to «promote open innovation with environmental and social objectives,» as explained by Tatiana Virviescas, Senior Specialist IDB Lab.  

In the second panel, Jorge Nava, Opinno's Director of Innovation and Transformation, analyzed the current state of the CVC in the region. The panel included Andrés Medina, General Manager of CompuSoluciones Ventures; Vanessa Bello, CVC Leader of Wayra; Armando Romero, Senior Manager of Bayer de México; Juan Carlos Costales Venture Architect of Cemex Ventures; Antonio Peña, Managing Partner of Kamay Ventures and Nadim Matuk, Investment Principal of Liil Ventures. 

The experts agreed that CSV is a living strategy, which is already changing the innovation landscape in the region and has a promising future.   

Joe Naffah, head of BBVA Spark Mexico, was in charge of wrapping up the event and spoke about BBVA Spark's new open innovation strategy for Latin America, financing vehicles and support for the validation of new businesses: «BBVA Spark is like a startup that was born within BBVA to promote and provide banking services to technology and innovation companies. Today we operate in Mexico, Colombia and Spain».  

Naffah concluded by encouraging companies to invest in the region and to take the risk of going deeper into the innovation ecosystem: «Great companies are often created in periods of turbulence and change».