The Participating startups have been selected!

Learn more about the 15 startups from Latin America and the Caribbean that will be participating in the Demand Solutions – Venture Night 2015.


Do you have a Startup that has developed a solution, product or service that is improving lives in Latin American and Caribbean cities? The IDB is looking for startups fostering innovations in cities that have developed a solution or product, in areas such as: Alternative Energy, Transportation and Logistics, Housing, Urban Farming and Gastronomy, Education, Big Data, Creative Industries, Art and Design, and Citizen Security, among others.


Startups will be evaluated by a panel of experts, which will select the startups with the most promising solutions to attend Demand Solutions in Washington, D.C. with all expenses paid. This will be an amazing opportunity to showcase to investors, executives, journalists, industry experts, university students and prospective customers. Also, the selected startups will participate in a two-day workshop and matchmaking sessions with investors. Additional awards will be granted by Demand Solutions’ partners.

Demand Solutions

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and The Blum Centers at UC Berkeley and UCLA are excited to host Demand Solutions: Ideas for Improving Lives in Cities on September 29, 2015 at the IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C. Demand Solutions gathers some of the most creative minds in the world to share innovative solutions to urban challenges. Demand Solutions consists of a series of inspiring talks and presentations focusing on innovative solutions for sustainable cities. Leaders from top universities and foundations, university students, entrepreneurs, city enthusiasts, high-level government officials, private sector decision-makers, and impact investors with interest in contributing to innovative approaches to development in Latin America and the Caribbean attend the event.

Simple process for submitting your startup

1. Eligibility
Check the Terms and Conditions to make sure your startup is eligible to participate.
2. Registration 
Create a profile & register your startup in NEXSO.
3. Application
Once you have a profile created, then enter the call by explaining in 500 words the solution, product or service created by your startup following the form in NEXSO.
4. Uploading
Demand Solutions´ Venture Night requires two letters of recommendation and a 2 minute video. (Check Terms and Conditions)

Terms & Conditions

Applicant must be a citizen and resident of an IDB borrowing member country.

Must be between 18 and 35 years of age by September 1st, 2015 and, must be the founder or co-founder of the startup;

The startups must have at least six months but no more than three years of implementation;

The startups must focus on improving lives in cities.

Applications should be submitted through the website

Startups must have a solution or product already, or at least a minimum viable product with users already testing.

The startup must be ready to raise funds to go onto a new level of growth and impact.

A video pitch of no more than 2 minutes is required. The video must feature all startup team members in front of the camera. The video must be custom made and concise. It must be uploaded to Youtube, as part of the application (no password protection please).The video should answer the following questions:

  • What is the product/service about?
  • What is the problem that the product/service seeks to address?
  • What are the startup growth plans?
  • Why should your startup be selected?

Along with the application, 2 letters of recommendation must submitted:

  • One from an external collaborator or client, endorsing the startup’s work;
  • The second letter must be from another type of organization familiar with the startup’s work and accomplishments that could validate their work;
  • Recommendation letters can’t be from family members of the startup founders.

The deadline to submit applications is July 1st, 2015 11:59 PM EST. There will be no extensions.

Selected candidates will be notified by e-mail by the end of July, 2015.

Participation is contingent to the candidate obtaining a USA visa. The IDB will provide a letter of invitation but it is up to each American Consulate to decide granting a visa.

Only one representative per Startup will be invited to participate in Demand Solutions and the Venture Night. It is encouraged that the Startup representative filling out the application and in the video be the one designated by the team to represent the Startup.

Selected candidates must be ready to pitch their ideas in a “pitch by fire” format, which means they will have 2 minutes to get the selected jury and the audience interested in the startup. Participants will be allowed to use up to 2 slides if they choose to do so. Participants must focus their pitch on the main issue their startup addresses.


Startups and their product or solution will be evaluated based on:

  • What is the impact and purpose of the solution produced?
  • What is the level of innovation? What is the value added of your solution that makes it unique?
  • How is your solution improving lives in cities?
  • How is your team conformed? What are your team’s capabilities? What distinguishes your team?
  • Is it possible to adapt and replicate your solution in other cities around the world? Are you thinking big?


What is a startup?

A startup company or startup is a business in the form of a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets. Source: Wikipedia For more details on startup definition you are welcome to read the following Forbes article:

I want to apply but I am going to turn 36 soon, or I am already 36, or I am below age 18. Can I take part?

In order to apply, candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 35 on September 1, 2015. At least two of the founders of the startup must comply with the age requirements. Only applications from candidates who meet this age requirement as established in the rules may apply.

My project or program has not yet been implemented or is not yet operating, but the business plan is ready and the partners are lined up. Can I take part?

In this contest, startups with a project or program that have been operating for a minimum of six months and a maximum of three years will be considered and chosen. Applications for a proposal or an idea for a project will not be considered.

In each category several questions are asked. Do I have to answer all the questions?

Yes, please answer all the required questions as accurate as possible while keeping in mind the word limit. It is important to cite concrete examples, and also highlight the results achieved, figures and the impact of the project’s activities.

Do I need both letters of recommendation, or may I present just one, or even more than two?

Yes, you must present both letters of recommendation for the application to be complete and considered by the jury. More than two letters per candidacy will not be accepted.

In the event that I am chosen, in which language may I make my presentation on the Venture Night?

There will be simultaneous translation at the event, so you can make your presentation in Spanish, French, Portuguese or English.

The contest rules specify that the startups must have no less than six months and no more than three years of implementation. Is this in regards to the legal registration of the startup or the time that it has been operating?

The requirement is based on the time that the startup has been operating. This requirement does not refer to the legal registration of the startup. Therefore, anyone who has a startup that fits within the time frame, even if the startup has been legally registered for less than three years, is welcome to apply.



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