PuntaTech Meetup is an annual event that gathers leading technology entrepreneurs, executives, investors and other interesting people from Latin America and all over the world. It was started by Uruguayan entrepreneurs Pablo Brenner, Sergio Fogel and Ariel Pfeffer, and is organized by Riverwood Capital. Last year’s event had over 500 participants from all across the globe, and over 125 CEOs of relevant technology companies in Latin America. For more information, visit www.puntameetup.com.

Start-up Challenge
The Startup Challenge provides a unique forum for 4-5 of the most dynamic entrepreneurial teams in all of Latin America to present in front of a world-class panel of judges, and provides access to a global network of investors and technology executives.

The Event

Selection Criteria

  • Your business plan targets a large problem in the technology space
  • Your business plan is viable, has a clear monetization strategy, is scalable and has the potential to be a "billion dollar plus" idea
  • Strong execution and progress to date (whether through product launches, initial customers, or revenue traction)
  • Strong team with promising and the right backgrounds to execute
  • Have raised less than $1,000,000 to date

Last year’s prizes included:

Prizes for
Qualified Applicants

  • 3 months of free Small Mob from Stackmob
  • 3 months of free e-mail, cloud server and e-mail marketing from Mandic

Prizes for Final 5

  • 9 months of free e-mail, cloud server and e-mail marketing from Mandic
  • $1,000 credit towards services from Treasure Data

Main Prize for
Final Winner

  • US$100,000 in angel investor funding
  • Media sponsorship in the U.S. and Latin America
  • Legal advice from Machado Meyer
  • 12 months of free e-mail, cloud server and e-mail marketing from Mandic
  • Data center hosting from ALOG for 2-years
  • Software development services from Globant
  • 2 years of remote SOC (Security operations center) services; checking and monitoring of the winner's implementation (application) from Synapsis
  • 1 year of media promotions through Synapsis' communications channels
  • $5,000 credit towards services from Treasure Data
  • All-expense paid trip to Silicon Valley to meet with entrepreneurs, VCs and corporates, as well as a Napa wine trip from Silicon Valley Bank

Speakers and Judges
Aleksandar Mandić,
Founder and Director of Mandic

Alexander Mandic launched his first business in 1990, MANDIC BBS, which by 1996 became one of the leading Brazilian Internet destinations, then known as MANDIC INTERNET S.A. In 2000, Mandic became Ig's (Internet Group) co-founder and VP until 2001. In 2002, Mandic re-launched Mandic S.A., focusing on corporate email. In 2012 Mandic S.A. received an investment from Riverwood Capital, combined with Tecla Internet, and is in the process of creating the biggest cloud computing one-stop-shop for SMBs in Brazil.

Ariel Pfeffer,

Ariel Pfeffer is an entrepreneur with several successful regional and global e-commerce platforms covering gaming, entertainment and services. He has also been involved in the Direct Response TV business for more than 25 years. Mr. Pfeffer has been an expert panelist for the ERA (Electronic Retailing Association), the NIMA (National Infomercial Marketing Association), the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) and the ABEMD (Brazilian Direct Marketing Association). He is also one of the founding members of the Punta Tech Meetup, a Board member of Endeavor Uruguay, an active investor of the Club of Business Angels of IAE (Argentina) and a YPO (Young Presidents Organization) member.

Ariel Poler,
Entrepreneur and Investor

Ariel is an entrepreneur, mentor and investor. At Best of Angel he is discovering and supporting the best start-ups outside Silicon Valley. Ariel was the founder of IPRO, the first web analytics company, and of Topica, one of the first email communities. He was board member of Kana Software, LinkExchange, StumbleUpon, Odeo, and SpeedDate. Ariel currently serves on the boards of Freedom Financial, MixTent and Strava. His angel investments include AdMob, Flixster, Slideshare, Pantheon, Outright, BrightRoll, Optimizely, Causes, Kongregate and NexTag. Ariel holds a B.S. in Mathematics with Computer Science from MIT and an MBA from Stanford University. He is originally from Venezuela and lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children. Ariel is addicted to kitesurfing - particularly kite racing and kiting on waves.

Bill Tai,
Angel Investor and Partner at Charles River Ventures

Bill is as comfortable on a kiteboard in the Pacific Ocean as he is in the office. Bill is an angel or seed investor in Tweetdeck (Twitter), Tango Video, Soundtracking and other mobile apps. Bill has had 19 companies grow to become publicly listed since becoming a venture investor, and established CRV's Silicon Valley office in 2002. He is currently Chairman of Maxthon International, and founded a number of companies in an executive role: Chairman IPInfusion (Tokyo:4817), Founding President Tradebeam (NASD:CDCS) and Chairman / CEO iAsiaWorks (IAWK). As a sponsored athlete and Olympic Ambassador for the Int'l Kitesurfing Association, he is part of the effort that earned Kiteboarding a spot in the upcoming RIO Olympics and creator of the MaiTai Kite Camp. His full bio is available on www.about.me/BillTai.

Carlos Kokron,
Carlos Kokron, Managing Director, Qualcomm Ventures – LatAm

Carlos Kokron is a Managing Director of Latin America at Qualcomm Ventures and is currently scouting companies that will help transform the lives of people and businesses in the Region by leveraging the mobile Internet. He has funded and helped grow technology companies since the dot-com bubble, such as Patagon.com, Spring Wireless, Yavox, Navini Networks, Alog Datacenters and Senior Solution. Prior to Qualcomm Ventures he was a Partner at Stratus and earlier he was Head of Intel Capital for the region. Kokron is an independent Board member at @ttitude Global and is also an Endeavor mentor.

Constantin Bisanz,
Entrepreneur and Investor

Constantin is Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He recently sold his last company, Brands4Friends, for $200M to eBay, which marks one of the largest sales in Europe. Brands4Friends is a shopping club, which provides its customers a possibility to buy branded goods (fashion, shoes, cosmetics, tech, travel, cars, lifestyle products) with great discounts. After 3 years the service became number 1 in Germany, UK (secretsales.com) and Japan. Constantin has been named "Entrepreneur of the year" by Harvard Business School and was also named "Exit Champion" for founding Germany's largest Internet exit transaction. Constantin is passionate about kite-surfing and photography.

Francisco Alvarez-Demalde,
Founding Partner at Riverwood

Francisco Alvarez-Demalde is a Founder and Partner of Riverwood Capital Partners, and heads Riverwood's efforts in Latin America and its New York office. Riverwood manages more than $1 billion, and makes private equity investments in high-growth businesses, primarily in the global technology, technology-enabled, services, and related growth industries. Prior to joining Riverwood, Mr. Alvarez-Demalde was an investment professional at Eton Park Capital Management, where he focused in emerging markets. Previously, he was an investment executive at KKR, where he focused on leveraged buyouts in the Technology Industry in both North America and Asia, and an investment banker with Goldman, Sachs & Company.

Michael Copeland,
Editor at Wired Magazine

Michael V. Copeland is a senior editor at WIRED, where he focuses on all things related to the business of technology, but especially making sense of data analytics, where social is going next, and the collision between computer science and biological science. Prior to WIRED he was a senior writer at Fortune Magazine covering everything from electric cars to genomics and the latest in jet-powered surfboards. Before joining FORTUNE, Copeland was a senior writer at Business 2.0. Copeland graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

Nicolas Tejerina,
CEO of Navent

As Founder and CEO of Navent, Nicolas has been the driving force behind the creation of the company. He is not only responsible for the general management of both the real estate and the jobs classifieds businesses, but he also oversees the definition and execution of the company's strategy. Prior to Navent, he joined Bumeran in 2000 shortly after the company's startup. The company was later acquired by Terra-Lycos, and then in 2003 Nicolas successfully co-led an MBO of the company after which he was appointed CEO. During his tenure at Bumeran Nicolas held different positions in Argentina, Mexico and the United States.

Oliver A. Flogel,
Ministry of Technology, Chile

Oliver Flögel serves as Executive Secretary of Digital Development for the Government of Chile, being responsible for the design and execution of the country's digital agenda. He was part of the Telefónica Group between 1994 and 2010, holding different positions in Spain, Argentina, Brazil and Chile in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance, being appointed CEO of the Chilean operation in 2003. Oliver is also an Angel Investor and founding Partner of InverSur Capital a firm that manages the largest entrepreneurship center in Chile and an early stage venture capital fund.

Hernan Kazah,
Co-founder of Kaszek Ventures and MercadoLibre

Hernan Kazah is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Kaszek Ventures, a Venture Capital firm focused in the technology industry in Latin America. Before launching Kaszek Ventures, he cofounded MercadoLibre (Nasdaq: MELI), Latin American largest commerce and payments online platform, in 1999 and co-led its growth for 12 years –first 9 years as COO and last 3 years a CFO-. He currently sits in the boards of several technology firms: Kekanto, PetSupermaket, BelezaNaWeb, HelpSaude, Vostu, PedidosJa, MadeirMadeira and GetNinjas. He was selected Endeavor Entrepreneur in 1999, chosen Established Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2009, and awarded "The Outstanding Young Persons of Argentina" recognition by the Junior Chamber International in 2004.

Sarah Lacy,
Editor-in-Chief at PandoDaily

Sarah Lacy is the founder and editor-in-chief of PandoDaily. She is an award winning journalist and author of two critically acclaimed books, "Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0" (Gotham Books, May 2008) and "Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit from Global Chaos (Wiley, February 2011). She has been covering technology news for over 15 years, most recently as a senior editor for TechCrunch.

John Pfeffer,
Private Investor and Entrepreneur

John Pfeffer is a London-based private investor and entrepreneur. He is an early-stage investor in Silicon Valley-based technology companies Bina, Atheer, Genophen and PassBan. In 2012, he founded ELAV, the largest residential property developer in the Williston tight oil basin. He was previously a Partner at private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, where he was a member of the founding team of KKR in Europe. In over a decade with the firm, he headed the retail industry team in Europe, developed KKR's activities in Latin America and Turkey and played a leading role in KKR's investments in Maxeda (formerly Vendex KBB), Pets at Home, Toys 'R' Us and U.N Ro - Ro. In the late 1990s, Mr. Pfeffer was Chairman of the Executive Board of Groupe Allium S.A., the largest information technology reseller and service provider to corporations and governments in France, Italy and Spain. Prior to that, he was with McKinsey & Company in Europe and Latin America where he specialized in turnarounds. In the 1980s, he founded MTC, the company that brought cinema snack counters into video rental clubs across the U.S.

Veronica Serra,
Partner at Pacific Investimentos

Ms. Serra is an advisor to OEP and founding partner of Pacific Investments, the Brazilian investment advisor for OEP since 2006. Before Pacific, she headed the Latin America investments group of International Real Returns LLC. Prior to that, Ms. Serra worked for Leucadia National Corporation, Goldman Sachs and Banco BBA.

Young Sohn,
President and Chief Strategy Officer, Samsung Electronics

Young Sohn is president and chief strategy officer for Samsung Electronics. He leads development and implementation of the strategy behind the global innovation and future technology investment agenda for Samsung Electronics’ Device Solutions Group – a business that develops the fundamental, underlying technologies for a $188 billion enterprise employing more than 270,000 people in 79 countries. Based in Silicon Valley, Young is responsible for accelerating open innovation in new and emerging technologies being developed worldwide. He currently serves on the MIT Sloan School NA Board, is a senior advisor to private equity firm SilverLake Partners, is a member of the board of directors at Cadence, and serves on the ARM Asia Pacific Advisory Board.

Additional Involvement
  • Bob Wollheim, Startupi and Founder of Appies
  • Carlos Leiva Burotto and Shonika Proctor, AndesBeat
  • Joaquim Lima, Riverwood Capital
  • Cesar Lee, Riverwood Capital
  • Diego Gomes, Webholic
  • Diego Remus, Startupi, columnist at IG.com.br and Associação Brasileira de Startups
  • Guido Grinbaum, Founder and CEO of Dridco
  • John China, Silicon Valley Bank
  • Martin Migoya, Globant
  • Pablo Brenner, Entrepreneur
  • Sergio Fogel, Entrepreneur
  • Sidney Breyer, Founder and CEO of ALOG
  • Ty Amell, Co-founder and CEO of Stackmob


Interested in becoming a sponsor? Send an e-mail to puntatech@rwcm.com

Press and Media

Interested in becoming a media partner? Send an e-mail to cesar@rwcm.com

Ellas 2.0

Se busca a las startups más prometedoras de América Latina

aug 9 - El ganador o ganadora del certamen Latin America Mobile, Web & Cloud Start-up Challenge recibirá un premio de US$ 100.000, además de otros premios que le permitirán hacer crecer su negocio.


LatAm Startup Challenge: vamos indicar quem vai receber feedback antecipado dos investidores. Faça seu pedido

june 22 - Cesar Lee, investidor associado na empresa de venture capital Riverwood Capital, combinou comigo que alguns investidores da companhia, incluindo ele mesmo e outros sediados no Vale do Silício, vão orientar previamente empreendedores brasileiros que estejam interessados em participar da competição Latin America Startup Challeng (conheça nesta matéria), que vai premiar empreendimentos latinos com um total de 200 mil dólares em espécie, mais outros prêmios.


Competencia latinoamericana de Start-Ups

june 15 - El pasado 29 de mayo se abrió la inscripción para el Latin America Mobile, Web & Cloud Start-up Challenge. El ganador del certamen recibirá un premio de US$ 100.000, además de otros premios que le permitirán hacer crecer su negocio. La competencia tiene como objetivo identificar a los empresarios tecnológicos más prometedores de América Latina, apoyar a la Tecnología de los ecosistemas locales y crear oportunidades de networking entre Silicon Valley y América Latina

Start-up Chile

Latin America Start-up Challenge Announced! You in?

june 13 - A consortium of investors and technology companies today announced an early stage financing competition aimed at identifying the most promising technology entrepreneurs in Latin America, supporting the local technology ecosystem and creating networking opportunities between Silicon Valley and Latin America.

Endeavor Brasil

Latin America Start-up Competition

june 11 - Quem serão os próximos líderes em tecnologia na América Latina? O Latin America Start-up Competition é uma grande oportunidade para você mostrar a sua ideia inovadora e fazê-la crescer exponencialmente.


Riverwood Capital lanza desafío para startups de la región

june 5 - La firma de inversiones norteamerciana Riverwood Capital llega a Chile y América Latina con un concurso de negocios llamado "Latin America Start-Up Challenge", cuyo objetivo es descubrir y dar a conocer la próxima ola de nuevas empresas de tecnología potencialmente exitosas de la región.


En busca del "Zuckerberg latino"

may 31 - Ya se pueden ir preparando todos los emprendedores de América latina, pues los fondos de inversión Riverwood, propietario en Chile de Synapsis, y el Silicon Valley Bank están organizando el que promete ser uno de los eventos start-up más glamorosos del año: el Latin America Mobile, que pretende nada más y nada menos que "buscar al próximo Mark Zuckerberg de Latinoamérica", nombre que se comunicará en un evento en octubre en Punta del Este, Uruguay.


Buscan al próximo genio de la informática en Latinoamérica

may 31 - Descubrir al sucesor de Mark Zuckerberg es lo que la empresa estadounidense Riverwood Capital se ha propuesto, y para ello ha invertido en varias empresas de la región, como la empresa argentina Globant, la compañía brasileña de data center Alog y el proveedor chileno de soluciones de TI Synapsis.


Competição latina de startups vai distribuir 200 mil dólares mais prêmios diversos

may 30 - Estão abertas as inscrições para a competição Latin America Mobile, Web & Cloud Start-up Challenge, promovida pela Riverwood Capital (empresa que investe private equity em empresas tecnológicas e de serviço com alto crescimento), pelo Silicon Valley Bank (banco do Vale do Silício que presta serviço a correntistas e fundos) e pela Qualcomm Ventures.



may 30 - Que a América Latina está com tudo, já sabíamos, mas agora temos mais empresas apostando no cenário latino de startups. O Riverwood Capital, fundo americano que possui escritório em São Paulo, se juntou ao Silicon Valley Bank e Qualcomm Ventures para promover a Latin America Mobile, Web & Cloud Start-up Challenge, competição que busca startups inovadoras com foco em web, mobile, nuvem e big data.


Riverwood Capital convoca a startups a competir por US$ 200.000

may 30 - El desafío es para startups que pretendan orientarse a la tecnología móvil y cloud computing.


Riverwood Capital lanza desafío para startups de la región

may 30 - La firma de inversiones estadounidense Riverwood Capital llega a Chile y América Latina con un concurso de negocios llamado "Latin America Start-Up Challenge", cuyo objetivo es descubrir y dar a conocer la próxima ola de nuevas empresas de tecnología potencialmente exitosas de la región.


Riverwood Capital Launches US$200,000 Latin America Start-Up Challenge

may 30 - Earlier today, Riverwood Capital announced a Latin America Mobile, Web & Cloud Start-Up Challenge aimed at discovering and showcasing the next wave of highly successful technology startups they believe will be born in the region.


Competição latina de startups mobile, web e nuvem vai distribuir 200 mil dólares e prêmios diversos

may 30 - Temos a alegria de sermos parceiros de mídia do Latin America Mobile, Web & Cloud Start-up Challenge, promovida pela Riverwood Capital (empresa que investe private equity em empresas tecnológicas e de serviço com alto crescimento), pelo Silicon Valley Bank (banco do Vale do Silício que presta serviço a correntistas e fundos) e pela Qualcomm Ventures.


Riverwood Capital launches $200,000 Latin America Start-Up Challenge

may 29 - Earlier today Riverwood Capital announced a Latin America Mobile, Web & Cloud Start-Up Challenge aimed at discovering and showcasing the next wave of highly successful technology startups they believe will be born in the region.

Diario Financeiro

Buscan al próximo "Mark Zuckerberg" en latinoamérica

may 28 - Encontrar al próximo "Mark Zuckerberg latinoamericano", es lo que Riverwood Capital se ha propuesto y, para ello, el próximo 29 de mayo inician las inscripciones del Latin America Mobile, Web & Cloud Start-up Challenge.