World Economic Forum UpLink Start-up Initiative Expands into Latin America and Caribbean

18 Jan 2018

Alem Tedeneke, Media Lead, World Economic Forum;

Tel.: +1 646 204 9191, Email:

· World Economic Forum and International Finance Corporation (IFC) to select 50 regional start-ups as part of the UpLink initiative

· Selected start-ups will be invited to take part in the World Economic Forum on Latin America in São Paulo, Brazil, on 13-15 March 2018

· Application deadline to apply for the UpLink initiative is 5 February 2018

· For more information and application click here

São Paulo, Brazil, 18 January 2018 – The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will select 50 outstanding start-ups in Latin America ahead of its annual regional meeting as part of its UpLink initiative.

The Forum’s UpLink initiative consists of a unique community and digital platform where start-ups can interact with global peers, multinationals, governments, universities, investors and next-generation technology solutions. The start-ups will be selected by leading experts of the start-up ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean. Applications will be sourced from across the region and carefully evaluated based on specific selection criteria outlined in the application, including revenue generation, funding sources and the strength of the start-up environment in each country. Of the 50 start-ups, 25 will be selected from countries throughout Latin America and 25 specifically from Brazil.

The deadline for entrepreneurs from Latin America to apply is 5 February 2018.

"Start-ups in Latin America are using creative solutions to address not just local, but also global problems. This new initiative will further integrate Latin America’s top start-up leaders into national and regional dialogues about the region’s most pressing challenges. We look forward to welcoming the new crop of innovators and disruptors to the Uplink global initiative and to the World Economic Forum on Latin America,” said Jeremy Jurgens, Managing Director and Head of Knowledge and Digital Engagement at the World Economic Forum.

The World Economic Forum on Latin America will take place in in São Paulo, Brazil, on 13-15 March 2018.

The selected Latin American start-ups will join the UpLink community of entrepreneurs who are enabling a societal and technological transformation. This effort forms part of the Forum’s broader UpLink initiative to accelerate and scale the success of start-ups. The selected start-ups will join the Global UpLink community as regional representatives and, as a first step, will be invited to take part in a tailored programme at the World Economic Forum on Latin America. At the meeting, they will have the opportunity to network with influential policy-makers from the region, as well as leading chief executives, and have access to the Forum’s network to partner with Members on future projects in the region.

“Innovative business models are already helping improve the competitiveness of Latin America and the Caribbean region. Cross-fertilization among start-ups will help accelerate their contribution to some of the region’s most pressing development challenges,” said Hector Gomez Ang, the IFC’s Country Manager in Brazil. “This is part of a wider effort by the IFC to support entrepreneurship and skills development in Latin America and the Caribbean,” he added.

The World Economic Forum on Latin America will bring together over 800 top leaders from governments, business and civil society from more than 50 countries to help shape the new narrative for the region, one that draws on the region’s wealth in human and natural resources and places responsible leadership and people’s well-being at the centre, and embraces technology and innovation as key drivers to modernize economies, enhance productivity and advance economic progress.

About the IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World Bank Group – is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. It works with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using capital, expertise and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, the IFC delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

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