Press Releases

IFC and World Economic Forum Partner to Boost Development of Startups in Latin America and the Caribbean

IFC, São Paulo
Patricia Carvalho

Phone: (55 11) 5185-6873


The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Economic Forum will select 50 regional startups as part of the UpLink initiative

Selected startups 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 13 February 2018

For more information and application click

São Paulo, Brazil, 18 January 2018 (updated February 5th)
– IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is collaborating with The World Economic Forum to select 50 outstanding startups in Latin America ahead of WEF’s annual regional meeting as part of the
UpLink initiative.

The Forum’s UpLink initiative consists of a unique community and digital platform where startups can interact with global peers, multinationals, governments, universities, investors, and next-generation technology solutions. The startups will be selected by leading experts of the startup 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 startup environment in each country. Of the 50 startups, 25 will be selected from countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and 25 will be specifically from Brazil.

The deadline for entrepreneurs from Latin America to apply is 13 February 2018.

"Startups 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 startup 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 São Paulo, Brazil, from 13 to 15 March 2018.

The selected Latin American startups 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 startups. The selected startups will join the Global UpLink community as regional representatives and, as a first step, will be invited to take part in a tailored program 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 startups will help accelerate their contribution to some of the region’s most pressing development challenges,” said Hector Gomez Ang, 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 center, and embraces technology and innovation as key drivers to modernize economies, enhance productivity and advance economic progress.

About IFC

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we 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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