The Peruvian government has set aside more than $18 million to launch a start-up accelerator program, similar to that run by neighboring Chile every year. The program, according to the Peruvian news agency Andina, may begin in December and the chosen enterprises could receive a grant of $47,000 each.
Peru’s economy has been growing rapidly, largely due to growing demand for minerals in China. To sustain the growth, the government wants to persuade local industries to adopt new technology.
In a recent symposium in the Andean country, Telefonica’s Big Business Segment Manager Guillermo Czech stated that “the information technology and communication is not an option but an obligation’ for companies to remain competitive and efficient. Therefore, Peru wants to groom its own technology companies rather than import the technology solutions from advanced countries. The result is the ‘Start-Up Peru.’”
“The Peruvian economy has grown steadily in the past few years, and it’s important to consolidate that advance with a greater focus on innovation, technology, and measures to strengthen our human capital,” said Francisco Grippa, junior minister for small and medium enterprises.
Although mining revenue accounts for a large part of the Peruvian GDP, the government wants to move away from its dependence on minerals as the demand for natural resources has fluctuated widely in the recent past.
Last week, Peru held the APEC International Start-up Summit in its capital Lima, where several technology innovators from the Pacific Rim had gathered. The event gave an indication that many young entrepreneurs are waiting for a chance to make use of accelerator programs. Telefonica’s business accelerator Wayra runs an academy in Lima, where a dozen young entrepreneurs are undergoing training.