Navigating the Web3 and AI Revolution: Key Takeaways from Beyond LatAm

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LatAm Startups Conf hosted its 10th edition last week at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio. It was an opportunity to learn from experts in current technology trends in emerging economies, celebrate our most promising startups and mentors, and reconnect with our community.

The last week of June was a busy one for the Toronto tech scene. It all started on Monday, June 26 with the LatAm Conf, followed by Collision’s opening night. From Tuesday to Thursday, Collision took place at the Enercare Centre, welcoming more than 36,000 people from all over the world. During the hectic week, several side events happened after hours. You can imagine how hard it was to keep up with all the activities, but at the same time it represented an amazing opportunity to have delegations who were coming to town for Collision attending our conference, as well.

Since its first edition back in 2014 (in Santiago, Chile), the LatAm Startups Conf has showcased what’s happening in the tech scene worldwide, highlighting experts and influencers through TED Talks-style presentations and panels.

This year, the LatAm Startups Conf 2023 reached an astounding milestone: its 10th edition! And what better way to celebrate such an achievement than having amazing speakers and an after-party celebration at the CN Tower.

Martha Pinzón, an experienced Colombian journalist covering news for the Hispanic community in Canada, served as emcee for the event. Here are the main highlights of this event for the ages.

Opening Remarks: Julie Dzerowicz – Member of Parliament for Davenport

On behalf of the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario,  Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport, Ontario, delivered the opening remarks to kick off the event. 

“Supporting startups, particularly international organizations and those led by underrepresented groups to grow in Canada, is vital to ensure a thriving economy. Everyone who’s part of LatAm Startups provides diverse perspectives and ideas that are key to innovation. FedDev Ontario invested $3 million for LatAm Startups in partnerships with TechPlace, Haltech and Innovation Factory to deliver startup programs. To date the project has supported 50 new businesses, created and maintained 321 jobs and formed three collaborations.This is really amazing news and we know that there’s so much more on the horizon,”

said the MP. 

We would like to thank MP Dzerowicz and FedDev Ontario for the ongoing support towards our organization.

The Future of Digital Innovation in Latin America – Felipe Matos, VP at ABStartups (Brazil)

A true icon in Latin American tech startups and entrepreneurship, Felipe Matos highlighted the potential of Web3 and the emergence of crypto-forward cities in Brazil. His vast experience supporting thousands of startups and attracting substantial venture capital investments underscored the region’s growth potential.

“While these are the main trends, they’re going on right now. When it comes to Web3, the Metaverse in Brazil, I would say it’s still very incipient,”

said Matos.

GenAI vs Human Intelligence: Who Will Win the Race? – Maria Parysz, CEO of LogicAI

As the Kaggle Days Creator and Community Leader, Maria Parysz’s expertise in AI and data science is truly remarkable. As part of her talk, she explored the intriguing question of humans vs. AI, shedding light on the race between these two forces and their impact in today’s society. Her parting words:

“Just as AI is present everywhere, and the power is cheap, available and easy,  it’s just inviting you to the AI world. So let AI power be with you.”

Web3 and the Five Futures of Work Unveiled – Andrés Bustamante, CTO of Authomata (Chile)

With a unique blend of psychology, business engineering and service design, Andrés  Bustamante shared his insights on the intersection of mentality, reality, falsehood and technology. His experience in digital transformation and a diverse range of projects enriched the discussion, as he engaged with the audience in a unique way.

“We have to think we will have to live in two worlds, so truth can free us,” were some of his insights regarding the Metaverse and the real world.

New World: The Metaverse Experience – Nav Gupta, Founder and CEO at Chaarmi Worlds

Mr. Metaverse, Nav Gupta enlightened us on the possibilities of creating a web-based no-code/low-code metaverse through his platform, Chaarmi Worlds Inc. His dedication to fostering blockchain adoption and building a vibrant community in Canada demonstrated his commitment to innovation. He finished with an inspiring quote:

“Many dream a dream and wake up to reality; some dream a dream, and make it reality.”

KEYNOTE INTERVIEW – Anne Gaviola, GlobalNews to Peter Shi, Growth Equity Investor at Maverix

An insightful and eye-opening conversation took place in between speaker presentations. Anne Gaviola sat alongside Peter Shi and talked about how AI is growing and modeling new trends in different industries. In the words of Gaviola: “I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion, and I think we provided a lot of value and food for thought to our audience (GenAI 101: Past, present and future).”

How Can We Leverage the Metaverse to Enhance People’s Real Lives and to Build a Better World? – Hrish Lotlikar, Co-Founder and CEO at SuperWorld

Co-founder and CEO of SuperWorld, Hrish Lotlikar explored the significance of blockchain and augmented reality in shaping the virtual world. His visionary perspective highlighted the transformative potential of these technologies. He also envisions a different world in the near future:

“The Metaverse is gonna move to your real life.”

Day in the Life of a Human in 2025: How Businesses Can Prepare for a World Where AI, the Metaverse and Location Independence Is Changing the Way We Work and Play – Iliana Oris Valiente, Managing Director and Canada Innovation Lead at Accenture

As a trailblazer in the blockchain industry, Iliana Oris Valiente shared her deep insights on strategic transformation journeys, emphasizing the role of emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain and digital identity. Her contributions to the industry and influential presence were truly inspiring. But are we really prepared for this new reality? Oris Valiente’s simple yet powerful insight was:

“Consider the questions— are you preparing for them accordingly?”

Sales Pitch Competition

Every year we have startups from past and current cohorts pitching to win a prize provided by our partners (in-kind services plus cash). This year ,the companies participating were Infinite Harvest Technologies, Habitomic, Cropinno, Pumpkin Kart and Colmakers. A panel of judges composed of Claudio Rojas (CEO of NACO Canada), Allan Oziel (CEO at Oziel Law) and Sonia Mirbaha (Principal Partner at SMB Business Immigration) had the difficult task of choosing a winner. After some time of deliberation, they decided that Colmakers deserved the over $100K cheque. Congratulations Fernando and Juliana for this achievement!

Awards Ceremony

One of the most anticipated segments of the conference is the awards ceremony. We recognize institutions that are supporting the diversity and inclusion of the tech community, mentors that are providing guidance and support to our startups, and the most promising startup of 2023. This year, the Visionary Award went to the Hamilton-Niagara Region, a long-time partner of ours and with whom we are delivering a bootcamp later this year. For a second straight year the Mentor of the Year Award was handed to Alejandro Vivanco (C-Fractional Executive). Colmakers emerged as a double winner of the afternoon by also claiming the Most Promising Scaleup of the Year Award. These awards are a statement of how important it is to recognize people and organizations for their contribution to the growth of the Canadian tech ecosystem.

After Party at the CN Tower

To finish the soiree in style, we headed a couple of blocks away from Glenn Gould Studio towards the CN Tower to have a well-deserved celebration. Over 200 attendees enjoyed the most beautiful views of the city from over 500 meters and had a delight with cocktails and food. It was the perfect scenario to end a wonderful event. We can’t wait to see you again for the LatAm Startups Conf 2024!

What’s Next?

International startups and local startups are always welcomed to apply to LatAm Startups programs. Currently our community is supporting newcomers in tech. Newcomer Entrepreneur Accelerator Program, Hamilton-Niagara Bootcamp and Startup Visa Path Program have open applications. Startup Visa Path is supported by a Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to provide international entrepreneurs and businesses with the support they need to produce innovative solutions and grow in southern Ontario.

We look forward to hosting the next edition of the conference in 2024! Add your email to our newsletter within the first 24 hours of us posting the conference date to get a free pass! Check out our videos  and pictures from this year’s conference.

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