US tech giant Google has expanded the operations of its business accelerator, Launchpad, to the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, where it pledges to incubate 35 young enterprises within the next two years.
This is the fifth round of the acceleration program, with the company working with 24 Brazilian startups over the past few years, amassing a total investment of US$1.2 million.
This time, selected startups will receive between US$20,000 and US$100,000 in product credits in addition to training and technological support.
Up until last year, Google previously invited Brazilian startups to its Mountain View campus for training. From now on, the mentoring will take place at its regional headquarters in Sao Paulo.
Once a startup is accepted into the initiative, Google experts will assess its problems before pairing it with mentors who will ensure that the startup develops an innovative product.
Google differentiates its accelerator from others available in Silicon Valley with the provision of equity-free support. The internet giant says it will “connect startups with the best of Google – its people, network, methodologies, and technologies.”
Two of the unicorns that Google supported as part of its acceleration program have their roots in Brazil.
Nubank, a financial technology company offering a fully digital and branchless experience, is notable among them. Another is Viva Real, an online real estate marketplace that connects buyers, sellers and renters with properties in Brazil.
There is one other Brazilian start-up, Loggi, which creates new-wave logistics.