By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – On May 29th, the Latam Founders Network (LFN) will be hosting their 4th Annual Awards Gala in São Paulo. Referring to it as the ‘Oscars of Technology’ in Latin America, organizers say is the only awards event where the nominees and winners are selected by industry leaders in the region.
Members have nominated and will be voting on the following categories: Best Investor, Most innovative company, Best B2B Company, Best B2C Company, Best Accelerator, Best International Company in Latin America and Entrepreneur of the Year.
Latam Founders was launched 2012 by New York transplant, Pamela Granoff, with the goal of meeting the needs of the leading venture capitalists, corporate executives and established entrepreneurs in Brazil.
Granoff explained, “As Brazil’s internet ecosystem grew, bringing new and unchartered challenges, so did the need for its leaders to share their thoughts, knowledge and experiences.”
By creating a platform for internet industry leaders to connect and collaborate, LFN is establishing a invaluable resource for start-ups in the technology space to launch their ideas. The support network is sure to help in Brazil, where the bureaucracy and tax burden has been dubbed the ‘Brazil Cost’.
For example in the 2015 a study by the World Bank showing that Brazilian companies need fifteen times longer to pay tax authorities than their European counterparts. In 2014 Brazil ranked 120th of 189 countries in another World Bank study listing countries according to the ease of doing business. That study also showed that it takes 103 days to open a business in São Paulo.
However the world’s ninth largest economy is showing positive signs as the technology adoption continues to increase. The total taxes paid in the telecommunications sector last year reached R$64 million, according to the Brazilian Telecommunications Association (Telebrasil). The amount is six percent higher than in 2015.
Granoff explains, “At the end of the day, Latam Founders brings key players together – from cutting-edge technologists to forward-thinking financiers, from conceptual futurists to grounded entrepreneurs, and from the world’s leading corporations to the world’s newest start-ups to foster productive and life changing connectivity.”
Regarding the event on May 29th, which is in partnership with Vtex Day, Granoff shares, “The Latam Founders Awards Gala provides the ultimate opportunity for truly effective business-to-business and business-to-investor relationships to develop and flourish. […] This year our honored speaker will be Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics.”
At this time of economic turmoil in Brazil, Granoff explains how she has seen the sector react. “There have been more acquisitions. Companies have become more efficient finding ways to displace industries that have gone under because of the economic crisis. People are looking for efficiencies and startups are set up to deliver them.”
In terms of the future for Latam Founders Network, she shares, “I want LFN to continue to grow and expand, creating more cross boarder connections that increase business in the region and help take these companies to the next level.”