Recognizing startups with a commitment to social change
It is continually encouraging to us to see startups focused on accessibility and increased independence for people with disabilities being recognized not only for their hard work and commitment to social change, but also for the strength of their business models. It is vital for the growth of our society as a whole for diversity, accessibility and inclusion to be viewed as a beneficial element of our social and economic development.
Lazarillo recently received such recognition, being selected from a pool of ten LATAM start-ups participating in IREX and Village Capital’s YLAI Americas Accelerator to receive a private investment from the US State Department.
Lazarillo was originally selected to participate in the Accelerator program in January, which was designed to provide targeted support and mentorship for LATAM start-ups to help them strengthen their businesses and deepen their impact on their communities.
Lazarillo received the honor of being chosen for the investment by their peers on the final day of the program in Mexico City, where the ten participating startups evaluated each other through an investor lens, using Village Capital’s methodology which focuses on eight categories and nine “readiness” levels in evaluating a business. Lazarillo was ranked “most investment ready” by the other businesses in the Accelerator program.
These companies, representing 10 different countries across Latin America, are creating solutions that serve rural and low-income communities as well as people with disabilities; support women’s health; expand employment opportunities; and more.
The other participating startups included:
- Easy Clean Water (Valencia, Venezuela) allows remote regions to access clean water by providing self-sustainable water purification systems.
- Lima Compost (Lima, Peru) offers clean composting solutions for more than 2,500 households and businesses, preventing organic waste from reaching the landfill.
- MediGet (Ñemby, Paraguay) operates a telemedicine platform that connects health professionals and patients.
- Nuevo Método (Buenos Aires, Argentina) offers women subscription-based contraception, including prescription, medical advice, and sexual health education.
- ONG Te Protejo (Santiago, Chile) raises awareness about animal testing on cosmetics and provides solutions by educating and promoting cruelty-free products.
- Santé Cutarras (Panama City, Panama) sells the National Sandal of Panama crafted by local artisans.
- Trabaja Mamá (Acarigua, Venezuela) operates a digital platform that connects talented freelance mothers with potential employers and job opportunities.
- TUINFO (La Paz, Bolivia) installs Wi-Fi hotspots to democratize internet access for low-income communities.
- Will and Tomorrow (Kingston, Jamaica) operates an online platform that allows users to create their will and other legal documents at an affordable rate.
Lazarillo’s recognition at the YLAI Americas Accelerator is one of many examples of investors recognizing the importance and growth potential of social change focused startups. If you want to learn more about Lazarillo, visit our website at lazarillo.app!
Lazarillo. More Accessible Together!