Latam Startups, Tech and VC events list 2023

I stumbled upon a comprehensive list of startups, tech, and venture capital events in Latin America for 2023 and wanted to share it with others. Cool idea and, to my knowledge, there hasn’t been a similar comprehensive compilation for events in Latam. While the list may be still incomplete, I hope that its creator, Eduardo Paperini, will continue to update and improve it during the year.

Check the list in this Google sheet:

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Amazing documentary “The Great Crypto Scam”

I highly recommend the newly released documentary “The Great Crypto Scam” by James Jani. The title speaks for itself, so there’s no need to say more about the content. The crypto phenomenon is explained clearly and simply in less than an hour. It’s really great for sharing with family and friends who want to understand what’s going on in the “crypto world”.

If you want to read more about this phenomenon, you can see some of my previous critical posts about this crypto craziness: The NFTs hype (Feb 2022), Comentario sobre bitcoins (From 2014, but in Spanish), and Great podcast on the environmental impact of crypto (Nov 2022). I also strongly recommend the longer and more detailed documentary Line Goes Up – The Problem With NFTs.

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Economic and investment outlook for 2023 by top investment banks

I recently received a list of links to excellent economic and investment 2023 outlook reports from top investment banks and asset managers. It’s amazing that these organizations are now sharing these reports, which were previously only accessible to their institutional clients! 

The reports provide a measured outlook for 2023. The global economy is expected to experience slow growth globally, with projections from some banks ranging around 1.8%. The US is predicted to just avoid a recession, whereas the Euro area and the UK will likely experience a mild recession due to the influence of escalating energy costs. Inflation is projected to dwindle to 3% in late 2023 in the US, and the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by 125 basis points to reach a peak of 5-5.25%.

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Results of the Biodiversity Conference COP15

The Amazon rainforest burning 

The UN’s COP15 summit, held in Montreal, just ended with the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, a historic deal aimed at protecting and restoring nature. The agreement, reached by 195 countries, is the result of four years of negotiations and will guide global conservation efforts until 2030. 

Climate change and biodiversity loss go hand in hand. This new agreement is equivalent to the adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement regarding climate change to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but this one focused on biodiversity conservation and restoration.

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Podcast Levantando

Recientemente, Fran García me invitó a su podcast Levantando, donde entrevista a inversionistas de venture capital en Latinoamérica. Fue una conversación muy amena y quería compartirla con ustedes. Espero que disfruten escuchando la entrevista tanto como lo hice yo participando en ella.

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What is the amazing chatGPT?

As an investor in tech, I am always on the lookout for the next big thing in the industry. And in my opinion, chatGPT is definitely worth paying attention to.

ChatGPT, or “Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer,” is a powerful natural language processing tool that allows users to generate human-like text based on a given prompt. It has been making waves in the tech industry due to its impressive ability to mimic human conversation and generate coherent responses to a wide range of topics.

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Book recommendations – December 2022

Below you will find a selection of books I recommend from what I have read recently. I was very into short stories, especially from some fantastic Latin American authors.

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Disappointing outcomes from the COP27

The COP27 has just finished, with disappointing results. On the positive side, for the first time, the concept of compensation for loss & damage for developing countries has been included. 

On the negative side, two big disappointments. First, there was no clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels at some point in the future. Second, the gap between what is needed in greenhouse gas emission reductions to contain temperature increase to 1.5℃ – the level agreed upon by world governments in the Paris Agreement – and the current policies in place is huge. The planet needs a reduction of 45% in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels to maintain the temperature increase below 1.5°. However, as the chart below shows, with the current policies announced so far, the world is instead on a trajectory to increase GHG emissions by 11% compared to 2010.

On this trajectory, the world will end up with a temperature increase way higher than the critical but manageable 1.5° level, which would have dramatic consequences on climate and therefore on humanity. Scientists are certain that temperature increases higher than 1.5° would create an existential risk for humanity.

We all need to understand this reality and, individually and as a society, urgently pressure governments and corporations to accelerate the decarbonization of the economy that would reduce GHG emissions.

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Great podcast on the environmental impact of crypto

I want to share a fantastic podcast – A Matter of Degrees by Dr. Leah Stokes and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson – that discusses very clearly the terrible environmental impact of the crypto sector.

By definition, most crypto tokens use a proof-of-work system that essentially consumes (and wastes) excessive amounts of energy in resolving cryptographic problems. The energy required is being generated using fossil fuels directly, or by renewable sources, but in the latter case, forcing other energy users to revert to electricity generated by fossil fuels. Estimations put energy consumption by the crypto sector at 1% of the total global consumption.

Not surprisingly, crypto fans (especially bitcoin maxis) argue that crypto is using unused excess capacity, therefore making the whole energy system more efficient. Obviously, this is incorrect, and the podcast talks about this.

You can listen to the podcast on the Apple Podcast app or spotify.

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Latin American Venture funding slowdown

The figures for venture capital funding in Latin America during the third quarter have come out and confirmed the slowdown during the first half of the year has continued. The investment in Q3 was still a large $1.1 billion dollars, which is higher than the amounts we used to see before 2019. This is the fifth decreasing consecutive quarter since peaking in Q2 2021.

Based on market sentiment, I expect funding to stay around this level for the next 2-3 quarters, but this will depend on how inflation, interest rates, and the general economy evolves. Time will tell.

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