In the breakout of the coronavirus, various events in the tech industry have had to be postponed or suspended. This destination was the same for the annual video-game developer convention, known as the Game Developers Conference.
In the past month, the organizers of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) had to make the difficult decision to postpone the event, which would occur in March of this year. The conference had to be changed for August 3, 2020, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
The decision has caused deep disappointment for many players in the video-game industry. Google has been one of the most disappointed because, for the Menlo Park company, this event is an opportunity to connect with the video game industry.
“I will do my own conference…”
In order not to want to, Google has decided to organize its own video-game developers convention, which does not mean that it will disregard sanitary precautions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
Google will host the Google for Games Developers Summit, a developer convention that will be completely digital and free. At this event, Google will announce everything it had in store for the GDC.
The Google event will kick off on March 23 at 9 a.m., Pacific time in the United States. From the first moment, Google will hold developer sessions for ten consecutive hours with content that is intended to be of help for participants to improve their video games.
Between the sessions that Google will keep, there will be success stories of industry leaders who have managed to overcome the challenges of video game testing, infrastructure, and launch for all platforms.
Google also prepares announcements about the development in Android, with tools that seek to improve the performance of large APK files, as well as improvements in the graphics and improvements in the analysis of the memory of the devices.
One of the points that cause the most expectations among the gaming community is Google’s advances in video game servers, which is currently an alpha product.
Support for the video game developer community
In solidarity with video game developers, Google is coordinating with the GDC emergency fund to sponsor and assist developers who had already invested in conferences to grow their video games.
Likewise, Google invites developers to use YouTube’s streaming services to carry out all kinds of events with its Live Streaming and Premieres tools, so they don’t want to share the progress of their developments.
The question remains which tool or product will be so exciting that Google cannot wait until August to present it. Whatever it is, the company stated on its developer page that its team had created solutions to drive the success of the developer community.
While many Latin American startups point to Silicon Valley when scaling their businesses globally, Miami is slowly emerging as the ideal destination for Latin American companies. This city on the Florida peninsula has claimed in recent years its right to be considered an international tech hub with events that bring together Latin American entrepreneurs with venture capital. And this year, Miami has sponsored some of the great technology players.
To begin with, Softbank chose Miami as the headquarters of its Latin American Fund earlier this year. Now, Google chose the metropolis as the venue for the end of its startup acceleration program, Launchpad. This acceleration program of Google’s mission is to boost the startup ecosystem by supporting specialists, research, and the most advanced technology.
TheVentureCity was the endpoint of an immersion trip for startups chosen by Google, which began in Mexico, continued in Argentina, and now ended in South Florida. TheVentureCity is a new acceleration model that helps entrepreneurs achieve a global impact, intending to make the entrepreneurial ecosystem more diverse, international, and accessible to fair capital.
In this last week of the Google acceleration program, the nine startups participating in the program met with the startups of TheVentureCity’s growth program. This occasion served as an opportunity to share experiences, get closer to each other, and grow. As part of an extra benefit for the startups of both programs, TheVentureCity invited venture capitalists from the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
The manager of Google Developers Paco Solsona said that it was a dream come true to make this program in Miami possible for startups throughout Latin America. “It is an unparalleled occasion to show the amazing work that developers and entrepreneurs carry out in the region,” said the executive.
For its part, the CEO and founder of TheVentureCity Laura González-Estéfani said that the initiative consolidates Miami as an epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship by bringing together companies that think beyond borders. “We believe that talent is equitably distributed around the world, but the opportunities are not equitable,” González-Estéfani mentions in the event.
Launchpad Accelerator startups come from a wide variety of Latin American countries, including Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and El Salvador. The companies that graduated this week were: 123Seguro, Al Turing, Apli, DevF, Hugo, Jetty, Jüsto, Odd Industries, and TransparentBusiness. The participating companies in TheVentureCity are Qempo, Cashier, ComigoSaude, Digital Innovation One, TheFastMind, eMasters, Alba, 1Doc3, Stayfilm, and Erudit. For the organizers’ consideration, “this international group of startups represents the talent, diversity, and richness of the continent.”
The main benefit of choosing Miami to host this program is to diversify thinking in the American technological ecosystem and keep the most relevant stakeholders informed about the challenges facing startups in the region. This event is the second time that Google and TheVentureCity partner to support startups. Last March, they also held the first Google Developers Launchpad Start event, a one-week version of the acceleration program in Miami.
The 2019 edition of Finnosummit is the first where LendIt Fintech and Finnovista joined forces to hold a joint event in Latin America. The co-founder and CEO of LendIt Fintech declared in this event that “Technology and innovation require iterative research and experimentation.”
In the Finnosummit, more than 700 attendees were able to listen to 150 speakers and where startups, investors, and innovation executives dress up to announce their new movements, meet new collaborators and discover new trends in the sector. The event was held in Miami, a city that has become a tech-hub for Latin America.
Among the most outstanding presentations is that of Visa and Novapayment, who expanded their collaboration to facilitate the implementation of APIs with financial institutions in Latin American markets and, thus, offer more digital solutions. “We have built a network in 11 countries and launched more than one hundred APIs,” explained Novopayment CEO Anabel Pérez, regarding the announcement during his speech at FINNOSUMMIT.
Nexoos published a white paper in which he analyzes the reasons why the loan market for small and medium enterprises in Brazil will take center stage in the coming years.
Creating connections in Latin America
In the Finnosummit event, networking took a special place. Attendees were in 1400 meetings to find potential collaborators to open doors for new investments, alliances, or technological collaborations.
In the event, twelve finalist startups of the Visa Everywhere Initiative LAC competition presented their pitch. The Mexican startup Flexio was the winner of the contest. This startup is dedicated to offering installment loans for online purchases using the consumer debit card.
The final in FINNOSUMMIT is the culmination of a six-month innovation program to which 197 startups initially applied. For the first time in the framework of the Visa Everywhere Initiative LAC, entrepreneurs were called upon to solve three specific challenges related to the Visa business and the main challenges of the digital payment industry in the Latin American region.
Among all the applications, the Visa and Finnovista team selected the 24 best solutions that participated in 4 Collaborative Innovation Workshops with Visa and its clients in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Bogotá and in which 12 were chosen finalists In addition to Flexio who was the winner, the finalists were: Facenote, Druber and Pareto SA of Argentina; DinDin, Zen Finance and Zrobank of Brazil; Peiky, Tiendapp, and Zinobe from Colombia; Pay it from Guatemala and Kublau from Mexico.
Before their participation in the final, the 12 finalists participated in a five-week immersion program, whose objective was the preparation of potential pilots or proof of concept (POC) in collaboration with Visa executives.
The CEO of Flexio, Nathan Schorr, explained that “90% of the 300 billion debit cards are used only to withdraw money.” “We are giving the cardholder a reason to have more money in his account and to use it more often. That is directly linked to Visa’s strategy and objectives,” he added regarding the reasons why they were chosen.
“From the inception of Flexio, we understood that we wanted to be an important player in the ecosystem and be able to impact millions of lives. It was necessary to be able to generate partnerships with the players: Visa, banks, payment aggregators, and merchants,” he said.
The winner of the innovation program, which will receive $ 50,000USD and the opportunity to develop a joint pilot with Visa as a prize, highlighted the benefits of having worked for hand in hand with Visa during the last five weeks. “What we take beyond the prize are the contacts in the Visa environment. We have met 6-7 contacts of people who want to innovate with us,” he said.
Asked if he would advise other entrepreneurs to participate in the Visa Everywhere Initiative LAC, he affirmed: “This is my third startup, and I am looking for the highest level of enjoyment of the people I work with.” “On Visa, they have proven to have a fantastic human side. They are people who know that they do it, and that is a perfect combination” when designing projects that involve large corporations and startups, he said.
“At Visa, our mission is to connect the world with innovative and inclusive payment solutions. We know that one of the keys to accelerating the adoption of digital payments is to collaborate with the best Fintech in the region,” said Arnoldo Reyes, vice president of Digital Alliances, Fintech and Entrepreneurships for Visa Latin America and the Caribbean.
“At Finnovista, we believe that the next step to implement disruptive solutions in the sector is the effective collaboration between startups and companies, and we are very proud of the results of this year’s Visa Everywhere Initiative. For the first time, the 12 finalist startups spent five weeks of effectively managing innovation in a powerful immersion program. Therefore, as of today, Flexio will be prepared to launch a pilot product that solves the future challenges of the digital payment industry,” said Andrés Fontao, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Finnovista.
Regulators prepare for ‘big techs’
Industry regulators also talked about how Fintechs are changing the financial industry. This is a position held by those responsible for the central banks of some of the most prominent ecosystems in Latin America. Laura Clavijo, Director of Innovation of the Financial Superintendence of Colombia; Carlos Orta, of Deloitte in Mexico and Jorge Alexandre Casara, of the Office of Risk Supervision of the CVM of Brazil, analyzed phenomena such as the arrival of tech big techs’ to a field reserved so far for startups and banks.