21212 was designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Created in 2011 with the goal of helping entrepreneurs to create value in the booming Brazilian digital market, 21212 was the first digital accelerator in the country.
We started our first acceleration program in September 2011 and over the last 4 years we’ve played an important role in the development of the Brazilian digital ecosystem with thousands of hours invested in hundreds of entrepreneurial activities around Brazil. We’ve evaluated more than 2,500 startups in our selection process and accelerated 42 startups. Our 6 acceleration classes have trained nearly 200 entrepreneurs, who spent months working side-by-side with the 21212 team and took this new experience and learnings to hundreds of employees. Many of these companies have achieved great results, with cases of leadership in specific industries, internationalization, external investments and acquisitions.
In 2014, we created the 21212 Academy, an online platform focused on empowering young entrepreneurs by providing access to all the knowledge and experience accumulated in our acceleration programs. In just nine months since its launch, our content already impacted and connected more than 40,000 entrepreneurs.
When we created 21212, we were looking for a vehicle that would allow us to work with several startups at the same time in order to have the broadest positive impact on Brazilian digital ecosystem. Our goal was to invest in 50 companies over five years, seeking measurable outcomes and with the hopes of some early acquisitions or exits in the following 3-5 years. After 4 years, we accelerated 42 companies and have developed a rich portfolio and a vibrant network of Brazil’s leading entrepreneurs. Just a few months ago one of our early companies, ZeroPaper, was acquired by Intuit (the world’s largest company in its industry), becoming a success story in the history of Brazilian internet.
Despite this success, the market conditions in Brazil have changed dramatically since 2011 and are increasingly challenging for very early seed stage companies. So, we have decided to focus our attention on the active companies in our portfolio that are in a strategic position to quickly grow and lead the consolidation of their markets in the short and medium term.
This new focus requires some fundamental changes in how 21212 does business. The first change major change is the freezing of our acceleration activities for new companies. In a related move, we will make the recently launched 21212 Academy open and free to all Brazilian entrepreneurs, enabling even more people the opportunity to access the exclusive content of 21212 in lieu of our acceleration program. We hope this will help support the ecosystem as an investment in the future generations of entrepreneurs.
These changes will allow the 21212 partners to focus on development of our portfolio companies further helping our existing entrepreneurs grow their businesses and position them for greater success and better outcomes in the coming years.
We are very proud of everything that was built by our team, by our amazing mentors and by our investors. We are excited about this next chapter for 21212 and to play our part driving the digital ecosystem forward in Brazil. Above all, we believe in the potential of our entrepreneurs continue to create success stories in the Brazilian digital market.