First off, we’d like to thank all the entrepreneurs, investors, sponsors and supporters that participated in the 2nd 21212 Demo Day on October 19th. It was a huge success and a testament to how quickly the startup ecosystem in Rio and Brazil is evolving. Demo Day is an invitation only event for investors and it’s clear the community of active investors is growing very quickly — this time around we had 350+ people in attendance and over 100 investors from Brazil, US, and Europe.
At Demo Day we announced some of 21212’s initial results and we’d like to share those with all of you now. In our first 2 programs this past year 21212 has accelerated a total of 18 companies. So far, 12 of those companies have received outside capital or firm commitments for outside investment, totaling over R$7.5M. This number is growing quickly and the pace of investment is increasing as both our companies and the ecosystem mature.
The early results are encouraging, but we have a lot more work to do. We always tell our companies, in order to build the best product, you need to talk to your customers all the time. We apply the lean startup methodology of “build, measure, learn” to 21212 in the same way we would to any of our companies.
So, in the past months we’ve been measuring, learning and talking to our customers about 21212. In fact, we’ve talked to hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs to better understand how we’re doing and what the market needs and now, we are responding. We decided to make a few key changes to 21212 for next year so we could do more, faster in 2013.
21212 will increase the number of programs from 2 to 3 cycles per year. Each program will still have around 10 companies, so now the goal is to accelerate about 30 startups per year. We’re also expanding our program to work with companies at different stages:
– Stage 1: Pre-revenue startups that have great founding teams, a big idea and some product built, but are still seeking real traction.
– Stage 2: Companies with a product, traction and revenue, who already have product/market fit and are in a better position to accelerate growth.
We’re increasing the amount of survival money that we offer to companies in the program to up to R$50k per company, depending on the number of founders. We’re always very clear with entrepreneurs that the real value of 21212 isn’t the money, but the time, experience, team and network. That being said, living costs are rising and we want entrepreneurs to be focused on building great products and not so worried about paying the rent.
In addition to more cash, 21212 is also adding even more services from the partners like Amazon, Rackspace, Google, BooBox, SurveyMonkey, ZenDesk, PivotalTracker, SendGrid and others, totalling over R$200k per company.
More Flexible Equity
Given the broader range of companies we’re including in the program, 21212 is also moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to our equity participation. We will offer a range of terms for Stage 1 and Stage 2 companies relative the stage of the start-up and the experience of the team.
Welcome Hackers, MBA’s and Entrepreneurs
We’re also starting a “hacker in residence” program — if you’re a top developer who’s passionate about entrepreneurship but don’t have a company yet, we’d love to make you a part of 21212. In addition, we are always looking for qualified MBA’s from top schools and entrepreneurs with proven track records that are interested in starting something or working with an existing team. If you fit this description please apply here. If accepted, you’ll get a package that includes salary and equity to work on one of our own projects or with one of our portfolio companies.
If you have questions or comments about these changes, feel free to send us a message! We will be happy to chat and learn even more.