Note: This article is written by Jessie WU from TechNode.

On Friday, BEYOND EXPO organizers invited a group of distinguished entrepreneurs for the Asia-Latam Tech Forum, aiming to explore opportunities for collaboration in business and technology, while promoting cultural exchange and understanding between Asia and Latin America.

The Asia-Latam Tech Forum featured discussions on trade, investment, innovation, and ideas, providing a platform for stakeholders from both continents to explore avenues for growth and prosperity.

Below are key insights from the three discussion panels held during the forum.

Panel 1: Latam: The next hotbed of venture capital investments

William Mimassi Pedroso is a partner at Monashees, an early-stage venture capital firm, where he has worked since 2020 and manages relations with the company’s limited partners globally. Pedroso has worked in various capacities, from law to CFO roles, in Brazil and China. He holds a law degree with honors from the University of São Paulo, with proficiency in multiple languages.

Founded in 2005, Monashees is a renowned early-stage venture capital firm in Latin America. The company invests in innovative startups across various sectors, providing crucial support and resources for their growth and success. With a strong track record, Monashees is a leading player in the region’s vibrant startup ecosystem.

Pedroso expressed optimism about Latin America’s potential for growth in the venture capital sector, given the region’s favorable regulatory environment and increasing digitalization. He highlighted areas such as fintech and clean tech as particularly promising, noting the region’s natural resources and innovative potential. However, he acknowledged that the need for technical talent and English proficiency among developers remains a challenge.

Pedroso said he sees Latin America as a burgeoning market with ample room for expansion, especially with the right investments and support.

Panel 2: Latam’s innovation ecosystem and collaboration opportunities with Asia

Ingrid Barth is a seasoned economist and entrepreneur with a background in finance, technology, and advocacy. Formerly with JPMorgan and Santander, she founded Linker, a pioneering digital bank for businesses, later acquired by Omie. Additionally, she holds influential roles in fintech regulation and startup development, including representing Brazil in G20 initiatives.

During the panel discussion, Barth spoke about effective communication methods in changing perceptions about Brazil’s business landscape. She advocated for highlighting Brazil’s strengths, such as its innovative potential and natural resources, to attract foreign investors and foster collaboration.

Barth stressed the need for confidence in Brazil’s capabilities and encouraged entrepreneurs to seek the right local partners when entering the Brazilian market. She also underscored the significance of understanding cultural nuances and navigating regulatory frameworks.

Barth admitted the role of public policies in shaping business environments and suggested learning from China’s dynamic ecosystem and strategic initiatives. Meanwhile, she called for a proactive approach to showcasing Brazil’s opportunities and fostering international partnerships for mutual growth.

Panel 3: Rising unicorns and IPOs in Latam

Eduardo L’Hotelier, a Brazilian computer engineering graduate, founded GetNinjas in 2011, growing it into Latin America’s largest service marketplace. He led multiple successful fundraising rounds with renowned firms like Monashees Capital and Tiger Global. In 2021, L’Hotelier took GetNinjas public on the Brazilian stock exchange (NINJ3) but sold his stake in the company in January 2023.

GetNinjas is a Brazilian online platform connecting clients with freelance professionals in various fields, including home services, events, classes, and more. The company has revolutionized how people find and hire services, simplifying the lives of millions of users in Brazil.

L’Hotelier attributed Latin America’s booming market to being fueled by its young demographic and tech adoption. He said Brazil’s robust social media usage offers ample opportunities for startups, adding businesses need to understand local laws and culture, while partnerships help to navigate the market.

L’Hotelier also noted the growing interest from Asian investors in Latin American startups, particularly in Brazil. He said that Brazilian entrepreneurs demonstrate resilience despite bureaucratic hurdles, adding that there is a shift toward a global mindset with more startups eyeing international expansion.

L’Hotelier said the company wishes to help their global partners achieve similar results by leveraging their expertise and technological advancements.