VTEX Accelerator: Fostering collaboration in the ecommerce ecosystem
2020 was a year that transformed behavioral and economic patterns around the world. Consumers who had never bought online started to heavily depend on the internet for the purchase of basic items and even the small neighborhood markets started selling via messaging or delivery apps, in search of the survival of their businesses. In short, the coronavirus pandemic has boosted the entire ecommerce ecosystem and there is no way to predict whether or when other abrupt changes will occur, requiring even more resilience from this environment.
Developing businesses, projects and professionals is one of the few ways to ensure that the ecommerce universe is collaborative and ready to adapt to anything. As a result, VTEX launched in February the second edition of the VTEX Accelerator program, which seeks to further accelerate the development of global ecommerce markets with an emphasis on collaboration.
The VTEX Accelerator mission
VTEX is a devout proponent of Collaborative Commerce. Our very architecture and business approach sustain this concept. But we recognise that more is needed to achieve the digital commerce revolution that we envision, starting from our own ecosystem. That is why the VTEX Accelerator program was launched for the first time in November 2020..
“We are committed to broaden our company’s horizons by continuously searching for the best technological solutions out there – or not yet there. These programs will lend a helping hand to bold thinkers and then welcome them at VTEX, a place where innovation is at home.”Marcos Pueyrredon, Global Executive SVP of VTEX.
The core of the initiative aims to support start-ups and partner solutions to expedite their ecommerce ideas into tangible form or test and build upon their existing MVPs. This will be possible through equity-free grants, access to angel investors, exposure in major ecommerce events, expert mentorship, fully-funded scholarships, access to co-working spaces and VTEX tools.
A look into the first edition of the VTEX Accelerator
To say the first edition of the VTEX Accelerator was a success would be an understatement. In only 45 days, the program received more than 190 applicants from 19 countries all over the world. Their pitches were thoroughly analysed, leading to the admission in the final selection round of 18 promising start-ups from 10 countries.
The final consisted in two live-streamed events in front of an esteemed panel of judges which included Mariano Gomide (Co-CEO VTEX), Geraldo Thomaz (Co-CEO VTEX), Patricia Amaro (Board Member Unilever Spain), Gabriel Cabrera (Latin America Regional Director SONY), Francisco Ceballos (Co-Founder MercadoLibre), Daniela Guzman (Head of Ecommerce FORUS), Gustavo Garcia (Former CEO BuyVIP) and Ronan Bardet (Founder & CEO EGI Group). Exceeding all expectations, more than 500 ecommerce enthusiasts followed the finalists’ presentations and Q&A sessions, reinforcing the need for further collaboration in the ecommerce ecosystem.
“Such a competitive environment, with an abundance of talent and a myriad of unexplored ideas, demonstrates that the ecommerce industry still has plenty of room to grow and transform, a realisation that boosts VTEX forward everyday.”Marcos Pueyrredon, Global Executive SVP of VTEX
After a careful deliberation of the solutions’ value proposition, business model, product features and growth vision, the jury chose the first cohort of the VTEX Accelerator. Originating from 6 countries, the winners were: Reversso (Chile), Chazki (Peru), Usedesk (Russia), Chat Center Network (USA), Streamshop (Brazil) and Naiz Fit (Spain).
Welcome to the second edition!
Due to the surprising numbers of the first edition, it has been decided that the application process to the second edition of the program should be open for at least two months. This will ensure that more start-ups and VTEX partners have the opportunity to sign up and boost their businesses and solutions within the Accelerator, just like the winners of the last edition currently do.
“VTEX Accelerator has already meant a lot to us, although we are still in the initial weeks of the program. Our mentor is incredibly supportive and is helping us scale our company, in addition to integrating it into the VTEX ecosystem. The program is helping us to think big and be bold, but from a deep understanding of our challenges and company status. We are looking forward to seeing the Naiz Fit size recommendation tool as part of the VTEX ecosystem for the fashion industry. We are very impressed so far with our learnings and the team behind VTEX and we can’t wait to take it one step further!”Borja Cembrero Saralegui, CEO and Co-Founder of Naiz Fit
Start-ups and Partner Solutions can learn more about the Accelerator and apply until April 11th here. An incredible business development and networking opportunity awaits!