CIC launches soft landing program to bring leading Latin American companies to the US through Miami

By Riley Kaminer

The Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) is a global organization that builds innovation centers. From 2016 until last year, the company had a physical presence in Miami that included a coworking space and lab. CIC is still on the hunt for a new home in the Magic City, but in the interim is still very active in our community.

The latest case in point is CIC’s International Soft Landing program: an initiative that helps Chilean and Colombian entrepreneurs expand to the US via Miami. Through a partnership with Chilean VC firm Manutara Ventures, 10 companies are going through the program. 

The top five of these companies will be in Miami next week (August 28th to 31st) to connect with our local ecosystem. This includes a pitch competition at Venture Cafe on Thursday, August 31st, which is open to the public. The companies are competing for a $500,000 investment from Manutara Ventures.

Meet the companies that will be pitching next week:

GETI is a web platform that aims to enhance decision-making and profitability for e-commerce companies. This SaaS startup uses data extraction and AI-driven analysis to provide its clients with a real-time overview of their products and those of competitors in terms of prices, stock, and promotions. Founder: Francisco Contreras.

Judini has developed CodeGPT, an AI-powered programming tool that has garnered 800,000 downloads across 172 countries – directly competing with Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot. Using their own API, CodeGPT enables companies to customize AI models to fit specific data, transforming generic AI into tailored solutions. Founder: Alvaro Chavez.

Facto aspires to digitize and automate the billing system of the United States. It is designed for small and medium-sized businesses, enabling them to automate processes such as quotations, purchase orders, invoicing, payments, and more. This helps the company increase its revenue as its operations become automated. Founder: Mickle Foretic.

Levannta is a financial platform that enables businesses to grow without dilution or debt through an innovative financing alternative, converting future cash flows into liquidity for businesses with recurring revenue models. Founder: Manuel Astaburuaga.

Alejandra Winter, CIC

Finmaq is a fintech that uses asset-backed loans to drive the growth of SMEs in Latin America. Their aim is to enhance the sales conversion of asset distributors through data and loan products that promote financial inclusion. FinMaq’s mission is to create a positive social impact by providing digital financial solutions to unbanked individuals and SMEs. Through their application, clients can apply for loans and receive responses within five minutes, streamlining access to financing. Founder: Diego Sanz de Santamaria.

Alejandra Winter is the co-founder and director of CIC’s International Soft Landing initiatives. “We help them validate their product and services, give them advice on finding a co-founder in the US, and work with them on honing their pitch,” she told Refresh Miami. Winter also noted that the program enables founders to connect with key players in our local ecosystem.

The program includes startups from a diverse range of verticals including Life Sciences, HealthTech, and EdTech – a mix of areas of expertise for CIC and #MiamiTech. The companies from this cohort hail from Chile and Colombia. Winter explained that the focus on these two countries stems from the opportunity for CIC to partner with organizations from those host countries that support entrepreneurs – whether that be government agencies, VCs, or accelerators. 

Cristina Urdaneta, CIC

When startups expand internationally, “the company is growing, so actually they can hire more people back home,” Winter said of the value that these organizations see in the CIC program.

“Expanding to the US through Miami is not a hard sell at all for the founders in our program,” Cristina Urdaneta, the Miami-based Program Coordinator for CIC’s International Soft Landing program. “It’s more like, ‘calm down – let’s think about this in a structured way and review the details before you hop on a plane.’”

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Riley Kaminer