What is Unicornia?
Unicornia is a collaborative open innovation ecosystem that has the great purpose of turning the Latin American region into a world power of innovation since the invention. Currently, it has established operation and development hubs in 6 key cities in the Hispanic region: Lima, Santiago de Chile, Medellín, Guadalajara, Miami and Barcelona.

What are Unicornia challenge?
Unicornia challenge are technology-prototyping and market-validation competitions where participating startups will be able to demonstrate their solution to companies that need to solve a real problem. Winning Startups will be able to achieve commercial alliances and incubation agreements with the companies that have participated.
In addition, startups that are disruptive will be included in international technology competitions at the level of Europe and Asia mainly.
In Unicornia there are 2 types of challenges: Global and Local.

Am I eligible to apply for a Unicornia challenge?
Unicornia aims to empower ALL deep tech projects around the world. Therefore, we have established the broadest, but fairest, rules for projects at all stages of development.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible if:

  • Its activity is based on a new technology or an innovative application of an existing technology.
  • You have a proof of concept, a prototype, a scientific validation of your solution, or are in the process of producing one.
  • Your team consists of two or more people. Your project is not part of a larger company.
  • Your project / Startup is in the initial stage (up to series A)
  • You foresee an economically viable application on the market within 5 years.
  • Your project has the potential to have a strong impact on the industry you are targeting and on society or the environment in general.

How to apply to Unicornia?
Through the following link -> here
Unicornia is accepting Startup applications for the 2021 Challenges cycle that will take place in Lima, Santiago de Chile, Medellín, Guadalajara and Miami, from January to December 2021.
If you would like to apply, submit your application online here. Early filing startups have an advantage because we have more time to read their applications. You can submit after the deadline, though keep in mind that the later you apply, the harder it will be to enter.
We decide which startups will participate in each Challenges after each day of virtual or face-to-face interviews.
For an average of 14 weeks, we organize the Startups that have applied to each Challenge, according to the industry or vertical of development. In order to start a preparation and pre-incubation process that allows the Startups to move quickly from the Ideation phase to obtaining an MVP validated by a real market of users or clients. Even reaching the initial traction generation.
We have regular office hours throughout the year for startups who want to talk about what they are building or get advice on dealing with investors. We also have occasional events.
About 14 weeks later, we organize an event called “Challenge Day” in which new startups are presented to a group of carefully selected companies and by invitation only.
We don't really finish after 14 weeks. We continue to provide advice and coordinate presentations whenever the startups need it.

How do we choose which startups to help?
We will finance with non-reimbursable resources to Startups from anywhere in the world. In that sense, we finance Startups that do everything from creating mobile applications to diagnosing cancer to producing water or renewable energy.
We will gladly fund companies that have just started and have only one idea.
International founders, please note: if your company is already incorporated in a country outside the Latin American region, to participate in Unicornia you must create a parent company in any of the 22 countries that make up the Latin American region (with the non-Latin American company becoming a subsidiary of the new parent company). While attorneys will drive this process forward, it will require significant effort on your part.
You must have at least 10% equity in the Startup for Unicornia to consider you as a founder. Only founders can attend interviews and participate in the Challenge process.

Do we need to write a business plan?
Not for us. We make financing decisions based on our application form and personal interviews. We love demos, but we never read business plans. The market changes much faster than keyboard speed.

Will we sign an NDA? How do I know you won't steal my idea?
No, we will not sign an NDA. No incubation and venture funding competition would do it at this stage. The informal commitment to secrecy on our application form is more than any Corporate Venture Capital would do.

Our team has two ideas. Can we send two requests?
We do not recommend it, you should choose your favorite idea and apply with that.

Will you fund multiple startups working on the same idea?
Yes. If you fund as many startups as we do, you will inevitably end up with some overlap. Even if you tried not to accept competing companies, you would still overlap because startup ideas transform a lot. The way we deal with this is that when two startups are working on related solutions, we don't talk to one about what the other is doing.
In practice, it has not turned out to be a problem, because most large markets have room for several slightly different solutions, and two startups are unlikely to do exactly the same thing.

What are the exact dates for the next Challenge?
The dates that we have confirmed are published here.

We have been working on our Startup for a while. Is Unicornia appropriate for us?
In fact, we especially like those that have made some progress. We can probably help any Startup that has not yet raised a seed capital round.

We have already raised funds. Can we still apply?
Of course. Each Unicornia Challenge has many Startups that have already raised more than USD $ 100k.

What if we are doing something expensive?
We still accept it, but instead of trying to build something that can be launched in three months, the goal is to build an impressive proof of concept to attract the attention of corporations who want to develop partnerships and even invest in viable pilots.

Do you only fund startups that write software?
No, we will consider startups in any field.

Can a single person apply for financing?
Yes. We regularly accept single founders. With that said, our advice remains that one-person startups are tough and you're more likely to be successful with a co-founder.

I have a great idea for a startup, but I am not a tech person. Will they still finance me?
It is important that the founding team have the skills to build their product themselves, rather than outsource it to someone else. For most companies, that generally means you need a tech-basis co-founder.

Do we need to establish a business name before applying?
No.

Can we apply more than once?
Yes. In a typical Unicornia Challenge, about half of the startups submitted applications multiple times before being accepted. If you have applied before and have not logged in, we recommend that you apply again. Progress since your last application is a strong sign for us.

Do we need to meet someone in Unicornia to enter?
No. One of the core principles of Unicornia is to consider all applications equally. We don't trust referrals like many investors do.

If we participate in another competition / accelerator, can we be in Unicornia?
Yes. Many companies have joined Unicornia after winning another competition or doing another accelerator. However, if you've already done another program, we can expect you to have made a higher level of progress.

Can we participate in the Challenge without moving to the place where they are?
Of course. In fact, we have developed a cloud platform so that anyone anywhere in the world can interact with companies, mentors, and each other to get ready for the “Challenge Day”.
It is worth mentioning that once it is selected to be incubated or fulfill a commercial alliance with the participating company, we will invite you to relocate to the place where the company is established, in order to develop the work plan in the best possible conditions.
However, it does not have to be in Unicornia 24x7. If you have a business that requires you to be elsewhere, we will figure something out so you can participate in the work plan and at the same time keep an eye on your business. Typically the founders will rotate between locations or fly back and forth.

Do we have to start a company in the Latin American region to invest in us?
If you have started your business outside of the Latin American region, we will help you turn it into a Latin American business. You may also need a foreign attorney.

Do we have to be citizens of a Latin American country?
No, as long as you can be here for at least six months.

Can you get us visas?
We are not directly involved with visas, but we do have a list of foreign founders who will be happy to advise you, and we will introduce you to good immigration attorneys. Obtaining a visa for the 6 months of Unicornia is rarely a problem.

We don't want funds, but will you give us advice?
Absolutely Yes. What makes us notably different from other ecosystems is that we prioritize advice towards the Startup at any stage of the preparation process.

I am starting a Startup. Can I meet with you?
Of course we can, we can meet with each Startup that wants us to invest in their solution.

Will someone from Unicornia review my Startup idea?
Absolutely Yes, we can have conversations with everyone about your ideas. However, if you apply and we invite you for interviews, we will certainly discuss your idea in greater depth with you.

I would like Unicornia to advertise my product / service among portfolio companies.
The best way to advertise your product within the Unicornia community is to get some startups that are part of the Unicornia community as happy users and ask them to recommend it to their peers.
With that said, we maintain a list of offers that we share with our active portfolio companies. If you want to offer a special agreement on your service or product to our companies, you can send an email to: hello@unicornia.xyz with information about your proposal. We manually review these offers and will inform you if your offer has been approved or rejected.

What are the verticals in question?

  • Transport and logistics.
  • Commerce, Marketing and Sales.
  • Administration and Human Resources.
  • Finance (Fintech & Insurtech)
  • Food (Foodtech) and Agriculture.
  • Mining (Mintech) and Construction.
  • Production and Recycling.
  • Public security.
  • Government and Citizenship (Govtech).
  • Human Health (Health Care).
  • Learning and Education.
  • Humanity and Gender Protection.

Who will judge the projects and how?
Each challenge begins with a wide selection of startups that can solve the problem at hand. During the mentoring process, we were able to weigh those who have made significant progress and who have achieved some traction in a real market.
During the mentoring process, the projects are evaluated by the mentors themselves, when the general list is reduced to a short list, then they can access the “Challenge Day”, which comprises a series of demonstration days where both mentors and representatives of each participating company will become a jury to choose the solution that best solves the problem and the contingencies that will appear.

How is the Global Challenge different from other competitions and events?

Mainly in 3 aspects:

  1. Unicornia challenge focuses on the prototype and not on a 3-minute speech, for this reason we have implemented a competition methodology called “Sprint Pitch” that allows the entire Startup team to participate through rapid prototyping of contingencies to the problem that will emerge.
  2. The Startups that are winning and therefore manage to establish a commercial alliance or incubation agreement with the participating companies, may be totally or partially geographically relocated to the place where the company is established to join the development team and obtain real and scalable results.
  3. Unicornia always gives feedback! No matter if you win or not, Unicornia will always share opinions, comments and suggestions regarding your Startup project so that you can continue to grow in the right direction.

Do I have to pay for the Global or Local Challenge?
The application for each challenge is completely free and does not involve applicants in any way. Unicornia does not require any action on the part of the applicants, apart from the application material, and does not claim any type of decision, power or take any equity until the Startup is selected to participate in a commercial alliance agreement or development incubation with any participating company.

Is my information confidential?
The information you provide in your application will be available to the following parties:
- Unicornia and our IT team (to manage the application platform).
- Our expert volunteer mentors and members (to evaluate and judge your application).
- Our partners (companies and investors looking for potential collaboration or investment opportunities).
Everyone signs our Confidentiality Agreement, available upon request (hello@unicornia.xyz). However, if you think that some information may be too sensitive (due to a pending patent, for example), we recommend that you obtain legal advice. If you do not have access to legal advice, feel free to email us.

When will I know if I am selected?
After submitting your application through this link here, and within a period of 4 weeks, you will receive an email confirmation to participate or recommendations to adjust some aspect of your project to be selected.

Why do you only host local challenges in a few countries?
We are currently developing our network of local allies around the world and are organizing local competitions to empower entrepreneurs locally, helping to provide opportunities for startups within their own ecosystem.

Which countries will be included in a local challenge?
The following countries will host local challenges:
- Peru: open to Startups based or incorporated in Peru.
- Chile: open to Startups based or incorporated in Chile.
- Colombia: open to startups based or incorporated in Colombia.
- Mexico: open to Startups based or incorporated in Mexico.

A CHALLENGE WHERE YOU CAN
DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU CAN
SOLVE ANY PROBLEM.

At Unicornia® We firmly believe that if a company accepts startups as part of the team of collaborators, it will be innovating disruptively from the ground up. Since each startup is itself an Innovation Laboratory.

Contact us

email: hello@unicornia.xyz
phone: +51 981 166 709

Insighter del Peru SAC
RUC N° 20536307401
Lima . Peru

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