WeXchange 2014

Here are highlights from the last WeXchange Forum, held in December 2014.
Look back on the experience and advice shared, or enjoy hearing about it for the first time.

Forum Summary

The best of WeXchange 2014, in case you missed the Forum or want to remember it.

Watch the 2014 edition

Relive the energy of the forum in this video.

Photos

Were you captured on camera?

The best times at WeXchange were recorded. If you participated, you may find your photo in this section.

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Pitch Competition Finalists

Each of the Pitch Competition finalists has a project and a profile that are great examples for any woman (or man) who is interested in starting up a business or initiative.

Priscilla Maciel
AlmaShopping
AlmaShopping, based in Argentina, is a website offering a wide assortment of beauty products. While beauty is the fourth-largest e-commerce category in the United States, and in spite of high demand for beauty products in Latin America, the sector has been underdeveloped in the region.

The company first began in 2012 with a subscription service for sample products, and launched its e-commerce site in 2013. With activity in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico, 660,000 followers on social media, and monthly revenues of over US$100,000, AlmaShopping is well on the way to fulfilling its vision of becoming Latin America’s leading e-commerce beauty community. AlmaShopping’s commercial director Priscilla Maciel has more than 15 years of experience in the beauty industry, having worked with such well-known brands as Calvin Klein, Clinique, Unilever, Natura, and Herbalife.
Sofía Giraudo
FirstJob.me
Large companies in Latin America face challenges in recruiting and hiring well-qualified entry-level employees. FirstJob.me, which was founded in Chile in 2012 and has since expanded into Colombia, seeks to improve the entry-level job search for applicants and employers alike.

Companies purchase recruitment packages that grant them access to resumes, job listing platforms, video interviews, large-scale outreach through social media channels, and more. Co-founder and COO Sofía Giraudo has a background in management and human resources.
Lorena Amarante
OMLatam
OMLatam, founded in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2010, is an online learning platform providing training programs in digital marketing for the Spanish-speaking market. The company’s motto is “Digital Marketing is the new English!”



Seeking to address the region’s increasing demand for digital literacy, OMLatAm has trained over 300 paying students from more than 12 countries; reached more than 6,000 people through its free webinars, and has worked with clients including IBM Argentina, Best Day Mexico, and RIM Brasil. Co-founder and CEO Lorena Amarante is the former regional online manager of Despegar.com, a travel website.
Carolina Medina
SokoText
Based in Colombia, SokoText is a social business that leverages mobile phone technology to benefit small-scale food vendors whose primary clients are poor and low-income consumers. SokoText receives pre-orders for fresh produce from vendors via SMS, then places bulk orders with farmer cooperatives and delivers the goods to vendors at central locations.

Vendors save both time and money—thanks to economies of scale, they pay 30% less for produce—and pass their savings along to their customers. Consumers also benefit from greater food security. After carrying out two successful pilot projects in Kenya, SokoText is poised to launch in Colombia, and projects a break-even point within its first year of operation. Co-founder and chief communications officer Carolina Medina is a food security specialist with experience in policy research, journalism, and marketing.
Cecilia Retegui
Zolvers
Zolvers, founded in 2013 in Argentina, is an online marketplace where homeowners can find reliable household helpers like plumbers, cleaners, and handymen. Users post their needs and an algorithm connects them with background-checked, qualified, and recommended service providers.

While such websites exist in North America and Europe, Zolvers is the first offering such a platform in Latin America. CEO Cecilia Retegui is a serial entrepreneur, having previously co-founded software company BDF.
María Leal
Zynn
Zynn, which launched in 2014 in Guatemala, is a platform that helps companies create customized business productivity mobile apps quickly, easily, and affordably. What is usually a process that takes weeks or months can be achieved in just minutes. Now partnering with telecommunications firms for to sell its subscription-based model, Zynn plans to expand into direct sales in the future.

Zynn also envisions creating a marketplace of third-party developer apps. CEO María Leal launched her first enterprise at the age of 18, and has a background in sales and business relations.

Video Interviews

Watch our WeXchange 2014 video playlist