Medellin’s Startup Ecosystem Overview

As the city of transformation, Medellin is paving the way towards becoming the Silicon Valley of Latin America. The startup ecosystem of Medellin is great for locating Fintech, Education, E-Commerce & Retail companies. Medellin


Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia and the only city in the country with a plan for Science, Technology, and Innovation as public policy. The STI plan is determined to dedicate up to 5% of the GDP to improve the innovative landscape in the city. The Government’s vision of STI roots back to 1990 when they first introduced the Centre for Science and Technology of Antioquia to encourage technology and knowledge transfer between university-company-state triad.

Entrepreneurship becomes an important component of cities’ transformation. Culture E is the starting point for boosting entrepreneurial spirit in Medellin. The strategy aimed to promote entrepreneurship culture via training and supporting activities like business creation, financing, and opening of new markets. In 2006, Culture E-Strategy evolved into Entrepreneurship Park (Parque del Emprendimiento) as the city’s first incubator.

As Medellin climbed the steps in innovation, technology, and science, government introduced Medellin Digital Strategy in 2007. The aim of the strategy was the democratization of ICT among citizens. The implementation benefited 1.5 million people, including 8 local business development centers, 5 Library Parks, and 45 Government places. The second half of the strategy began in 2012 and focused on spreading connectivity to other areas like sustainability, health, and social innovation.

In 2009, Ruta N became Medellin’s business and innovation center, a hub for the government’s efforts to excel on STI. Through bolstering innovation, the center contributes to the city’s transformation as a knowledge economy. 30 years effort of Medellin pays back in 2021, since the city shifts from being a municipality to Special STi (Science, Technology & Innovation) District. It is projected that becoming a special district will bring new benefits to the city. However, these benefits will not be announced until 2030.

The State of Ecosystem in 2022

Medellin provides startup support at various layers. There are various coworking spaces available in the city.

El Poblado is one of the affluent areas where you can find coworking spaces such as Global Express, Quokka, and Tinkko. Beyond providing a space for Medellin-based startups, in the near future, these coworking spaces will host digital nomads as the government announced to introduction “Digital Nomad” visa to attract global talent.

The city’s startup ecosystem also provides various incubator and accelerator programs from national and global organizations. Endeavor, ImpactHub, and SeedStars are global accelerator programs that have programs for Medellin-based startups. It is also worth mentioning startups like Tributİ, Valenta, Somos, and Veciandro participated in Y-Combinator’s accelerator program.

Medellin is a location preferred by several VCs to set up their headquarters or office due to cities growing importance in the technology sector. VCs based in the city have a large investment scope covering LATAM. AI Fund is a VC headquartered in California, US. However, they chose Medellin to base their second office because the city has a great talent pool, education system and business environment. Bancoldex and CAF are two development banks that also contribute to financing new and growing startups in Medellin.

Ruta N, InnPulsa, and ACI Medellin are some of the important organizations that significantly impact the growth of Medellin’s startup ecosystem. They elevate the startup ecosystem in the city by organizing events, training and forming strategic partnerships. In March 2022, Ruta N signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” with The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador to collaborate on innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological management.

Ruta N is also home to LATAM’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4ir). This means Medellin will benefit from more technological advancements, jobs, and the systemization of innovations and synergies.


Medellin’s education system and therefore, talented workforce has an impact on its successful startup ecosystem. In 2017, Medellin is awarded as a “Learning City” by UNESCO, due to its activities in promoting lifelong education. According to ACI Medellin (2022), annually, there are approximately 5,500 students enrolled in their first year of systems engineering courses. Additionally, the city has a talent pool of 24,000 professionals graduated from systems engineering courses. These numbers shows that Medellin can provide a skilled workforce in technology and innovation related fields.

Notable Startups

  • La Haus, an online real estate marketplace. In 2021, La Haus raised US$ 100 million in additional funding in a round co-led by Acrew Capital and Renegade Partners.
  • Tributi is a Y-Combinator-backed fintech company headquartered in Medellin, Colombia. It automates tax filing for individuals in Latin America and offers curated financial services based on their financial data.
  • Viajala is a travel metasearch company in Latin America. It compares different travel platforms to help travelers find the most affordable deal.
  • Sempli is an all-in-one finance digital bank for small businesses in Colombia. In March 2022, the new financing round led by American Development Bank CAF and COMFOMA made the total amount raised by Sempli US$ 42 million.
  • Vozy is an AI platform that provides companies with voice assistants to change how they interact with customers. In an investment round including several VCs and angel investors like Alexander Torrenegra, the company raised an US$ 800,000 investment.
  • Melonn is an e-commerce enablement startup that provides order fulfillment and software services to SMBs. In February 2022, Melonn raised US$ 20 million in a Series A round led by QED Investors.

Startup Support

Coworking Spaces


  • Espacio: Espacio is a media incubator in Medellin, providing a coworking space facility. In addition to the coworking spaces, Entrepreneurs of Espacio can benefit from free pr & marketing support, mentors, and community learning activities.
  • Siembra Coworking gives the flexibility to choose a working environment based on specific needs. You can choose to work from a separate office or join other coworkers at the collaborative workspaces.
  • Seedspace Medellin is an affiliate of Seedstars. Entrepreneurs, freelancers, and consultants can work with people from different industries and expertise. High speed internet, shared desk and coworking spaces are just some of the facilities you can benefit from.
  • Global Express is located at El Poblado; Global Express is one of the coworking spaces where professionals can find the combination of strong office infrastructure and social areas like coworking area, patios, and roof terraces to socialize with others.
  • Tinkko is a modern and professional space for entrepreneurs to work on creative projects.
  • QUOKKA Coworking is a cool office in El Poblado that offers meeting rooms, an event venue, and, most importantly, a collaborative work environment. Additional facilities in Quokka include a kitchen, fast-speed internet, and coffee space to socialize.
  • Circular Coworking goes beyond offering office spaces but provides additional services such as a virtual office. Professionals will choose different plans to work from Circular, such as fixed, daily, and private office plans.
  • Noi spaces co.creativos is a space that hosts 425 professionals with 22 rooms. It is a central position where you can walk to the metro, the Museum of Modern Art, Monterrey shopping center, and Madilla in 10 minutes.

Accelerators & Incubators

  • Aceleradora Sodimac Corona is a program jointly run with Endeavor Colombia. The program’s main aim is to initiate pilot development to elevate startups’ products and services.
  • Parque del Emprendimiento is the first incubator in the country, formed with the alliance of the University of Antioquia and the Mayor’s Office of Medellín. It is also selected as the allied incubator of the Google Cloud Startups program. The program especially focuses on technology-based ventures, knowledge-based ventures, and enterprises with growth potential.
  • Espacio Media Incubator is an incubator that targets media startups. Their mission is to improve Media & PR industries. Although they are located in Medellin, their portfolio companies include startups around the world.
  • Seedstars Medellin Accelerator program is run with the collaboration of Seedstars and Genie LATAM. The partners of the program are Ruta N and Entros del Valle del Software. It lasts for 26 weeks, including applications and selection. The outstanding thirty teams receive a $US 1,200 grant, and six finalists are granted an additional $US 12,000.
  • Impact Hub is a global network with a Medellin branch. They have several programs with different goals. For example, Accelerate 2030 targets startups at the scaling stage that would create an impact on one or more sustainable development goals. Another program, Semilla focuses on early-stage ventures in agricultural sectors.
  • Endeavor Medellin supports entrepreneurs in Medellin who have the ambition to contribute economic development of the city. Its portfolio includes 8 companies and 16 entrepreneurs with 378 hours dedicated to mentorship.
  • Esratek is a Corporate Startup Accelerator, working with big corporations in their open innovation strategies. Experts work on co-create solutions and developing new businesses in corporate acceleration programs.
  • FCP Innovación SP actively invests in energytech and smart city tech for early and late-stage ventures.
  • Grupo Sura is a conglomerate with an investment management corporation based in Medellin. invest in companies with innovative solutions and disruptive models in the fintech, insurtech, and health tech verticals.
  • Veronorte is located in Medellin with a wider portfolio in LATAM. Its investment portfolio includes early-stage and growth startups with US$ 65 million invested until 2022.
  • AI Fund is a venture capital firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California. However, they have a base in Medellin as well. The company heavily invests in AI-based technology companies.
  • INVX is a venture capital firm with a branch in Medellin. The firm is especially interested in early and growth-stage startups. The investment portfolio is spread across Colombia and Latam, with investment tickets between US$ 25,000 to US$ 50,000.

Supporting Organizations

  • Ruta N is an innovation and business center with an ambition to transform Medellin into a knowledge economy by attracting talent, capital, and multinational companies to the city.
  • InnPulsa is an organization backed by the national government and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism. Its activities are centered around accelerating the growth of innovative enterprises and financially supporting high-potential ventures in Colombia. InnPulsa supports entrepreneurs with online courses.
  • Chamber of Commerce of Medellin for Antioquia is an organization that deals with registry processes of businesses in the city, as well as developing projects for formalization, modernization, and competitiveness of the business environment.
  • ACI Medellin’s objective is to develop strategic international relationships to attract more foreign direct investment in Medellin. For the period of 2020 - 2023, ACI Medellin has a budget of $COP 27,502 million. The organization’s main activities include forming strategic investment alliances, promoting the city, and knowledge exchange.
  • Plaza Mayor Medellin has an important role in the development of the startup ecosystem in the city. It hosts events like Startco Medellín 2022. Its convention rooms and exhibition pavilions have a great potential to hold events like Startco in Medellin.
  • Centre for Science and Technology of Antioquia (CTA) is one of the oldest organizations in Medellin that has an important role in designing and implementing public strategies for science, technology, innovation, and education.
Main Strengths of the Medellin Startup Ecosystem
    • UNESCO recognized Medellin as a learning city.
    • Medellin is home to LATAM’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4ir).
    • It is a special Science, Technology, and Innovation District.
    • Extensive startup support.
    • Skilled talent pool, especially in systems engineering.
    • Government’s ambition to become the Silicon Valley of LATAM.
    • Digital Nomad Visa, that would bring more international talent to the city.
Ecosystem Milestones

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