Startups that make a difference

TEGUSIGALPA, HONDURAS.- Confidence in self-employment has strengthened Honduras. Although the country is not defined by its culture entrepreneur, the crisis and the changing work ecosystem motivated Hondurans to start their own business as a career option. Among them is a growing sector of the so-called millennials, who choose business ideas based on technologies.

In recent years, the figure of the startup, a concept related to business in the digital age, has gained an important role in the business environment both nationally and internationally. In fact, the unconventional approach of these businesses has made them important players in the country’s economy.

According to this, startups are defined as new companies that use technology as a fundamental basis. Unlike micro-enterprises, they focus on a highly scalable, dynamic and innovation-driven business model that adds value to various industry sectors.

As the name suggests, this term is only used in the initial stages of a project, when it is in the early stages of development. Once a company has scaled up, it no longer falls under the startup category.

In addition to temporality, the scalability associated with the company’s potential and exponential growth are the defining characteristics of startups. These businesses, in order to survive, must have the capabilities and means of distribution to attract users.

In terms of business models, although these new companies stand out for their commitment to new products and services, it is the latter area that has the greatest impact on the local market.

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Startups often focus on disruptive business models that challenge traditional conventions and seek to use new technologies to offer innovative solutions. From subscription-based models to sharing economy platforms, startups are constantly looking for new ways to create value for their customers and differentiate themselves in a crowded market.

This bold, forward-thinking approach allows them not only to capture the market’s attention, but also to facilitate significant changes in the way business is conducted in the digital age.

Successful business models: examples of Honduran startups

Driven by innovation and integration of emerging markets, Monkey Business Apps focuses on the digitization of business processes through the use of cloud services.

Founded in 2017 under the name Ferby, this Honduran startup specializes in digitizing processes by moving them to the cloud to streamline both internal and customer processes.

The company offers shared and custom applications for a variety of purposes, including “marketplaces, construction project management, real estate payment management, workforce reward applications, e-commerce platforms, loyalty programs, online car sales portals, parcel tracking. and parcel delivery between the United States and Honduras, among other services,” detailed Estela Chavez, the startup’s commercial manager.

Led and supported by his two sons, the business idea, which received $8,000 in seed capital from the Honduran government startup program in 2017, has become a success story, providing a powerful tool for local businesses. can compete in the digital environment. Their client portfolio includes companies in Panama, the US, Honduras and Nicaragua to whom they sell cloud applications and software.

“Our success and sustainability is due to our business model of charging maintenance fees, hosting and monthly user licenses,” says Chavez.

Rudybot, founded by Ruben Antunes and Kendy Pineda in 2017, is another shining example of success in Honduras. This startup specializes in the conceptualization, design and development of personalized chatbots for companies, offering innovative solutions for customer service and sales automation.

Rudybot chatbots are software capable of supporting conversations with customers using natural language, allowing companies to improve customer interactions and streamline sales processes through platforms such as Facebook and Messenger.

According to Ruben Antunez, Rudybot chatbots allow you to communicate with customers instantly and effectively, which helps to increase customer retention and loyalty.

Rudybot’s custom bot development process begins with a comprehensive analysis of the sector and the specific needs of each client company, which guarantees tailored and effective solutions. In addition, the company is committed to continuous improvement of natural language processing for more accurate and relevant answers.

With a monthly subscription model ranging from $14 to $32 per month, Rudybot has expanded into key markets such as Mexico, Colombia and Spain.

Innovation and Technology: Pillars of Honduran Startups

In order to guarantee the success of a startup, apart from the type of business idea, the form of investment and long-term forecasts are crucial. It is critical that the creators of these projects focus on three key elements to ensure the viability of the project and not turn into a sad failure statistic where 1 in 10 tech businesses fail to survive the first year.

First, a startup must have a clear understanding of the problem it seeks to solve and be fully immersed in the philosophy of that problem. Starting with a defined approach provides greater agility and the ability to adapt the product to the ever-changing needs of users and the market.

Second, it is critical to have a work team that complements and aligns with business needs and project strategies. A diversity of skills and perspectives on a team can be a determining factor in the success of a startup.

Finally, the business idea must be disruptive and revolutionary. Only with an innovative and unusual idea can you hope to compete in an established sector and stand out from the competition. The ability to offer something unique and differentiated is essential to capture the market’s attention and create significant impact.

Investment and funding: the key to the success of Honduran startups

Startups become engines of innovation and economic development. However, achieving success in this competitive environment goes beyond brilliant ideas and flawless execution; The key lies in adequate investment and financing.

One of the main difficulties faced by Honduran startups is accessing the capital needed to start and expand their operations. Entrepreneurs often face obstacles when trying to get traditional funding from financial institutions, forcing them to look for alternatives such as angel investors, venture capital funds and accelerator programs.

Angel investors play a crucial role in this scenario. These individuals, often successful entrepreneurs or experienced professionals, provide seed funding and strategic guidance to early-stage startups. Their support not only covers financial needs, but also provides valuable knowledge and connections that contribute to the company’s growth.

IN ADDITION: Modern problems of the entrepreneur

In addition, venture capital funds are becoming increasingly important in financing Honduran startups. These funds, backed by institutional investors, focus on financing companies with high growth potential in exchange for equity participation. Their long-term growth orientation and willingness to take risks can be vital to the development of promising startups.

On the other hand, accelerator programs offer a valuable avenue for funding and growth for startups. These programs provide startups with access to resources, mentorship, and seed funding in exchange for an equity stake. In addition to funding, accelerator programs help test a business model, refine a go-to-market strategy, and prepare startups for scaling.

Therefore, investment and funding are essential for the success of Honduran startups. Access to capital through angel investors, venture capital funds or accelerator programs can make the difference between a startup’s failure and success. By ensuring a steady flow of funding and support, Honduras can cultivate a vibrant and promising business ecosystem for startups.

In Honduras, the promotion of technology startups has been a priority since the creation of the first accelerators and support programs in 2017. One of the prominent projects in this area is the Honduran Digital Challenge, an initiative designed to give Honduran entrepreneurs access to seed capital, training and scholarships, that enable them to become technology entrepreneurs and turn their business ideas into reality.

Consolidation and growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country has been strengthened by these initiatives focused on areas such as automation, information technology and software development, mobile applications and video games. Powered by the Startup Foundation, a non-profit organization with notable achievements including training 7 generations of entrepreneurs, pre-incubating 280 startups, incubating 90 companies, training 1,053 tech entrepreneurs, and providing $387,000 in seed capital to the digital sector.

This ongoing commitment to supporting technology startups has had a significant impact on the Honduran business landscape, paving the way for growth and innovation in the country’s technology sector.

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