Uruguay has 1 city in the top 1000 and is one of South America’s best countries for setting up a startup.
Uruguay’s startup scene saw an increase in 2023 and jumped 1 spot from the previous year, outranking Malta.
Uruguay’s main startup ecosystem advantage is the country’s stability. Surrounded by nations facing ongoing economic and political crises, Uruguay is an island of certainty. Hence, it is no surprise that Uruguay’s startup ecosystem has promising potential, especially with dLocal, the country’s first startup to exit with a valuation above US$ 1 billion, as well as the arrival of Argentinian entrepreneurs such as Marcos Galperin of MercadoLibre.
The Universities in Uruguay are involved in the ecosystem with accelerator programs such as CIE-ORT, Fundación Julio Ricaldon, and ITHAKA. The Universidad ORT Uruguay was home to the founders of several successful startups, such as Maximiliano Casal of Newports, the Mexico-based unicorn and a digital-freight forwarder. If Maximiliano had stayed in Uruguay, Newports would be a success story for the country.
The government supports the startup ecosystem through various programs and initiatives, including funding research and applied sciences projects, a support platform with participation of private and public sector organizations and state-run agencies. One example is the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII), working on a mission to encourage new ideas with grants and tools for entrepreneurs. However, the government should be more involved in developing initiatives for the ecosystem to ensure local talent stays in the country. While working on such initiatives it is important not to focus solely on the capital city, but to nurture seed activities in other cities to make entrepreneurship a national phenomenon.
Another way that the public sector can support the growth of the ecosystem is by creating more opportunities for startups to acquire funding. This can be done by activating private sector stakeholders while improving the country’s regulatory and digital infrastructure. As the country improves in these areas, it should promote itself to foreign entrepreneurs and investors as a fertile place to scale regional and global startups. The country already has many unique advantages to promote, such as the exceptional internet connectivity, high literacy rates, a strong tech sector, good cooperation with other countries, and startups that excel in AI and gaming.
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Uruguay is ranked within the top 100 startup ecosystems globally.
Uruguay’s startup scene is best represented in Software and Data, Fintech, and in Ecommerce & and Retail.
|2023 National Rank & Change||City||Global Rank & Change||Total Score||Quantity Score||Quality Score||Business Score|
On our map, you can explore a total of 10 startups for Software and Data.
In South America, Uruguay's Fintech is in top 62. Uruguay has a concentration of about 7 of the region's total Fintech startups that are represented on our map.
Our database contains 7 for Ecommerce & Retail in Uruguay.
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