A Colombian music startup took the first-place prize in an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) competition for the most-promising, young, tech-based companies in Latin America. Stereotheque and its founder/CEO Tomás Uribe will receive $10,000 USD to help fund the project and a trip to the MIT Technology Review‘s upcoming Emtech 2016 conference at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
What sets Stereotheque apart from some similar music services— and helped it win this first-ever INTALENT event — is its geography-based approach. It aims to help listeners discover new music with a bias towards local acts. In addition to introducing them to artists, the app also shows them how the act fits in with the history and evolution of the area sound.
Uribe, a Javeriana University graduate who founded the startup along with three other entrepreneurs, then adds the user’s known music preferences — as well as a little bit of randomness — to help identify the artists most likely to make their head nod. Combined, its ingenuity and potential were enough to help Stereotheque beat out the other 679 entries from 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The quantity and quality of entrepreneurs that participated on INTALENT and the projection capacity of the winners reflect the enormous potential of this sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, and its importance for cultural integration and regional connectivity,” said IDB in a statement.
The IDB, which launched INTALENT as a part of its Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL), created the competition to help showcase regional projects that have both business potential and creativity in terms of intellectual property. It is especially interested in highlighting startups that can foster integration throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.