The Peru Venture Capital Conference starts today in Lima, Peru with the aim of attracting more investment in tech and innovation and ending dependence on the export of raw materials.

The Peru Venture Capital Conference (PVCC) runs from today until tomorrow, and it is a physical manifestation of Peru’s broader mandate of reallocating resources from raw materials extraction to knowledge-based and innovation sectors.

As the biggest event of its kind in Peru, the conference will highlight key entrepreneurs and VCs from all over the world including:

  • Paul Singh, Chief Hustler at Result Junkies
  • Claire Delauney, Co-Founder of OTTO, and Director of Engineering at Uber
  • Chris Heivly, CEO of The Startup Factory and Co-Founder of MapQuest, the latter was sold to AOL for $1.2B
  • Dave Blakely, Co-Founder and Partner at Mach49 and successful business leader in “Smart Products”
  • Nelson Gray, Chairman at Firth Ventures and was recognized as the European Business Angel of the Year in 2008

With the PVCC, Peru also looks move up on par with its Pacific Alliance neighbors of Mexico, Colombia, and Chile in terms of investment and innovation while providing greater opportunities for Peruvians to work in technology to the benefit of the economy.

Dependency on raw materials is not sufficient to sustain a thriving economy, as shown by the economic concept Dutch Disease, and the Peru VCC is an important step to encourage the growth of an innovation ecosystem in Peru.

Over the past decade, Peru has been one of the fastest growing economies in the region, with an average growth rate of 5.9%, according to the World Bank. However, the country has seen a negative trade balance of $3.76 billion in imports and exports, due mainly to its dependence on exporting raw materials such as gold, refined petroleum, and copper.

The objective of the PVCC promoters; which include Cofide, the Peruvian Development Bank, the Ministry of Production, and UTEC; is to allocate part of the capital to invest in the economy by beefing-up the country’s innovation ecosystem.

The conference will highlight four basic themes:

  • Community – how to build a community around an entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Angel Investment – how to demonstrate best practices and creating value as an Angel Investor
  • Corporate Innovation – how enterprises can work together with, and invest in, startups
  • Venture Capital – how VCs operate and how to invest in a VC fund

The conference, which is also supported by the Director of Innovation at Peru’s Ministry of Production, Gonzalo Villaran, is a two-day event starting on Tuesday at the Domos BoulevArt venue in the San Miguel District of Lima.