When people talk about the factors that lead to a thriving venture capital ecosystem, they normally mention proximity to a top institution of higher learning, flexible immigration policies, access to capital, and a talented labor pool.
But what about the role of the press?
I would argue that the press plays an equally important role in the development and growth of any venture capital ecosystem.
Though the format in which information is delivered has changed--from magazines to blogs--the essential role of the press, in disseminating that information, has remained the same.
While there are numerous excellent sources to choose from in the United States, including: PEHub, VentureBeat, AlwaysOn, GigaOM, Read Write Web, Mashable, TechCrunch, and others, there has historically been a lack of information in Brazil.
That is why I was so happy when I first learned of the existence of Startupi.
Startupi, whose name derives from the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation of the word, "start-up", is a site dedicated to covering the nascent Brazilian start-up scene.
Startupi is important because it provides Brazilian entrepreneurs, start-ups, and venture capitalists with a source of news, ideas, know-how, and inspiration.
Since I believe strongly in the role of the press in creating a thriving venture capital ecosystem, I recently contributed a presentation to Startupi, Understanding Venture Capital, which attempts to orient entrepreneurs on the logic underpinning the practice of venture capital.
As a member of the start-up/venture capital ecosystem in Brazil, I see it as my duty to help them build a vibrant community and hope that my contribution will stimulate others to begin contributing material to support their efforts.
Aside from Startupi, two other sites that feature information for start-ups in Portuguese are Julio Vasconcelos' blog for Globo, Acelerando a Inovacao, and Read Write Web Brasil, which just launched a Portuguese language site a few weeks ago.
With the rapid growth and professionalization of the Brazilian start-up scene, I wouldn't be surprised if these blogs were to join the ranks of the Mashable and TechCrunch's of the world in the not too distant future! :)