ABOUT

US

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Mission and value proposition

IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. We promote development through the private sector by identifying, supporting, testing and piloting new solutions to development challenges and seeking to create opportunities for the poor and vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

IDB Lab uses flexible tools to test scalable innovations that drive economic and social inclusion. It seeks to catalyze new industries and business models that create quality jobs, improve the productivity of small firms, or expand essential products and services to vulnerable populations. IDB Lab is the only regional entity fully dedicated to fostering innovation in LAC.

IDB Group

The IDB Group is the leading source of development finance in Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps to improve lives by providing solutions to the region’s most pressing challenges. The IDB Group is comprised of the IDB, IDB Invest, and IDB Lab, improving lives by working with different clients. IDB is the Group’s public arm, working with national and local governments. IDB Invest is the private arm, working with the region’s companies. IDB Lab is the group’s innovation lab, working with entrepreneurs and innovators.

As the entity specializing in innovation, IDB Lab offers the rest of the IDB Group a platform for proof of concepts, experimentation, early stage investments, and market solutions that can later be scaled by IDB, IDB Invest or external partners.

IDB

IDB Invest

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Leadership team

Irene Arias foto
Irene Arias Hofman
CEO
https://www.linkedin.com/in/iarias/

Irene  Arias  Hofman leads  IDB  Lab  since January  2018. IDB  Lab, as  the  innovation laboratory of the IDB Group, mobilizes financing, knowledge, and connections to co-create experimental projects and support entrepreneurs with a potential for impact at great scale, benefiting  populations that are vulnerable due to economic, social, or environmental factors.

Previously, she developed her career working for more than 20 years with the World Bank Group, specifically with the IFC, the largest international development institution focused on the private sector. There, Irene had investment responsibilities with global reach and also focused on Latin America and the Caribbean. She managed the IFC's largest portfolio -US$ 16 billion -and  annual investment programs of more than US$ 6 billion. Her focus has been on innovation, venture capital, and fintech.

Toshitaka Takeuchi - BID LAB
Toshitaka Takeuchi
Principal Advisor
https://www.linkedin.com/in/toshitaka-takeuchi-4a298719/

Toshitaka Takeuchi is Principal Advisor to IDB Lab’s CEO. Toshitaka focuses on impactful innovative private sector-led solutions and the scaling of innovation with the public sector to promote sustainable economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In his current position, he supports IDB Lab’s operational management and transversal administrative improvement to strengthen its function and sustainability as the IDB Group’s innovation laboratory.

Prior to joining IDB Lab, he was Senior Director responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean in Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA), where he worked to extend sovereign loans and grants for infrastructure and disaster risk management projects in the region. He marked twenty years of career development mainly in Japanese cooperation agencies to developing countries, with increasing responsibilities, apart from his previous work with the IDB in the expansion of the Public-Private Partnership Facility in the Vice Presidency for Countries (VPC) as well as the development of a co-financing mechanism for geothermal energy and energy efficiency in the Energy Division (ENE).

He has a MA in Leadership from Georgetown University, a MA in Financial Economics from Comillas Pontificial University in Spain and a BA in Economics from Waseda University in Japan.
 

Nobu Otsuka - IDB LAB
Nobu Otsuka
Finance and Administration
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nobu-otsuka-b4a3b414

Nobu Otsuka has been working for the IDB Group for over 20 years, taking different positions including Financial Sector Specialist and Counselor for the Executive Director for Japan at IDB, and Investment Officer, Value Chain Topic Lead and Social Entrepreneurship Topic Lead at IDB Lab. Mostly at the Laboratory, he structured, implemented, and evaluated numerous micro and small enterprise development projects throughout the LAC region, whose topics include micro-finance, capital markets, inclusive business, seed/venture capital, accelerators, SME finance, high-growth entrepreneurship, corporate venturing, and open innovation. He has also engaged in research on high-impact firms and SME's effects on poverty reduction. Nobu holds graduate degrees from ESADE Business School in Spain and Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the USA, and a B.A. from Sophia University in Japan.

Yuri Soares - BID LAB
Yuri Soares
Strategy and Impact
https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuri-soares-ab087127/

Yuri is Chief of the Strategy and Impact Unit, where he is responsible for leading all aspects of corporate strategy and for measurement and reporting on impact. He also leads the development of strategic communications and connections, as one of the three main instruments offered by the Lab, alongside financing and knowledge. Previously he served as Chief of the Laboratory's Climate Smart Agriculture Unit, where he managed the design and implementation of projects in agriculture value chain, agritech innovation, and environmental assets and natural capital. Yuri has also led IDB Lab's development effectiveness agenda.

Before joining the Laboratory, Yuri was Principal Advisor at the Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE) of the IDB, where he worked on topics related to private sector development and finance, active labor market programs, housing and neighborhood improvement, justice reform, citizen security and violence, and education policy. Yuri holds a PhD in Economics from Michigan State University and a MA in Agricultural Economics from the University of Florida. He has worked in the US and Brazil, where he has published on topics such as firm innovation and growth, agriculture, crime and violence, youth training and active labor market programs, and the economics of public amenities.
 

Magdalena Coronel
Magdalena Coronel
Investment
https://www.linkedin.com/in/magdalenacoronel/

Magdalena Coronel has more than 15 years of angel investing, venture capital, and investment banking experience both in the United States and Latin America. Magdalena started her career as a Venture Capital Analyst with Prosperitas Capital Partners, a fund manager investing in early-stage tech companies located in Uruguay. Subsequently, she became VentureStart Program Manager at the Regional Technology Alliance in Sacramento, California to later transition to Director with the Institute of the Americas, where she was responsible for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. Since 2018 she was a member of Houlihan Lokey, advising clients in valuation matters, until she joined IDB Lab as a Senior Investment Officer, leading the direct equity arm of the Lab, in December 2020.

Magdalena also co-founded a 35-member angel investor network with a focus on deal flow from Argentina, Colombia, and Uruguay, and was a Business Fellow from Partners of the Americas and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in 2011. Ms. Coronel holds a B.A. in Economics from Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay, and a Master’s degree in Business and Administration from NYU Stern.

Cesar Buenadicha mugshot
Cesar Buenadicha
Discovery
https://www.linkedin.com/in/c%C3%A9sar-buenadicha-0521a810/

César Buenadicha is the head of the Discovery Unit at the IDB Lab, leading the work of the laboratory in the identification and co-creation of high-impact innovations and ventures that facilitate the socioeconomic inclusion of vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. In his previous work at the IDB, César worked as an advisor to the Manager of the Department of the Social Sector and as a specialist at the IDB Lab, promoting different programs of public-private collaboration, social inclusion and digital innovation in different countries of the region.

César holds a PhD in Economics from UNED (Spain) with a doctoral thesis “Analysis of scalability in development projects”, and has a degree in Law and in Economic and Business Sciences from the University of Comillas (ICADE E-3, in Spain ). For ten years, César worked in Honduras, El Salvador and Bolivia in productive development and employment programs with Spanish and Dutch cooperation. He previously dedicated several professional years to the private sector as a lawyer for the international firm Clifford Chance in Madrid.
 

Irene Arias foto
Irene Arias Hofman
CEO
https://www.linkedin.com/in/iarias/

Irene  Arias  Hofman leads  IDB  Lab  since January  2018. IDB  Lab, as  the  innovation laboratory of the IDB Group, mobilizes financing, knowledge, and connections to co-create experimental projects and support entrepreneurs with a potential for impact at great scale, benefiting  populations that are vulnerable due to economic, social, or environmental factors.

Previously, she developed her career working for more than 20 years with the World Bank Group, specifically with the IFC, the largest international development institution focused on the private sector. There, Irene had investment responsibilities with global reach and also focused on Latin America and the Caribbean. She managed the IFC's largest portfolio -US$ 16 billion -and  annual investment programs of more than US$ 6 billion. Her focus has been on innovation, venture capital, and fintech.

Toshitaka Takeuchi - BID LAB
Toshitaka Takeuchi
Principal Advisor
https://www.linkedin.com/in/toshitaka-takeuchi-4a298719/

Toshitaka Takeuchi is Principal Advisor to IDB Lab’s CEO. Toshitaka focuses on impactful innovative private sector-led solutions and the scaling of innovation with the public sector to promote sustainable economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In his current position, he supports IDB Lab’s operational management and transversal administrative improvement to strengthen its function and sustainability as the IDB Group’s innovation laboratory.

Prior to joining IDB Lab, he was Senior Director responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean in Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA), where he worked to extend sovereign loans and grants for infrastructure and disaster risk management projects in the region. He marked twenty years of career development mainly in Japanese cooperation agencies to developing countries, with increasing responsibilities, apart from his previous work with the IDB in the expansion of the Public-Private Partnership Facility in the Vice Presidency for Countries (VPC) as well as the development of a co-financing mechanism for geothermal energy and energy efficiency in the Energy Division (ENE).

He has a MA in Leadership from Georgetown University, a MA in Financial Economics from Comillas Pontificial University in Spain and a BA in Economics from Waseda University in Japan.
 

Nobu Otsuka - IDB LAB
Nobu Otsuka
Finance and Administration
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nobu-otsuka-b4a3b414

Nobu Otsuka has been working for the IDB Group for over 20 years, taking different positions including Financial Sector Specialist and Counselor for the Executive Director for Japan at IDB, and Investment Officer, Value Chain Topic Lead and Social Entrepreneurship Topic Lead at IDB Lab. Mostly at the Laboratory, he structured, implemented, and evaluated numerous micro and small enterprise development projects throughout the LAC region, whose topics include micro-finance, capital markets, inclusive business, seed/venture capital, accelerators, SME finance, high-growth entrepreneurship, corporate venturing, and open innovation. He has also engaged in research on high-impact firms and SME's effects on poverty reduction. Nobu holds graduate degrees from ESADE Business School in Spain and Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the USA, and a B.A. from Sophia University in Japan.

Yuri Soares - BID LAB
Yuri Soares
Strategy and Impact
https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuri-soares-ab087127/

Yuri is Chief of the Strategy and Impact Unit, where he is responsible for leading all aspects of corporate strategy and for measurement and reporting on impact. He also leads the development of strategic communications and connections, as one of the three main instruments offered by the Lab, alongside financing and knowledge. Previously he served as Chief of the Laboratory's Climate Smart Agriculture Unit, where he managed the design and implementation of projects in agriculture value chain, agritech innovation, and environmental assets and natural capital. Yuri has also led IDB Lab's development effectiveness agenda.

Before joining the Laboratory, Yuri was Principal Advisor at the Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE) of the IDB, where he worked on topics related to private sector development and finance, active labor market programs, housing and neighborhood improvement, justice reform, citizen security and violence, and education policy. Yuri holds a PhD in Economics from Michigan State University and a MA in Agricultural Economics from the University of Florida. He has worked in the US and Brazil, where he has published on topics such as firm innovation and growth, agriculture, crime and violence, youth training and active labor market programs, and the economics of public amenities.
 

Magdalena Coronel
Magdalena Coronel
Investment
https://www.linkedin.com/in/magdalenacoronel/

Magdalena Coronel has more than 15 years of angel investing, venture capital, and investment banking experience both in the United States and Latin America. Magdalena started her career as a Venture Capital Analyst with Prosperitas Capital Partners, a fund manager investing in early-stage tech companies located in Uruguay. Subsequently, she became VentureStart Program Manager at the Regional Technology Alliance in Sacramento, California to later transition to Director with the Institute of the Americas, where she was responsible for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. Since 2018 she was a member of Houlihan Lokey, advising clients in valuation matters, until she joined IDB Lab as a Senior Investment Officer, leading the direct equity arm of the Lab, in December 2020.

Magdalena also co-founded a 35-member angel investor network with a focus on deal flow from Argentina, Colombia, and Uruguay, and was a Business Fellow from Partners of the Americas and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in 2011. Ms. Coronel holds a B.A. in Economics from Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay, and a Master’s degree in Business and Administration from NYU Stern.

Cesar Buenadicha mugshot
Cesar Buenadicha
Discovery
https://www.linkedin.com/in/c%C3%A9sar-buenadicha-0521a810/

César Buenadicha is the head of the Discovery Unit at the IDB Lab, leading the work of the laboratory in the identification and co-creation of high-impact innovations and ventures that facilitate the socioeconomic inclusion of vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. In his previous work at the IDB, César worked as an advisor to the Manager of the Department of the Social Sector and as a specialist at the IDB Lab, promoting different programs of public-private collaboration, social inclusion and digital innovation in different countries of the region.

César holds a PhD in Economics from UNED (Spain) with a doctoral thesis “Analysis of scalability in development projects”, and has a degree in Law and in Economic and Business Sciences from the University of Comillas (ICADE E-3, in Spain ). For ten years, César worked in Honduras, El Salvador and Bolivia in productive development and employment programs with Spanish and Dutch cooperation. He previously dedicated several professional years to the private sector as a lawyer for the international firm Clifford Chance in Madrid.