The Americas: 13 to Watch in 2013

9. Zumba: Is Zumba Fitness, which was started by three Colombian guys in Miami, the model of a 21st century company? It is social, entrepreneurial, fun and global. According to Inc Magazine, which named Zumba Fitness its Company of the Year, fourteen million people in 150 countries take Zumba classes at least once a week. Expect further growth in 2013 as the company expands its music and retail clothing business.

10. Open English: The Miami-based online language-learning platform had a big year. Revenue is forecast to grow 350% this year, and in July they received $43 million from outside investors. In 2013 they will use this money to expand further in Latin America, especially Brazil, and target new countries like Russia, Turkey or China. Open English's Venezuelan founders would love to replicate some of Zumba's global success.

11. .CO: This Colombian start-up is out to break the .com monopoly of domain names. .CO (pronounced "dot co") is positioning itself as the hip domain option for startups and creatives. Since opening to the public in mid-2010, .CO has sold more than 1.3 million domain names and is poised to break the 2 million barrier in 2013. The domain market could change forever in April when up to 1,000 non-traditional internet domains (such as .mormon and .news) will be launched, and .CO expects the new domains to create more awareness about domains.

12. The FARC: The rebel group has a chance to end its decades-long war with the Colombian government thanks to current peace talks. Will they agree to demobilize in 2013? The government of President Juan Manuel Santos will want to conclude negotiations before the end of next year when campaigning for 2014 is expected to start. The clock is ticking.

13. The Drug Debate: The debate about ending the prohibition of drug use in the Americas will heat up in 2013. With new marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington and countries like Uruguay moving forward with liberal policies, officials will be forced to take a new look at the issue. Public sentiment is also shifting in favor of legalization, and while policies will take time to follow, 2013 may see the beginnings of that process.

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