Brazilian Start-ups Competition
With the world economy in turmoil, both investors and university students are currently assessing the best route for success. Economies once considered rock solid are showing signs of cracking, such as the slowdown in Chinese purchasing power the past year. Even the dollar has fallen on the exchange market against the Brazilian real, a surprise considering the fragile state of politics here, with Brazil in the midst of a presidential impeachment.
It is clear from the current slowdown in the world economy that the transition predicted by Alvin Toffler in his seminal work Future Shock is coming to fruition. The world is moving away from the manufacturing juggernaut heralded by the 19th century’s industrial revolution and moving toward a service-oriented economy. The world’s factories are being replaced by office workers with manicures who produce nothing other than paperwork.
Amid this vast transformation in the job market, everyone is trying to second-guess where the latest trends will be. Investors want to know what companies and industries are safe to invest in. Meanwhile, young people need to know which program of study they should follow to have the best chances for future employment.
What has emerged in the past few years as the hottest area for both investors and students worldwide is technology “Start-ups.” This new word arose a few years ago to represent the thousands of new ideas that are flooding into the world of technology. In fact, essentially every new technology company is a Start-up, a company before it is a company and only an idea.
It begins with one or two people dreaming of how they can get rich. If they’re smart enough, they develop a new idea, a new software app for example, or a car that runs on hydrogen gas instead of gasoline. Next, they try to share their idea with the world, even if it doesn’t mean getting rich. Microsoft and Apple were once Start-ups, just dreams in the minds of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Amazon.com, now the largest online retailer in the US, was once a Start-up created by Jeff Bezos. Facebook was a Start-up by American student Mark Zuckerberg and his Brazilian roommate at Harvard, Eduardo Saverin.
However, the new ideas never see the light of day unless they can enter the marketplace as products and become available to the public. This can only happen if someone (or many people) have the foresight to invest in the Start-up idea and provide the creators with enough money to market their product. Today, new technology Start-ups appear every day, flashing like lightening in the eyes of their creators, who hope not simply to get rich, but to change the world.
While most Start-ups never succeed, some do, and a few really do change the world. Very often, once a successful Start-up with financial investors has entered the market and its earning potential becomes evident, it is purchased by a large technology company. Google and Microsoft, for example, have purchased Start-ups in the past few years, such as LinkedIn and Skype and WhatsApp.
The multinational technology giant IBM has developed a unique way to encourage Start-ups, which is through an entrepreneurship program. The program is called SmartCamp and was created by IBM as a competitive event among Start-ups to assist in their development while promoting local entrepreneurship.
The Brazilian phase of the SmartCamp program will take place between November 23 and 24 this year in São Paulo, and IBM is now accepting applications from Brazilian Start-ups. At the competition, Start-ups will take part in activities to help them develop their business idea and improve skills to make a pitch to investors. In addition, entrepreneurs will get access to mentoring, investors, partners, and industry influencers.
To apply for the SmartCamp competition, Start-ups must have a minimum viable product, be less than five years old, and have less than U$1 million in revenue. Applications can be made until August 9 through the event’s website.
Following the online pre-selection, the winning Brazilian Start-ups will have the opportunity to participate in the Launch Festival, one of the world’s largest entrepreneurship events held in Silicon Valley, where the IBM Global SmartCamp final will take place. Last year, two Brazilian Start-ups were selected to participate in the global event – collaborative logistics developer Gadle and automotive management Nexer.
[Research for this article comes from the ZDNet website.]