''More is More,
more engagement more solutions''
Demand Solutions will close with an exciting Venture Night where some of the most innovative and disruptive startups of Latin America and the Caribbean will present their projects. The participating startups were selected through a competition and evaluated by a panel of expert judges.
In this edition of Venture Night, the startups will pitch their solutions to the audience –investors, industry experts, university students, clients, etc.- and the judges will carefully select the startup with the most potential.
Bruno is an entrepreneur, co-founder of Colab.re, a citizen-to-government engagement platform, and is also fellow at +Innovators, speaker at TEDx and mentor at Social Good Brasil Lab, an innovation and social impact entrepreneurship program. Bruno is graduated in Business Administration, post-graduated in Finance and specialist in Venture Capital by UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business. Bruno is also a CFA charterholder since October 2012.
Colab.re is a Citizen-to-Government engagement platform that works as a social network focused on citizen engagement and as a management tool for government bodies. Bruno, Gustavo Maia, Paulo Pandolfi and Josemando Sobral created Colab.re to serve as a bridge to the huge gap that exists between what people want and what governments actually do. Their mission is to transform governments from the inside, helping them to establish a new way of approaching and involving the crowd in all aspects of public management: from solving minor issues to creating new public policies.
In the platform, citizens can report issues, suggest urban improvements and new public policies, as well as rate public services in a transparent and collaborative manner. Governments use CRM, Workflow Management and Public Consultation tools to interact with city dwellers.
Colab.re was launched in March 2013, was elected World’s Best Urban App by New Cities Foundation, Top 5 m-Government and Participation Solution by UN, among many other national and global prizes. It is now used by more than 100,000 citizens in Brazil and has more than 80 municipalities, state governments, federal departments and utility companies as clients, helping to create better cities for the citizens, with the citizens. It’s now starting its Global expansion.
Javier Rincon studied Industrial Engineering at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico and GSP at Singularity University in California. Currently he is the business developer at Kangou, and before that founded 2 other startups. Along with Mick Islas, they have formed Kangou an urban cyclist shared economy solution.
Kangou is a Digital Logistics Platform that offers Local Delivery Service, connecting people, brands, companies and governments to the goods they need around the cities. Kangou is part of the Collaborative Economy—meaning that anyone with a smartphone can make money in their free time by making deliveries, whether dropping off some documents or shopping for a client at their favorite store.
The startup also provides the opportunity for unemployed, under employed, students or those who do not study to make more than $8,000 MXN per month by using their smartphone and their bikes or any transport model to make deliveries based on their own schedules. Kangou has +1,000 people in their community around Mexico; it has done 10K of deliveries in Mexico City, Guadalajara & Puebla, and +100 of businesses use Kangou to do their deliveries.
Sofia Orellano has a degree in Industrial Design from Universidad de la Empresa de Uruguay. She also attended an interaction workshop at the School of Engineering there, holds a Business English Certificate from IGCSE at Cambridge University. She is also a designer, journalist and graphic reporter.
The company Mento designs and produces modular elements for urban applications in materials with low environmental impact. These products bring together ergonomics, aesthetics and comfort with appealing anti-vandalism solutions.
Through research and the upgrading of public areas in 2012, mainly in Montevideo, Mento arose mainly as a solution to address the problem of vandalism in such areas.
Mento seeks to make city-dwellers eager to explore new paths. To do this, it uses existing technologies in an innovative ways, so as to create a new cultural space.
The company’s goal is for urban design to produce elements geared toward users. Mento addresses the demand for social interaction, its positions and needs for rest so as to turn it into a solution that brings together ergonomics, comfort and aesthetics.
The Montevideo regional government currently spends nearly a million dollars a year in cleaning urban areas marred by vandalism. With modular benches, it aims that they last more than 20 years, with little or no maintenance.
Mento seeks to promote the creation of a sense of community spirit and the decentralization of cultural activities by gaining access to a variety of public areas. The scope is determined by the population of the cities in which action is taken. According to the 2011 census, Uruguay then had a population of 3,251,526 people. Nearly 95% live in cities and towns. The numbers are similar in Argentina (91%), Brazil (84%), Chile (87%), Peru (74%) and the United States (79%). This urban growth creates a major opportunity to create areas that are pleasant and accessible for everyone.
In 2013 Mento received an award from the Uruguayan Culture Ministry.
In an effort to display versatility, when it comes to adapting to different urban settings, 15 Mento designs have been set up in Montevideo and Durazno. Mento makes pieces that are minimalist and versatile, with simple production processes for easy use and movement to other spots. They also fit in well in a variety of urban settings.
Mariana Costa studied International Relations at the London School of Economics and Public Administration at Columbia University in New York.
She founded Laboratoria in 2014 with the idea of turning the growing technology sector into a source of opportunity for more young women in Peru and elsewhere in Latin America. Since then, she has consolidated this social initiative which trains young women without access to quality higher education as web developers and hooks them up with companies that need their talent. The path has been intense, filled with challenges, achievements and learning experiences that constantly enhance the impact of the program. In 2015 Laboratoria is training 130 young women in Peru, Mexico and Chile as web designers. In the first graduating class of 30 students, more than 65% found work and tripled their income. Over the next three years the goal is to train 1,000 such women, giving them the tools to begin a career with options for upward mobility in the digital industry and thus the possibility of improving their standard of living in a sustainable way.
Laboratoria is the second startup that Mariana has undertaken along with her founding partners, Rodulfo and Herman. First came Ayu, a software development and digital innovation workshop held in Lima. She has also worked for organizations such as the Organization of American States and TechnoServe on social development projects in El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru and Kenya. She is a firm believer in the idea that social entrepreneurship is the way to bring together the best of two worlds.
Pedro Monteiro (co-founder from São Paulo), Samuel Rodrigues (co-creator, from Porto) and José Ruivo (co-founder, from Porto) met some years ago, in Rio de Janeiro, during an exchange experience. By spring of 2013, life brought Pedro to Portugal and, back together, the three friends decided to create a vegetable patch on the terrace of their workplace on Porto’s city center. Once they couldn’t find the right products for urban agriculture, they gathered their efforts and experiences on architecture and permaculture and decided to build their own equipment. The prototypes evolved, they realized they could transform them into a product and the Noocity Growbed was born!
Decided to dedicate 100% of their efforts and time to this project, Pedro and José officially founded Noocity Urban Ecology.
Later that year, sharing their idea with two long-term friends, Rafael Loschiavo (from São Paulo) and Leonor Babo (from Porto) the Noocity Urban Ecology team won two strategic partners.
Leonor developed the branding and communication area of the company and Rafael created Noocity Brasil, turning the Growbed production in that country into a reality and starting the commercialization and delivery of Noocity products all over Latin America.
Our Product: Self-watered raised bed
Noocity has sold almost 1,000 Growbeds to more than 10 different countries. In Brazil, more than a hundred units were sold, and the client list includes important schools, restaurants, specialized events and media partners.
Mario Mora is a Commercial Engineer who graduated from the University of Federico Santa María, in Chile.
He co-founded FirstJob in 2012, after having established and coordinated a job fair at his university for three years. Over the course of that period he realized there was no platform to connect students and young professionals lacking work experience with top-notch companies. After working in the innovation department of a telecoms company, he noted the importance of a person’s first job in Chile and the rest of Latin America.
FirstJob.me is a platform that hooks up students and young professionals (with up to two years of experience) with internships and jobs in major companies. In order to ease the job search, the platform incorporated tools that allow candidates to assess their skills: the use of video conferences, and tests of language skills, software and psychology. All of this helps them to understand better their strengths and weaknesses.
The goal of FirstJob.me is to export talent among Latin America and the United States, raising young people’s chances of finding their first dream job. FirstJob believes that a first job can change a young person’s life. So it offers a system in which they can connect with big companies to work part-time, using its network of contacts for sales of financial services.
As of this year, the company has a platform for universities and governments so they can create program to stimulate job creation for young people and provide them with better opportunities.
FirstJob.me has more than 100,000 users as it operates in Chile and Colombia and works with more than 100 companies.
An entrepreneur with a degree in Communications from Santiago del Estero Catholic University – DASS, Lourdes Patricia Sanchez co-founded a company that develops software products which aim to harness technological advances so as to enhance people’s quality of life.
Her work earned her a certificate of honor from the Argentine Senate for her company’s commitment, creativity and efforts to develop an app for people who suffer from hearing loss.
In 2014 her start-up won the Sadosky – IT Industry prize for best IT entrepreneurship, and that same year it won the NAVES competition (IAE Business School) in the “emerging company” category.
uSound was also acknowledged by major institutions at the international level such as the Imagine Cup (Microsoft 2013) and MIT (“Under-35 Innovator in Argentina and Uruguay”- “Social Innovator of the Year (2014).
uSound stems from the plight of a university classmate of Patricia’s who could not afford a hearing aid. His disability prevented him from doing such basic things as communicating and getting an education. Often, he could not arrive at class in time to sit in the front row and hear his professors better, so he decided to drop out of school. The dilemma had a major impact on Patricia and her team. So they started working to bring together health, technology and knowledge garnered at the university in order to create an innovative product and offer it as an affordable alternative for people who, like Patricia’s classmate, wanted to move ahead in life. The process began with thorough research into a disability that affects 640 million people around the world to one degree or another (WHO, 2012). The team decided to dedicate itself to improving the quality of life of such people.
uSound is a software that uses the functionalities of smartphones so they work as digital hearing aids. Users can configure them by entering data regarding their audiometry – a measure of the range and sensitivity of a person’s sense of hearing, or they can carry out a hearing test with the app itself. The phone captures sound; uSound compensates for specific frequencies and plays back the adjusted sound over headphones in real time. It is also possible to use Bluetooth headphones, leave the smartphone near a source of sound and hear it at a distance, for instance in order to attend a school class.
uSound has been downloaded more than 200,000 times and has more than 10,000 active users in 150 countries.
Juan Andrés Lagrange Delfino is a Systems Engineer with a degree from Metropolitan University in Caracas, Venezuela. He has taken courses in leadership, management and negotiation in universities such as Harvard Law School, ESADE and the Universidad of Carlos III, in Madrid, Spain.
In 2012, he founded Akdemia, a company that produces management software for the education sector. It was one of 10 companies chosen by the Wayra startup accelerator program. In 2015, he was invited to join the Agora network of social entrepreneurs, and was also named one of the 100 most influential leaders in the education-related technology sector. In 2015, was also chosen to be part of Techstars, one of the largest accelerator programs in the tech world.
The idea behind Akdemia stems from the final university year of four engineering students, who, after doing community work in an elementary school in Caracas, realized that there was a huge gap among the players that make up the education community. They learned this had a direct impact on the quality and levels of education of future generations.
In 2012 the company was officially created, and that same year these entrepreneurs were picked by Telefonica’s Open Future initiative to be part of the Wayra accelerator program. Akdemia is a technological platform developed to optimize the handling of administrative, management and communications processes in one or more schools. It is one of the few companies in the education sector that offers both Web-based and mobile services geared exclusively toward strengthening the communications and academic processes with the world of education.
Akdemia offers various features such as on-line administration of grades, viewing of graphic reports and activity calendars, a virtual classroom that allows file-sharing and thus a broadening of the education experience, the sending of large-scale communications, interaction between teachers and students and active collaboration and participation by representatives and professors. This allows information to be sent in real time, so as to benefit the education community.
Akdemia is now present in 20 schools in six cities in Peru and Venezuela. That means 4,000 students, some 28,000 padres and 600 teachers are using the system.
Javiera is a business engineer who graduated from AdolfoIbáñezUniversity, and a holds a Masters in marketing from the same school.
The start-up allGreenup stems from a desire to exert a positive impact on society by turning small ideas into big solutions. Along with Andrés Luongo and Sebastián Luongo, two other co-founders had undertaken other projects. But for various reasons they did not pan out, and it was not until this project emerged that they decided to take a risk, change their lives and become entrepreneurs.
They were moved to act by seeing that the future of Earth's environment is not sustainable. People's awareness and level of participation are low, making change more and more urgent. The founders of allGreenup are convinced that an innovative solution is needed, one which makes protecting the environment a simple, pleasant everyday task. The solution should be accessible to large numbers of people, businesses, institutions and governments rallying around a common cause – protecting the environment. This is how allGreenup started in Chile.
allGreenup is a 3.0 environmental education platform that not only provides relevant information but also helps measure environmental impact at the individual level and mobilizes users to carry out sustainable activities to win prizes or make donations. allGreenup also helps companies inspire people to observe environmentally responsible behavior, by contacting them in the exact moment they do something that is environmentally sustainable. It gives firms the option to contact users, educate them and generate a positive impact on the environment.
These days the allGreenup app has been developed for iPhone and Android and has 40,000 active users who have carried out more than 530,000 sustainable acts, more than 200 businesses where more than 10,500 benefits have been exchanged and more than 50 alliances with public and private sector organizations, both for for-profit and not-for-profit. Clients and members include Coca-Cola and Philips, with which the company carries out public awareness campaigns. Others are Deloitte and Terra, which use allGreenup to get employees active in the companies' sustainability activities.
León Hernandez is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Antioquia, Colombia. For the past two years he has engaged in entrepreneurial activities with his partner Daniel Cano, and now they are focused on the startup Cautoh, offering a product that benefits users and the community in general.
There are times when people drink in moderation such as in restaurants, social gatherings or even in business meetings. They may wonder if they should drive or not, or how much time must elapse before they can. This is the problem that Cautoh is seeking to resolve. It is one that affects not just the person who drinks but society in general if that person turns out to be a danger to other drivers.
Hernandez and Cano developed an alcohol measuring device that is integrated into cellphones in order to tell people their blood alcohol level at any given time. It also provides information on alternative transport options like taxis or designated drivers so as not to put themselves or others at risk. Cautoh feels that drunk driving is a problem that should be tackled not just with punitive measures but also with prevention, giving people the ability to make decisions based on accurate information.
They have made the app available for free so that people can calculate their blood alcohol level by entering into the phone data on how much they have drunk and their body weight. So far there are 100 satisfied users. Cautoh hopes to expand through the rest of Latin America.
Marcelo Wilkorwsky holds an MBA from the University of Barcelona, Spain; a Masters in Finance (2012-2013 ) - IEBS Business School, Madrid, Spain; a Masters in Digital Marketing and Communication on Social Media (2011-2012 ) - Esden Business School;a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Trade (2007-2010 ) from the Universidadde la Empresa.Graduated Magna Cum Laude.
In 2011 Marcelo Wilkorwsky, CEO and co-founder of Oincs, created a Twitter account with a simple mission: to work as a crossroads where people working together could stay up to date on what was happening out on the city’s streets, in real time.
In a matter of days the account went viral. Major news media quickly showed interest, which fueled the user community’s growth and helped the account consolidate itself as a go-to place for information on traffic.
Having demonstrated the usefulness of digital platforms to meet the need to travel more safely and without surprises, the next step was to create a mobile application that would resolve problems related to mobility and public safety around the world. This is how Oincs came into being.
Oincs is a platform designed to look after users and make them aware of what is happening out on the street. It works with the cooperation of the user community itself, which shares and updates information in real time to the benefit of all.
Less than two years after its launch, Oincs boasts more than 110,000 registered users, making it the most frequently downloaded app in Uruguay. It reached the top three of the App Store in 11 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and has won many distinctions and awards. They include one granted by the Uruguayan Chamber of Information Technologies (CUTI in Spanish) for the best software product of 2014. The Oincs team is now working on expansion plans and developing new functionalities.
Caribbean Transit Solutions Inc.
Khalil Bryan, cofounder of Caribbean Transit Solutions (CTS), is a former management consultant for PwC in New York City and has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business (Canada) and an undergraduate Computer Engineering Degree from Howard University (Washington, DC).?
Coming from an island known for sun, sea and sand this Barbadian startup is making inroads in the country’s nascent technology sector. CTS is focused on solving critical public transportation problems in Barbados and the wider Caribbean region by leveraging GPS, mobile data, and internet technologies.
CTS was born out of the frustration of having no real time information available on local buses. This was especially frustrating in a country where there is strong internet and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and high mobile penetration. This was the foundation for the creation of BeepBus in 2014 (formerly EasyTransit).
Later, CTS launched their second product BeepCab after seeing a similar problem in the taxi sector where drivers and riders found it difficult to connect outside of designated taxi zones. BeepCab now allows riders to book a taxi with One Click! As of July 2015, BeepBus and BeepCab have 250 users and is growing.
Finally, CTS has a product EasyTrak, which enables insurance companies and fleet owners to better manage their insured assets and in the case of insurance companies to offer insurance discounts to their customers.
Each of these products is geared to be self-sustaining and individually valuable and as a group, they are complementary. Further, the three pillar products form the foundation upon which BeepAds, a planned advertising platform, will be built.
CTS is truly a positioned to be a global player with key members of the team being located in Barbados, South Africa and Canada. This enables us to quickly see and adapt global trends to developing markets.
Gustavo Riart has a degree in Compter Engineering from Universidad Americana de Paraguay and also studied computer science at the San Ignacio de Loyola School.
TOPA stems from an idea as to how a solve a public transport problem in Paraguay. Poor planning means buses are often not on time, causing users to waste time. That loss affects people's quality of life, exposure to danger and their productivity.
The Internet and the TOPA app display a map showing where the user is and where all buses are in real time within a three kilometer radius. This helps people know if the bus they are waiting for is close by. TOPA lets travelers filter by bus line, route, whether the bus has air conditioning and whether it is equipped for handicapped people, making the app more inclusive. Transport companies are provided with a fleet control platform.
Users wait an average of 50 minutes at bus stops. It is estimated that there are 800,000 daily users of public transport in Paraguay, five percent of who now use this app. They gain time, safety and productivity. TOPA is used by 85 transport companies that monitor their pick-up and drop-off frequency, thus improving the service they provide.
''More is More,
more engagement more solutions''
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