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IDB celebrated the third Venture Night featuring 12 startups from Latin America and the Caribbean

A Colombian startup that teaches teenagers and children how to code won the top prize

Demand Solutions Ideas for Improving Lives- the most important innovation event of the Inter-American Development Bank- closed with a Venture Night where 12 startups from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Mexico participated. Ilana Milkes, cofounder of the Colombian startup Nativo Digital won the top prize of $30,000 for being the Most Innovative Startup with Development Impact. Nativo Digital teaches teenagers and children how to code. They also won the Media for Social Impact Award, given by the PVBLIC Foundation and the award by Festival El Dorado to participate in the Festival of Colombian Creativity.

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno handed the awards for Most Innovative Startup with Development Impact, Best Pitch and Most Creative Startup with Development Impact, which also include an invitation with covered expenses to the 2017 IDB-IIC Annual Meeting in Asunción, Paraguay

The entrepreneurs pitched their startups’ innovations to an audience of more than 300 people and a jury composed of leading specialists including the Young Americas Business Trust of the Organization of American States, Latam Startups, TechSampa, The Global Good Fund, Nós 8, Creative Startups, INDEX, Grupo Cisneros, the City of Buenos Aires’ Ministry of Modernization, Innovation and Technology, Creative Business Cup and IDB Group specialists.

The startups were selected from over 500 candidates to showcase their innovative products and services at the one-day Demand Solutions event, which is designed to connect startups with investors, mentors and thought leaders.

The selected startups came to Demand Solutions in Washington D.C. thanks to a newly forged partnership with Copa Airlines.

Other awards include:

The Young Americas Business Trust of the Organization of American States awarded two startups with the Highest Potential for Global Impact a scholarship to participate in an international course at the Golda Meir Training Center in Israel. One of the scholarships went to Crista Núñez from Didart (Guatemala), a methodology that uses craft making kits to teach children culture and ethnic heritage with hands on activities, augmented reality and original materials. The second scholarship was won by Camilo Lucero from Lorapp (Colombia), a platform that allows college students to rent digital text book chapters to counter piracy from photocopies.

Camilo Lucero also won the recognition to the Startup with the Most Social Impact awarded by the Global Good Fund; the El Dorado Award to participate in the Festival of Colombian Creativity, and the People’s Choice Award, as the audience’s favorite startup.

The Going Global Award went to Carlos Mondragón of Kernaia (Mexico), a platform for the collaborative production of creative content in indigenous languages, like movies, games, and books. The prize was awarded by Creative Startups.

The award to the Startup with the Most Growth Potential was given by Latam Startups to Dwayne Campbell from BookFusion (Jamaica). BookFusion is an open global eBook platform for publishers and readers in the Caribbean.

Alex Angelini from Badabada (Brazil) pitched along with his puppet Melvis and won the award for Most Creative Startup with Development Impact, receiving a $15,000 prize awarded by the IDB. Badabada is a music education TV Show for children from 0-5 years old.

The TechSampa Brazil Award, was given by Tech Sampa Sao Paulo Business to Carla Zeltzer from the startup Fazgame (Brazil). Fazgame also won the award for the Most Disruptive Startup, given by Nós 8, and recognition for the Best Pitch with a $7,000 prize by the IDB. Fazgame is a software that allows students to create educational games without needing to know how to code.

Two additional partners that joined Demand Solutions’ Venture Night were DC based Startup Incubator 1776 and Microsoft, awarding a Surface Pro to the top three winners.

This was the fourth year that the IDB has organized Demand Solutions and the third year of Venture Night in partnership with the Blum Center, part of an effort to encourage out-of-the-box thinking to promote equitable economic development and growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. This edition of Demand Solutions focused on the transformative potential of the creative and cultural industries. The next edition of Demand Solutions and Venture Night will take place on November 15 and 16, 2016 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Registration is now open.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is the most important source of development finance and technical assistance for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Bank aims to improve the lives of people in the region by partnering with its member countries to contribute to the implementation of innovative solutions to development challenges.

About the Blum Center for Developing Economies

The Blum Center for Developing Economies was established in 2006 to serve as UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary hub for students, researchers and scholars focusing on global poverty and inequality.