Inscriptions for this year’s edition of Desafio Brasil are underway!
Desfio Brasil is the most comprehensive program in the nation for promoting early-stage technological innovation and entrepreneurship. The Brazilian leg of Desafío Intel, the program promotes education and community empowerment. It is an introductory platform for entrepreneurial culture and unexplored perspectives of innovation, reaching across all of Brazil.
This year’s challenge is headed by Adalberto Brandão, COO of the Center for Study on Private Equity and Venture Capital of FGV (out of GVcepe). A number of venture capitalists and angel investors will act as judges and mentors throughout the process, and VISA, Intel, Fapeam and Sebrae will sponsor.
Several high-impact startups have emerged from Desafio Brasil in the past. Online segmentation platform Navegg came in 5th place at the challenge’s final event in 2009 and was acquired by Buscapé last year. Past participant MeuCarrinho, an online supermarket website, has also worked successfully with Buscapé, receiving R$300,000 from the Brazilian company as part of its Sua Ideia Vale Um Milhão challenge.
Training & Education
One of the main focuses of Desafio Brasil is to educate. Participants are provided instruction and training on product pitching, the lean startup method, business models, management principals, business plans and funding access. Startups are also given access to mentors and are required to attend at least two mentoring sessions during their time with Desafio Brasil.
Organizers have also set their sights on educating the world at large and spreading the word in Brazil to those outside of its technology ecosystem. To that end, many members of the GVcepe team plan to carry out research and studies on the goings-on of the challenge, applying academic formulas to entrepreneurs to determine their validity and analyzing workflows. Their findings will be published and disseminated following the event.
Desafio Brasil will also prove an important networking opportunity for those involved, the aim being to connect new entrepreneurs with their peers as well as investors, institutions, organizations and more experienced startup professionals.
Several initiatives have been set up, including the GVcepe Investor Network, which will host events that bring together startups and potential sources of funding. XTREPRENEUR meetings will set the stage for novice and veteran entrepreneurs to meet, and Dinner with the CEO and Meet the Venture Capitalist will give startups the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with important professionals.
Last, but certainly not least, participants will compete for a number of prizes.
The main contest is the Technology Startup Competition. Through several regional and national events, startups will be evaluated according to executive summary, elevator pitch, business plan and presentation. Rewards for winners include cash prizes, travel and tickets to various international startup and technology events, hours of advising and entry into acceleration programs. A full list of the prizes can be found here.
This year, Desafio Brasil will also introduce its Elevator Pitch Competition, in which the audience will evaluate 60-second elevator pitch videos submitted by startup teams. R$1,000 will go to the creators of the winning pitch.
The Road Ahead
As mentioned, inscriptions for Desafio Brasil are open until July 9th. From there, applications will be considered during the first screening process, and those that emerge from that process will spend August undergoing mentoring in order to submit business plans in September. Regional finals will be held throughout that month, and on October 10th, the national winner will be selected.
The victor of Desafio Brasil will attend Desafío Intel in November and compete with startups and enterprises from around Latin America.
There are a number of ways to participate in Desafio Brasil, not only for entrepreneurs but also for potential judges, sponsors and volunteers as well. Check out the Desafio Brasil website to find out more about how you can get involved.