#GEC2013: Start-Up Brasil Launches Call for Startups

At the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Rio de Janeiro yesterday, Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Marco Antonio Raupp officially opened the call for projects for Start-Up Brasil. The organization has set in motion a search for 100 new and innovative companies to join the first edition of its program, Globo.com reports.

This announcement comes as part of the larger TI Maior initiative, through which the Brazilian government has pledged to dedicate US$250 million to software and IT through 2015. Start-Up Brasil will support projects with both private and public resources for up to a year in preparing them to enter into the market.

It will count on the nine accelerators chosen to join the program to help the selected companies succeed as well: 21212 (Rio de Janeiro), Aceleratech (São Paulo),Microsoft Participações (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Rio Grande do Norte and Rio Grande do Sul), Papaya (Rio de Janeiro), Pipa (Rio de Janeiro),Wayra (São Paulo), Fumsoft (Minas Gerais), Outsource (Rio de Janeiro) and StarYouUP (Espírito Santo).

Program Coordinator Rafael Moreira enumerated the initiative’s goals of strengthening Brazil’s startup ecosystem, increasing competition and stimulating economic development.

Who, What, When

Start-Up Brasil is open to companies that develop innovative products or services using IT tools, software and/or services as part of the proposed solution. Startups from Brazil and abroad are welcome to apply, provided that they have been operating for no more than three years.

The companies selected will receive US$100,000 (R$200,000) grants for research, development and innovation, and they will also be eligible to receive additional resources of up to US$500,000 (R$1 million).

“Our goal is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to build bridges, for example, between young people who are full of ideas and universities with advanced technology projects,” Virgilio Almeida, Secretary of Information Technology Policy, told one Brazilian publication. “The intention is to position Brazil as a global development player and deliver products with high added value. We are acting in a key sector for Brazil, digital economy. In 2012, the area grew 10.8%, while the economy as a whole grew roughly 1%.”

Start-Up Brasil will begin accepting submissions on March 31st. Find out more and apply on the program website.