An eager group of Latin American entrepreneurs landed in San Francisco this weekend, ready to get rolling with YouNoodle Camp as part of the 2013 edition of Desafio Intel. We at PulsoSocial will follow the group throughout their experience.
Desafio Intel finalists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela will take part in the four-week program, which kicks off today. Participants will receive mentoring and training from la crème de la crème of Silicon Valley. They will also take part in a Desafio Intel Demo Day.
Of the eight projects in the running, three will eventually be announced the winners. They will be awarded a wide range of prizes, including another opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley and compete for US$100,000 as part of Desafio Intel Global at UC Berkeley.
Rebeca Hwang, the Co-founder and CEO of YouNoodle, outlined what the Desafio Intel entrepreneurs can expect from the camp:
YouNoodle Camp is an intensive crash-course in entrepreneurship where campers are told to expect the unexpected. Each week brings a new set of twists and turns where assumptions are questioned, ideas tested, and new partnerships formed. The overarching goal is for everyone to leave with a solid set of entrepreneurial tools and understanding of best practices to take their companies to the next level. That being said, when you put a group of movers and shakers like this in a room together for four weeks, the results are always surprising!
She went on to say:
The impact of YouNoodle Camp goes far beyond the final Demo Day. The individual campers return to their home countries as ambassadors of change. They host events to share their experiences with their local communities and inspire others to chase their entrepreneurial dreams. They are part of a larger movement to invigorate entrepreneurship around the world.
Meet the Finalists
Here are the eight Latin American startups and the entrepreneurs representing them at YouNoodle camp as part of this year’s Desafio Intel:
WeHaus –Argentina – Gastón Farías. The company offers home automation services, tools and apps to help users control their homes from tablets, smartphones or PCs. Home automation made simple.
LUX Sensor – Brazil – Thierry Cintra. This startup is developing an Opto-Electro-Mechanical system to analyze fluids and gas by measuring refraction index using a high sensibility method patented by UNICAMP. The system is the solution for fuel-optimized engine control for the fuel quality needed by automakers to achieve the efficiencies and performance levels required by government entities.
Mobile Monitoring Station – Chile – Mauricio Contreras and Alex Blum. The startup gathers information on worker-related variables, such as heart rate and air pollutants, with wearable sensors that upload readings into a centralized cloud service. A service business model with a cloud-based interface and leased hardware, Mobile Monitoring Station gives clients a streamlined, simplified experience.
Whelmo – Colombia – John Jairo and Adriana Ascencio. Whelmo is a lightweight bracelet that wirelessly monitors harms and risks to a baby’s health. It measures heart rate, oxygen levels and location, sending all information gathered to a mobile device.
Modular Thoracic Strap for the Automated Monitoring of Vital Signs – Costa Rica – José Pablo Soto. Also in the medical field, this project is dedicated to detecting potential health problems, alerting individuals of vital signs in the exact moment of crisis through a modular thoracic band based on medical parameters. The device facilitates the work of those responsible for the care of patients with certain physical limitations.
SchoolControl – Mexico – Arali Camacho, Rubén Jiménez and Tirso Martínez. The ninth-place project of this year’s PS10, SchoolControl is a communications platform through which teachers, students and parents can find information like grades, announcements, calendars, events, reports, homework and more. Information can be accessed via PCs and mobile devices.
FractalUp – Peru – Marcos Vargas y Steven Vargas. FractalUp simplifies the learning process, helping users learn more, faster and free.
Appetite+ – Venezuela – Benjamin Blank. Appetite+ is a social network for app discovery that allows users see into their friends’ iPhones to find great apps.
Mexico Gets an Extra Spot
Because of the high volume of applications from Mexico, YouNoodle Camp will include one additional Mexican startup – Eyehunt – into the mix. Eyehunt is a smart platform that recommends and matches qualified candidates from creative fields (architecture, art, design, photography, video, web, etc.) with the best job opportunities in Mexico.
Make sure to follow what’s going on with Desafio Intel on PulsoSocial in the weeks to come. You’ll want to check out the contest Facebook page, too.