From the dribbling skills of football champions like Neymar to the choreography of the samba schools during the Carnival, verve and imagination have always been strong features of Brazil’s national identity. Probably not many people though are aware that the country is Latin America’s home to high-tech creativity.
ABStartups, Brazil’s startup association, reports that in the first half of 2016 alone, more than 800 new 2.0 companies were established in the country, and that the innovative company sector already accounts for nearly 5% of Brazil’s GNP.
Which is why Enel has chosen Brazil to launch Energy Start, Latin America’s energy startup accelerator, the first of its kind in the entire continent.
This opens a new chapter in our history of open innovation, which recently featured the opening in Israel of the Innovation Hub, and over the last few years has seen the launch of initiatives like Endesa Energy Challenge in Spain and the global Enel startup project.
Looking for innovators
With Energy Start we are looking for innovative entrepreneurs operating in the energy industry who wish to develop creative solutions and work with us.
In partnership with the business accelerator Aceleratech (ACE), we intend to foster and support the growth of startups, offering them know-how, contacts with other entrepreneurs, mentoring with experts and managers in the sector and a stable relation with investors and the Energy Start acceleration staff.
The fields in which we are looking for projects and proposals are energy storage, electric mobility, the Internet of Things, solutions to improve energy efficiency and applications for new technologies applied to city infrastructure.
"Energy Start is present in Chile as well as in Brazil and will soon be launched in other Latin American countries."
To comply for Energy Start, 2.0 companies should already be working on solving an actual problem within a large market, should already have launched at least one product or developed a working prototype.
The startup selection process will run until the end of September and the winners will be allowed to become our partners or providers in that country. At the same time, Enel Brazil and ACE will partner with these companies.
Open and boundary-less innovation
The Ocean cleanup project, with the purpose of removing plastic waste from the oceans, is the brainchild of a 20-year old Dutchman. Saphonian, the first bladeless wind farm, was thought up by a young man from Malawi. In turn Liter of Light, featuring bottles turned into lamps, that we too are using in sustainability projects in Africa, was fathered by a Brazilian mechanic from Uberaba, in the state of Minas Gerais.
To seek out the most promising and revolutionary ideas one has to travel and search far afield, in order to find the single makers, the tiny start-ups or teams of innovators that come into being at every latitude.
"We firmly believe that innovative proposals from startups can respond to two needs: improve operational efficiency and develop new products"
Luciano Tommasi, Head of Start Up Initiatives and Business Incubator at Enel
We believe in innovation and the figures of our work with 2.0 companies show it. In a little more than two years we have launched 28 partnerships with the same number of startups, assessing 1200 of them, and set up 15 partnerships with investors, business accelerators and international programmes dedicated to innovation.