Ten start-ups supported by Shell LiveWIRE Iniciativa Jovem, the Shell LiveWIRE programme in Brazil, have shared in start-up funding totalling R$ 47.5k (US $12,130) presented at the programme’s 18th annual Business Fair at the Museum of Tomorrow (Museu do Amanhã) in Rio de Janeiro.
The young entrepreneurs who received their awards following a competitive pitch to an expert panel of judges, based on the strength of their entrepreneurial acumen and the viability and sustainability of their businesses, will use the funding to kick-start their enterprises.
One of the main winners at the event was a business that has taken part in the inaugural Shell Iniciativa Jovem Energy Initiative; a five-month programme to accelerate the development of start-ups providing solutions within the renewable energy and smart cities sectors.
The first ever award winner of the Energy Initiative, receiving R$ 15,000 (US $3,863) is SolarView, from Belo Horizonte; a start-up providing a complete solution for the management of data and information related to the consumption and production of electricity from photovoltaic systems. SolarView’s Datalogger is the first universal device designed and manufactured in Brazil to monitor the entire portfolio of power plants in a single interface. It communicates with more than 150 inverter models from the country’s leading manufacturers. Also, its SmartMeter enables clients to obtain the energy balance of photovoltaic plants and to manage energy credits.
Commenting on the impact of the award on the business Aécion Bolzon of SolarView said, “The Energy Initiative, provided by Shell, was a great opportunity for SolarView and created a huge impact for the business. The programme enabled us to improve our networking and to strengthen our business model, allowing us to visualise new opportunities in our market.
“Winning the prize shows that we are on the right track to accelerate the transformation of the energy market in Brazil and across the world.”
Building on its success in the Brazilian market, SolarView has ambitious plans to expand into Colombia, Argentina and Mexico.
The nine other start-ups taking part in the Energy Initiative ranged from urban garden irrigation systems to the use of Big Data to provide preventative maintenance services for offshore structures. All of the start-ups received 36 hours of customised business training, and also benefit from access to market specialists, coaching, and the opportunity to pitch to potential investors. At the end of the programme, the Shell Iniciativa Jovem sustainable business seal will be awarded to those start-ups which demonstrate that they are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.
Highlighting the success of the inaugural Energy Initiative, Leise Duarte, Social Investment Adviser, Shell Brazil, said, “We are glad to have engaged with some wonderful entrepreneurs for our first initiative to accelerate the development of companies engaged in developing solutions within the renewable energy and smart cities sectors. They came from several states across Brazil and demonstrated commitment to the programme and a high level of application.
“We supported the development of businesses based in different solutions, from kinetic energy to hydropower and predictive analysis to solar energy.
“The big winner of the 2018 award is a universal datalogger that communicates with over 150 inverter models from leading manufacturers in the Brazilian market! It’s a great contribution for the country’s development in the energy efficiency space.”
Fifty-seven entrepreneurs from the 80 taking part in the 2018 Shell Iniciativa Jovem programme were selected to present their start-ups at the Business Fair, which provides them with an invaluable opportunity to pitch their ideas to the judges and over 650 visitors.
The entrepreneurs ranked from 4th to 8th each received an award of R$ 2,500 (US $644). These included: Bárbara Schochit of Genecoin, which uses blockchain technology to track the presence of Brazilian genetic heritage on products, helping companies to comply with Brazilian law; Gabriela Palma of Sou+Carioca, which provides guided walks in Rio de Janeiro; Hannah Rodrigues of Teiares, a waste management business; Jonatas Garcia of Festeja Aqui, which uses virtual reality to help people plan party venues; and Rosiane Barros of Multidom which provides accessibility and social inclusion services for children with special needs.
Jaciana Melquiades took third place and R$ 4,000 (US $1,030) with her business Era Uma Vez o Mundo, which develops toys and educational games that are more identifiable for black children than existing products.
Second place, and R$ 6,000 (US $1,545) was awarded to Gustavo Henrique whose i9Bot is a robot that can paint walls.
Said Gustavo, “In addition to helping develop my business, the programme helped me to develop myself by giving me the essential skills to start-up and manage a business.
“The programme opened many doors for me, including in the market for my business, and I am very thankful for that.”
The winner, receiving the top award of R$ 8,000 (US $2,060) was Martina Pinto of Mancha Orgânica which develops vegetable dyes and pigments for a wide variety of applications including in children’s products and cosmetics. Commenting on the impact of Shell Iniciativa Jovem and the award, business partner Ramon Pinto said, “Our business model is now more mature. We have new ideas for our business, we structure our network better, and we engage partners who strengthen our purpose. All of this has been extremely beneficial to our brand.”
A special award voted for by the public of R$ 2,000 (US $510) went to Caio Rodrigues of Incare, which empowers refugees by providing them with training in IT and other areas which enhance their employment prospects.
Celebrating its 18th edition, the annual fair aims to create business opportunities and create interaction between entrepreneurs, investors and incubators. The programme also helps entrepreneurs with networking and the opportunity to work collaboratively and develop partnerships.
Summing up the role of the programme during 2018, Leise Duarte said, “The dynamism of the programme lies in the diversity of the entrepreneurs and their businesses, and the sharing of experiences in a productive way.
“This year’s awards epitomise the diversity, sustainability and ethics which drive Iniciativa Jovem’s approach.”