Startup outlook in Brazil
Being an entrepreneur in Brazil is a lesson in how to accept excitement and the roller coaster of dismay, elation, frustration and success. Despite the fact that there’s a lot of local problems (most of them well known), there are also a lot of opportunities and good initiatives coming from all sides.
Our BizSpark Brazil Ambassador Carlos Eduardo Pinto, who is co-founder at BizSpark startup Pratical One, writes about Brazil, from Brazil.
Let’s take a look at how it’s going.
There are several incubators growing in the main cities. One of them is MIDI, in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina state, where my startup Pratical One is hosted.
In the beginning, I was not sure about it, especially since I could not figure out how it could help my company. My main focus at the time was on acquiring customers, so I didn't see how an incubator would work to my benefit in this case.
This is, I have discovered, a typical response to the growth of new incubators in a startup hub (or in a place that is quickly becoming one, like Brazil). But I went into it asking questions. Now I realize that incubation doesn’t put you in touch with customers, as I thought. They teach you how to do that, how to understand the market, how to be prepared to face investors and also brings some “facilities” on the day-to-day, like marketing and legal consulting and office rental. It's a place to learn. Or, more accurately, it's a place to put you in the space to learn, so that while you are growing your business, you are also constantly fine-tuning the mechanism that makes you a better startup.
There are other opportunities in Brazil that help in this process. Here are a few:
The Anjos do Brazil (Angels of Brazil) is a non-profit angel investor network "dedicated to foster angel investment for supporting innovative entrepreneurs." Among their many tasks, besides joining investors, they also organize competitions among startups that could showcase their projects in order to receive investments.
CONAJE (National Council of Young Entrepreneurs) has the target to articulate and disseminate practices that strength the dissemination of new and solid business. Quite often there are meetings per verticals to discuss about market, taxes, best practices etc.
For those who also look for some fun, Endeavor (global nonprofit that transforms emerging countries by supporting High-Impact Entrepreneurs) organizes happy hours around the country to join startups, investors and media. It’s a good chance to meet people, exchange cards and have some beers.
If my objective was to write a list about all those things we can use in Brazil to boost startups, I would waste a lot of space. Endeavor, FIESC, FIESP, SEBRAE and so many others has programs to help the “business dreamers”.
With all that said, I can assure that entrepreneurs are not alone, and they must not be. The chances to learn and improve business are around us, and it’s just about to choose one and use it the best we can.
Brazil Startups should also look into Microsoft BizSpark, a global initiative created by and run by Microsoft for startups, which provides free software, support and marketing visibility so that startups can grow to scale.