A number of representatives from Brazilian companies are in Paris to take part in training workshops and showcase their businesses and products to potential investors up to Friday (Dec. 8). This is the first trip under StartOut Brasil, a program designed by the federal government of Brazil to boost startups to international level. In October, the initiative took startups to Buenos Aires in its pilot phase.
StartOut Brasil is to receive a yearly investment of $920 thousand. The goal is to take 60 startups on missions overseas so businesspeople can become familiar with a wide range of innovation systems. Destinations for business trips under the program next year include Berlin, Miami, and Lisbon. For the current mission in France, 14 companies were selected by a screening committee.
The information was made public by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade, and Services, in charge of the program. The ministry is working in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX), the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE), and the National Association for the Promotion of Innovative Enterprises (ANPROTEC).
The ministry also reported that traveling and lodging costs are covered by the participating companies themselves, whereas the government provides their schedule with meetings, visits, and other activities.
Marcos Vinicius de Souza, Secretariat for Innovation and New Business at the ministry said the criteria for choosing mission destinations entail in-depth market analysis.
"We assess the maturity of the venture capital and entrepreneurial ecosystem to check the local density of investors and startups. We use a global index gauging startups and whether the local government provides programs and tools for welcoming startups from overseas," he explained, adding that the StartOut Brasil aims to change the mindset of Brazilian startups "so they are born global."
So far, Brazilian entrepreneurs in Paris have taken part in training sessions in business pitching (persuading investors through short presentations) and a seminar at the Brazilian embassy on bringing businesses to a global level.
Also slated to take place by Friday are visits to business incubators and accelerators, in addition to a full day of individual business meetings. In the view of Fernanda Checchinato, from Aya Tech, one of the firms chosen for the trip, the program provides the support necessary for inexperienced entrepreneurs.
"Following the government's schedule gives us the chance to get more training for presentations. [The government] contacted a few companies and gave us substantial support for presentations and how to find yourself a place in the market. It's a great help for startup entrepreneurs who still lack a solid foundation and knowledge in the field," Checchinato argued.
Aya Tech designed a repellent to be applied to clothes instead of skin. "Up to now, we sell at 200 locations in Brazil, but we expect to take our product abroad and draw investment to bring along other products designed by our company," she explained.
Luiz Carlos T. de Carvalho, Coordinator for Foreign Direct Investment, argues that the ultimate goal is to generate employment and income for Brazil. "The idea is to enable us to gear up our companies for robust, sustainable business plans that can be showcased to major investors, so these companies can draw investment, grow, and expand their market, generating employment and income."