This article will introduce you to Startup Brasil, the National Program for Acceleration of Startups, an initiative by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to encourage the creation of startups in Brazil.
With the great success that startups, like Google and Yahoo!, met, thanks to the incentives given by the United States’ Government, Brazil is willing to follow the American model; bearing in mind that these new startups could be an embryo for future multinational companies.
Startup Brasil was launched in an attempt to revitalize this market, in July 2013, by the former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marco Antônio Raupp, and by Maurício Borges, the president of the Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments, the APEX.
The program integrates the "TI Maior - Programa Estratégico de Software e Serviços de TI", a national program that bolsters the industry of software and IT services. TI Maior itself is a part of the "Estratégia Nacional para Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação - ENCTI", which establishes Science, Technology and Innovation as the structural axis for the country’s development. The Information and Communication Technologies are regarded as a priority inside the ENCTI.
How it works
The government will invest BRL 40 million, until the end of 2014, in up to 150 startups that present technology-based innovation projects. The new program foresees that as much as 25% of the startups, that benefit from Startup Brasil, are foreign companies that are willing to develop projects in Brazil.
Startup Brasil works on a basis of one-year-long edicts, divided into three stages:
- Qualifying startup accelerators
- Selecting startups in semestral rounds
- Accelerating startups
1. Qualification of startup accelerators
By means of a specific edict, the future partners of the program responsible for the acceleration of the startups are selected. The acceleration of a startup aims for the development of a market-oriented product or service.
2. Selection of startups
A number of 50 startups are selected by semester, 75% of them are national companies and 25% are international ones.
3. Acceleration of startups
In a period of 12 months, the startups have access to up to BRL 200,000 in funding, for research and development for its employees, as well as participating in a series of events and activities promoted by the program, for capacitation of the startup as a whole. Besides, these events aim to approximate them to the clients, investors, and to the International Hub in Silicon Valley, United States.
Additionally, the startups can receive investments directly from the accelerators and have access to other services furnished by the accelerators like infrastructure, mentorships, and capacitations in exchange of a percentage of shareholding. The average percentage ceded by the startups is 10.4%. Furthermore, the startups are accompanied by the program managers as well.
Who can apply for it
Some things have remained untouched since the 2013 edict for accepting startups in the program while others have changed for the new 2014 edict.
What has remained unchanged:
- The jury will retain its focus on which business proposal the startup is making, which is the technological challenge of the solution, and who are the members of the developing team
- It is still obligatory to own a CNPJ. By doing that, the managers of the program believe that only the more developed startups will be applying for the program
- 30% of the funding resources will be destined to the northern, northeastern and central-western regions of the country
- The funds are submitted to an accountability assessment at the end of the 12 month term
- Foreign companies do not have to own a CNPJ
The new 2014 edict:
- Extends the maximum age of a company that can apply to the program from three to four years since the emission of its CNPJ
- Now, it also comprises companies that develop hardware technology, whilst in 2013, only software-development and IT startups were benefited
- Forbids startups who had already been accelerated; that they may not qualify to become part of the program
- Allows startups to list up to six accelerating companies, in order of preference, that they want to be accelerated by
- Brazilians living abroad for more than three years can apply their startup as international