In its fifth edition, São Paulo Techweek, Latin America’s biggest innovation and technology week, has already become a great venue for spreading startup culture and revealing new talent to the world. Canada House, for example, is a CCBC initiative that has been part of this special week’s agenda since last year and doubled in size in 2019. There were four days with approximately 20 lectures and seminars at the Chamber that provided tips for companies to become successful and brand internationalization – especially for those wishing to reach Canada.
For these startups, one of the shortcuts to reach the North American country is the SP Elevator Pitch, a competition organized by CCBC in partnership with SP Negócios and the São Paulo City Hall at São Paulo Tech Week. According to the rules, participants have about 60 seconds to present their business models to the judges, as if they were convincing potential entrepreneurs to invest in their companies in a brief and unusual elevator meeting.
At CCBC’s SP Elevator Pitch, the elevator actually exists, and this year’s chosen cabin is at the Martinelli Building. More than 100 startups were enrolled, including 40 pre-selected, who spent a Sunday going up the floors of the first skyscraper built in the state capital.
Each representative went up twice, once for a presentation in Portuguese and once in English, analyzed by Brazilian and Canadian jurors. From this stage, eight finalists were chosen, and, afterward, the champions. The three winning startups won an immersion program at Zú, D3, or Katapult in Montreal. A fourth company was awarded a booth at the 2020 edition of the Gramado Summit.
“To be successful at SP Elevator Pitch, startups need to have the profile to become global companies,” says juror Gabriel Lopes, a partner at Malkovitch Design & Communication and Empathy, a technology developer for large organizations.
Lopes, who also participated in the jury of the first edition of the SP Elevator Pitch in 2018, feels that competitions like this are an excellent opportunity to boost business and world view.
São Paulo Tech Week is a kind of “technological turn” organized by the city of São Paulo and São Paulo Negócios, the city’s investment and export promotion agency. The 2009 edition took place between November 23 and 29.
In five editions, more than 750 events were held, with 160,000 participants and 300 partner companies. “This is an opportunity to expand the flow of connections between the Brazilian and Canadian innovation ecosystems,” says Paulo de Castro, director of institutional relations at CCBC, one of the event’s partners.
CCBC Elevator Pitch winning startup expectations
Learn more about the competition’s winning startups, their projects, and their experiences at SP Elevator Pitch.
Award – Canadian Immersion Program
CargoSnap: Using a smartphone, it records the conditions of a load step by step of the logistics process. It protects companies from charges of cargo damage and increases service transparency.
“The biggest challenge was convincing jurors that our solution is relevant enough to be brought to Canada. Our speech had a border protection and better customs control bias, which certainly made the difference. We’ve done a lot of pitches, but this was the first time we’ve done one in an elevator, and I thought it was really cool.” (Daniel Lins, Co-Founder of CargoSnap)
Celebrar: one service stop shop for corporate events: 75% faster quotes, vendor performance indicators, and better event experience.
“Our biggest challenge was explaining the solution and the purpose of our business to a Canadian juror who lives far away from the Brazilian culture. It took a lot of effort to explain in English, for example, the social impact we have by distributing income to the city outskirts. I used a machine translator for the word “periferia” (outskirts) before getting on the elevator and led it with my chin. I was surprised at how much Canadian jurors knew about the local reality.” (Camila Florentino, CEO and Founder of Celebrar)
Moonshot Robots: through artificially conscious custom robots, it transcribes ideas suggested by employees that can be turned into products and improvements for the company to an innovation board.
“We look forward to coming to Canada for networking and the opportunity to be in one of the most advanced countries in Artificial Intelligence. That’s exactly the kind of technology our robots need to further improve their performance and leverage the business.” (Indy Hashimoto, Founder of Moonshot Robots)
Award – Gramado Summit
Zantz: A platform designed to connect people or businesses that wish to ship orders through people or businesses moving to the same destination, thus reducing freight costs and saving resources.
To do a 1-minute pitch is to exercise the art of information condensation. I already see myself at the Gramado Summit, talking about collaborative economics and faster deliveries (Amanda Neves, CEO and founder of Zantz).
Opportunities to live in Canada and invest in startups
For CCBC, São Paulo Tech Week is an opportunity not only to discuss ideas but to promote business between Brazilian and Canadian companies. One of the panels held at Canada House was the Women in Tech roundtable, which was attended by Elise Racicot, Consul and Trade Commissioner of the Consulate of Canada in São Paulo. One of the guests was Thais Rose, a partner at Join Us, a people management consultancy firm specializing in the IT market, which directs professionals to Canadian organizations’ selective processes.
“We work a lot on the topic of including women in the IT market. The initial difficulties increase over the course of a career, especially after they become mothers. There are numerous challenges in a predominantly male market that develops quickly and requires constant updating,” says Thais, a member of Join Us and CCBC.
Alongside Eliane Ladeira, Go2Canada’s people management consultant, and other keynote speakers, Thais took part in another panel at Canada House – Building ways for technology professionals to immigrate to Canada. “At Go2Canada, we help Brazilians plan their curriculum in a more structured manner, addressing the differences between the Brazilian and the Canadian markets,” says Eliane.
Case 2019, which was part of São Paulo Tech Week’s agenda, was another event in which CCBC was present with a booth and sponsorship. The Chamber invited as speaker Noor E. Bawab, program director at Zú, a Canadian nonprofit incubator and accelerator, in a group named after Rony Meisler, founder of the Reserva brand; Murilo Gun, professor of creativity; and Fernanda Doria, head of Google Mid Market Sales.
The event featured content for entrepreneurs and companies that want to grow exponentially with best practices from the world’s fastest-growing startups.