SEED launches new call for projects

Until April 6th, SEED will receive applications to fill its 40 vacancies for its startup acceleration program, one of the largest in LATAM

Applications are now open for SEED’s – Startups and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development – 5th call for projects, which aims to foster Minas Gerais’ entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. The public call will select 40 startups and technology based companies that will have access to a startup acceleration and an entrepreneurial education program. Each selected startup will receive seed investment up to BRL 80.000, equity free. The public call is available at Minas Digital.

“We are transforming Minas Gerais in a place to innovate. SEED’s reopening in 2015 shows the commitment of Minas Gerais’ Government to invest in actions towards innovation, technology and entrepreneurship”, highlights Miguel Correa, Secretary of Economic Development, Science, Technology and Higher Education.

SEED promotes an acceleration program that includes six months of entrepreneurial education, a dedicated structure with experienced mentors in accelerating startups, events and a fertile environment for business, investor and government connections. “The selected applicants have access to a shared office space that counts with all the structure they need to gather up to three members of the startup, besides services and technology tools. The accelerated companies will be connected to a relevant innovation and entrepreneurship network, and will still have financial incentives to keep their business in town and make investment in their own products and business model”, stresses Bruno Scolari, SEED manager

Brazilians and foreigners, over 18 years old, that are available to live in Belo Horizonte during the program period and whose team and product present a high potential impact in Minas Gerais entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem are eligible for the program. The projects will be selected by an external team, that will set their evaluation upon criteria, such as: innovation, scalability, Market potential, among others. Two or three participants from each selected startup will participate actively in the acceleration. The final result will be published by June 6th, 2018.

The program has its own methodology, based on knowledge and experiences from successful entrepreneurs and mentors from the Brazilian ecosystem. “It is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to hands-on learning on how to model their business, to innovate in a structured way and to manage their product’s development through agile methods, from the access to experienced mentors and actors from Brazilian and global innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems”, as mentioned by Scolari.

The impacts generated from participating in the program are significant for the startups. During the last round, the added revenue of all accelerated companies tripled. “By being a part of SEED we were able to make our business professional, learned from the experience of other companies and evolved a lot. The mentorships were essential to guide us through paths that led us to a genuine business development, which we would not be able to have done by ourselves”, as told by Paola Cicarelli, founder of Cuboz, a SEED’s 4th batch startup.

The giveback from the accelerated companies happens during the program as the participants perform diffusion activities on entrepreneurship and innovation topics. They offer workshops, courses and lectures for Minas Gerais population, spreading the entrepreneurial culture, exchanging experiences and widening their connection networks throughout the state. During the 4th acceleration, that took place in 2017, more than 1000 hours of activities were performed, through 520 activities that impacted 31.750 people in MG. “The diffusion activities are fundamental to consolidate the knowledge, exchange experiences and make connections. When we teach the concepts learned and evaluating other companies’ businesses, we learn a lot about ourselves and improve several aspects of our own company”, stresses Paola.

About SEED

SEED is one of the largest fostering agents of the Brazilian entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. Its main vertical is the startup acceleration program for entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world that want to develop their businesses in Minas Gerais. The program is a unique experience for the development of startups, still, it increases the interaction and knowledge and skills transferring among entrepreneurs and local and global ecosystems. The program is part of Minas Digital, an initiative from the Secretariat of Economic Development, Science, Technology and Higher Education (SEDECTES), whose goal is to disseminate the entrepreneurial mentality and make Minas Gerais the largest hub for startups and innovation in LATAM. SEED is financed by FAPEMIG (Foundation for Research Fostering of Minas Gerais)

Starting with its first call for projects back in 2013, SEED has promoted 4 acceleration rounds, all with eligibility for physical person, not only startups that have been formalized as legal entities. The program has reached the milestone of 5.408 applications and has counted with the participation of 152 startups, 116 from Brazil and 36 from other countries, with 25 different nationalities, and 384 entrepreneurs. The accelerated companies have generated 300 direct Jobs in MG and gathered around BRL 22 million in investment. In 2017, SEED’s shared office space hosted nine Thousand visitors.

With its 5th public call for projects, SEED aims to receive applications from all over Minas Gerais, all of the Brazilian states and from the five continents. “From each call for projects SEED consolidates its position as a expressive leader for entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in Brazil and Minas Gerais. The entrepreneurial education and the diffusion activities impact short, medium and long the the construction of and mentality towards innovative business and socioeconomic development of our state”, comments Bruno.

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