The 2017 edition of the Academic Working Capital program ended on December 13th with the Investments Fair. Investors, entrepreneurs, professors and other market players were at the Technological Park of the State of São Paulo (São Paulo-SP) to learn about the solutions developed by the groups. The event also counted on the participation of High School students from Etecs Júlio de Mesquita, of Santo André-SP, and Aristóteles Ferreira, of Santos-SP – both participated in the program this year with students’ projects and in the training for teachers.
After the welcoming reception by the AWC content coordinator, Diogo Dutra, the VP of Strategy and Innovation of TIM, Luis Minoru Shibata, explained that it is a great honor for TIM to support innovation through AWC and follow new ideas that can bring improvements to all. “Everyone who works with startups, with innovation, wants to find an efficient way to solve one problem that many people have,” he said. The director of Business Development and Institutional Relations of Investe SP, Sérgio Costa, highlighted the partnership between the agency and AWC and encouraged the groups. “The lessons learned today are lessons for life. So, incorporate these lessons learned, apply them in your ventures, and let’s go to the next pitch, because each one certainly will have a place to shine,” he declared.
The guests also attended a panel about undertaking at the university, mediated by the academic coordinator of AWC, Marcos Barretto. The panel guests were two entrepreneurs who created businesses while still undergraduates in college: Renato Freitas, of Ebah and 99, and Maurício Villar, of tembici. “The university played a very strong role in my formation as an entrepreneur,” related Renato, mentioning the support of professor Marcos Barretto and the experience of winning USP’s Ser Empreendedor (Be an Entrepreneur) competition. Both shared their trajectories’ challenges and achievements and tips for students, in addition to answering the audience’s questions. “More than planning, be prepared to change the plan every day. Entrepreneurship means to be challenged every day, to hear various points of view that you have never even thought about before,” said Maurício.
During the afternoon, the guests could visit the groups’ stands to learn about the solutions developed during the year and to see the prototypes. The six groups that stood out the most in 2017 also had the opportunity to present a pitch to a board of invited specialists: Marco Poli, angel investor of Anjos do Brasil; André Fleury, professor of USP’s Design and Production Engineering programs; Marcelo Mitre, Investment analyst of Provence Capital; Rafaela Herrera, business developer of Startup Farm; and Luis Minoru. Each group had 4 minutes to present and, then, answer questions and comments from the board.
The Fair’s closure was carried out by Marcos Barretto, who took the opportunity to highlight the participation of the 10 groups from Etecs in this edition – part of them, formed by High School students. “There was no difference between the projects from Etecs and those from the colleges,” he affirmed.