Participants exhibit prototypes at Investments Fair 2018
The Investments Fair, held on December 14, marked the closing of the Academic Working Capital 2018 program. The event invited investors and entrepreneurs to the Mechanical and Naval Engineering building of the Polytechnic School at the University of São Paulo (Poli-USP) to meet the solutions developed by the 22 groups throughout the program. The schedule also included two panels about angel investments in Brazil and the beginning of a startup.
AWC content coordinator Diogo Dutra opened the event and gave the floor to the Environmental, Social and Governance Director of TIM Brasil and Instituto TIM, Márcio Lino, who emphasized the importance of the program to develop the entrepreneurial spirit, and announced the continuation of the program in 2019. “We are very proud of Academic Working Capital, because it is tied to our education pillar. I am very happy to see the results. This grit and bright in the eyes of people who seize opportunities that we want to promote. This is what will transform this country,” he said.
From 2015 to 2018, AWC has already followed more than 400 students, currently there are 14 active startups that have emerged from the instruction of the program, and together they move more than BRL 2 million per year.
The five groups that stood out the most had an opportunity to make their pitch to a board of invited investors: Paula Salomão, new business manager at Antera – Resource Management; Caio Bolognesi, investment director at Monashees, and Ricardo Kahn innovation, marketing, and strategy executive at ISA CEETP. Each startup had four minutes to pitch the solution and then answer questions and comments of the experts.
Then, a panel on angel investments in Brazil was mediated by coach Artur Vilas Boas with the guests: co-founder, CEO of Genera laboratory, and investor of technology companies, Ricardo di Lazzaro, and the founder of the Lean Survey, Alessandro Tieppo. They shared their experiences, insights, and tips with students who also asked questions. “A big mistake in investment is not having a clear funding strategy for the company. If your idea is to take an angel investment, the next day you need to follow the plan to balance the accounts and make revenue grow,” advised Tieppo. Lazzaro values periodic contact with entrepreneurs to share knowledge and to clarify doubts. “Some have a very academic profile, although everyone has an entrepreneurial spark, but not everyone has the skills,” he said.
In the afternoon, guests were checking out the booths with solutions and prototypes developed by the groups during the year. The panel of entrepreneurs on the beginning of a startup closed and was attended by the founder of Ebah, 99, and Yellow, Renato Freitas, and the co-founder of Road Labs and former participant in the program, João Fornari, with the mediation of AWC academic coordinator, Marcos Barretto. “Investors can be a good thing and can open doors, but it is not good to think that they are the only way. Sometimes it’s better to pour a little more blood and sweat to leave the company at a better situation,” said Freitas. They shared their experiences, challenges, achievements in the beginning of the startup and also answered some questions from the audience. “We lack an entrepreneurial culture. You leave college with the idea of getting a good job, passing a civil service exam, and having financial stability,” said João.