AWC Startups are finalists at Harvard competition

AWC Startups are finalists at Harvard competition

Three startups participating in the Academic Working Capital program in 2018 are finalists of the HackBrazil competition, which awards innovative technological solutions that seek to solve the main problems in Brazil. The three startups – Aqualuz, Helidrop and NextCam – will now participate in the final phase of the contest, which will include a pitch at the Brazil Conference at Harvard & MIT, between April 5, 6, and 7 in Boston, United States. The winner will take home BRL 75,000 and the second place, BRL 25,000.

“Getting to the final stage of such an event is a crowning moment. There’s a lot of qualified people noting that their solution, their professionalism, is at a higher maturity level than the others applicants from Brazil,” celebrates AWC general coordinator Diogo Dutra. Overall, AWC teams have surpassed around 200 competitors.

HackBrazil is part of the Brazil Conference at Harvard & MIT – an annual event hosted by the Brazilian community in Boston that aims to bring together intellectuals and important figures from the economy to discuss challenges and possible paths for the country. Diogo says that by attending last year’s Brazil Conference pitches, he decided to present some of AWC’s designs for this year’s HackBrazil organizers.

The top five startups of the 2018 cycle have signed up for the competition by putting together a videopitch of their solution. Three of them were selected in November for the intermediate phase, in which 40 teams participated. From there, the youngsters received distance mentoring from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) teams – in parallel to AWC itself, which ended in December. Finally, in the final phase, five groups were selected to present their solutions at the Brazil Conference and participate in the fair, with the trip to Boston and expenses paid.

In addition to competing for the cash prize, students will have the opportunity to visit MIT and Harvard University, attend lectures and meet big names in the market. Among confirmed attendances are former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Central Bank President Gustavo Franco, Jorge Paulo Lemann, partner of 3G Capital, and Luiza Helena Trajano, founder of Magazine Luiza.

“Promoting the startup at a national level in a space with so many important people, with heavy investment funds, is such an experience”, explains Diogo. For the AWC coordinator, this is not a time to obtain investments, but to meet people and establish contacts. The three startups are in early stage, with constituted clients or early adopters.


Learn more about the three teams:


Anna Luísa Beserra Santos, Lucas Gama Dantas Ayres and Letícia Nunes Bezerra | Fortaleza-CE and Salvador-BA

A device that purifies water from cisterns, dispensing about 28 L/day (considering a day of ideal radiation) of water suitable for consumption and ready to drink. The solution consists of a pipe system and a box for water retention, of simple installation, implantation, maintenance, and use, besides having low cost, high durability and efficiency.  



Guilherme Cordeiro Vogt, Luís Guilherme Dias de Souza and Adriano Peniche dos Santos | Curitiba-PR A solution that uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to execute and plan work safety in construction more efficiently. An AI solution recognizes risks at each stage of the project, identifying workers and PPE through cameras at construction site entrances, and generates indicators for taking preventive actions.



Victor Hugo de Carvalho Pereira Turcato and Bruno Lotto Bagarini | São Carlos-SP UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) equipment for more efficient application of chemical and biological defenses in comparison to agricultural aircraft. The solution features high load capacity, autonomy, and autopilot, which enables the selection of a map area on a screen for the independent spraying by the UAV.