This is our weekly post summarizing startup news from Brazil in English:
-Airbnb opened a São Paulo office, to be run by country managers Christian Gessner and Stefan Schimenes. Opening of the Brazilian office was planned after Airbnb saw over 33,000 days of reservations made in Brazil in 2011, 17 times more than in 2010. Demand currently outstrips availability.
-Inv3rso, a reverse auction startup, is promoting and running their auctions on Facebook. Founders Afrânio Sobrinho and Roger Alcântara are using the strengths of Facebook to promote participation, and have professional services involved to assure the credibility, transparency and security of the auctions. The product focus is on home electronics. Inv3rso is seeking partners and investors and looking to expand internationally.
-Venture capital firm Ideiasnet has sold Softcorp to Techresult Solutions for BR$15 million. Softcorp provides corporate technology solutions. Techresult is seeking to expand its portfolio of IT products and solutions.
-Empreendemia, a social network for small and micro businesses, has received investment from Inova Ventures Participações, for a 20% stake. Founder Luiz Piovesana explained that Empreendemia‘s success has come from facilitating growth of sales and access to service providers for the network participants. Launched in 2009, Empreendemia offers simple online tools and social networking abilities to engage more than 12,000 participating businesses.
-Health and beauty portal Minha Vida has received support from Endeavor Catalyst and investment from Intel Capital. Minha Vida was founded in 2004 and now sees 8 million unique visitors monthly. The portal offers more than 10,000 articles, videos, and other media curated by a staff of 200 health professionals. It serves as the health channel for many large portals such as Yahoo and MSN in Brazil.
-FIAP and Singularity University offered a competition to win a funded trip to the Global Studies Program at SU in 2012. The winner this year was Karla Amaral Lopez (Minha Vida é Ensinar). The other five finalists were: Rafael Grando Moret (Ledface); Brynner da Silva Ferreira (WUP); Gabriel Menegatti (Pago Pago); Leonardo Yuji Tamura (Trash Footprint); Fernando Teixeira da Silva (Grão Educacional).
More on the Call To Innovation competition.
-Incubator Porto Digital has announced a new grant for entrepreneurs. A series of public workshops will be incorporated into the selection process. Founded in 2000, Porto Digital was created to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Pernambuco. It is now one of the leading technology parks in Brazil. They have a website in English.
-Endeavor Day1 is coming up April 25 in São Paulo. It features inspiring stories of three successful Brazilian entrepreneurs: Edivan Costa, founder of SEDI; Sofia Esteves, founder of DMRH e Cia. de Talentos; and Robinson Shiba, founder of China in a Box.
-The 7th Anpei Conference will be June 11-13 in Santa Catarina. The theme is “Innovation Now: Global Competition and Local Survival.” Representatives of government programs that support technology and innovation will be among the presenters, as will executives from multinational corporations. Themes include intellectual property, globalization, research & development and more.
-Startup Floripa’s meetup last week attracted 220 attendees. There were angel investors providing a panel critique of entrepreneur’s pitches as well as networking time. Some of the featured statups included Newes, which does augmented reality projects; Feelati.com which connects freelancers to IT jobs; as well as Draebe, Twittepaga, Trools and Email Manager. Startup Floripa is part of the Circuito Startup group of events.
-The ProXXIma Startup prize will be awarding BR$20,000 to the best communications startups. Applications are open until April 27th and the prize will be awarded May 9th. The prize is sponsored by Aleksandar Mandic’s Mandic; and Silvio Meira and Fernando Sodré’s holding company IKEWAI. Winners will receive consulting and support from Grupo M&M, ProXXIma, Anjos do Brasil, Redpoint eVentures and Astella.
-Symantec has acquired Nukona, Inc., a mobile app management solutions company. English press release here.
-Startup imaginareality, run by Rodrigo Griesi, has merged with startup whapp (run by Elton Miranda) to form WHAPP. WHAPP offers an incubator-like in-house ecosystem including app factory, marketing agency, board, consultants and investment fund. The goal is to bring in bootstrap-phase tech projects and develop them to working businesses ready for venture capital. Five projects have already been selected and more are being sought.
-Global IT consulting company Concrete Solutions has created the Moonlight Fund to attract and retain talent. The project pairs promising entrepreneurs with a collaborating Concrete Solutions partner who acts as advisor. They plan to invest R$2 million in the project to start; 3 startups are already participating in pre-operational stages.
-Startupi interviewed entrepreneur Thiago Bacchin, CEO of digital marketing firm Cadastra in Porto Alegre. Cadastra was a pioneer in search engine marketing in Brazil and has been in business for eleven years. It is part of the Digital Branding Group.
-The Hacker Bus, a crowdfunded mobile digital innovation center (literally a remodeled bus) traveled 1200 kilometers from São Paulo to Belo Horizonte to participate in the launch of Casa Fora do Eixo Minas. During the trip there the Hacker Bus, a sort of mobile campus, hosted podcasts, interviews, brainstorm sessions and more with well known digital innovators. Casa Fora do Eixo Minas offers creative programs in the arts and technology.
Entrepreneur Wesley Ferreira, from Mato Grosso, is launching In Loco, a legal services locator. In Loco allows business people even in outlying areas or small towns to connect with lawyers from around Brazil who can work with them to handle their diverse legal needs.
Entrepreneur Fernando Canuto has launched a new version of Bougue, a platform for connecting service providers and customers. Service providers now have profile pages, where they can detail their offerings (from pet care to construction), and the system now allows service providers to offer specials and discounts. Launched in late 2011, Bougue started in São Paulo with 300 business listings and will expand to Rio, Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre and Fortaleza during 2012.