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Meet the startups that won a roadshow to Singapore in 2020

Publicado el December 6, 2019

After a 3-month call, Inventing The Future 2019 had its closure at an event held by ChileGlobal Ventures, Fundación Chile´s Venture capital area, together with the Fundación Chilena del Pacífico, where the winners of a roadshow to the Asian economy were announced.

More than 180 startups from 19 different countries applied to this international call, which focused on two major challenges: Digital Transformation and the Circular Economy.

On November 28, Inventing The Future had its closure, a call made by ChileGlobal Ventures, the venture capital area of Fundación Chile, in collaboration with Fundación Chilena del Pacífico, Entel ExploraLab and CMPC, to find the best startups from Asia-Pacific countries to provide solutions to two of the greatest challenges society is facing right now: Digital Transformation and the Circular Economy.

The purpose of the event was to choose the winners of one of the four awards offered by the challenge: a ticket and stay to a commercial road show in Singapore for 2020.

It was Marcos Kulka, Fundación Chile´s CEO, who welcomed the more than 100 attendees, explaining that “we have lived through different industrial revolutions, but the next one challenges us to put technological development at the service of people”. He added that at Fundación Chile “we have our efforts focused on two areas: sustainable development and human development. Our call to entrepreneurs is to meet the challenge of inventing this new future where we all can have a place”.

“This is a great milestone in the current context. We hope that these kinds of initiatives, focused on strengthening and accelerating venture capital in Chile, will be replicated and help us build a much better country. Given this year’s good results, as ABAC we decided to hold this call for the second consecutive year in 2020, under the presidency of Malaysia, from where the challenge will be promoted,” said Loreto Leyton, Executive Director of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and the Fundación Chilena del Pacífico.

Patricia Elías, Director of Alliances and Open Innovation at Entel, said that “we are in a scenario of constant transformation, which demands changes and challenges us to innovate every day; this is where our challenge to digitize SMEs comes from. In a special way, Inventing The Future has allowed us to support the ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship as a space for the search of joint opportunities”.

CMPC’s Sustainability Manager, Nicolas Gordon, referred to the purpose of the company to promote innovation with actions such as the call Inventing The Future. “For a company with a long history and of our size, the challenge of adopting circular economy models is not always easy, but today it is imperative that we move forward. At CMPC, we have committed to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030; to this end, we want to boost innovation, especially in renewable energies and non-fossil fuels, in addition to reducing our use of industrial water by 25% per ton produced”

After more than 3 months of searching and more than 180 applications from 19 countries, 6 startups were the finalists who presented their pitch. The jury was composed of Pablo Traub, President of the Chilean Association of Venture Capital (ACVC); Patricia Elías, Director of Alliances and Open Innovation of Entel; Felipe Alcalde, Chief Innovation Officer of CMPC; Gabriela Salvador, Commercial Manager of Van Trust Capital; Alejandro Castro, Commercial Manager of UPS Chile; Sofía Grez, CFO of ChileGlobal Ventures; and Alejandra Pérez, President of ChileGlobal Angels.

The first startup to make its presentation was The Live Green Co, an Indian company that, through its software, combines ancient Indian recipes and plant science to make healthy and sustainable food from plant sources. The second startup to present was Octo Inc, a Chilean digitalization and automation company that uses 4.0 industry technologies to optimize industrial processes for operation and maintenance. Then it was Altum Lab’s turn, which, through algorithms, advanced heuristics and AI, generates intelligent blending proposals that make it possible to increase the value of stock and reduce contract satisfaction costs. The fourth finalist was Odd Industries, a Computer Vision platform that helps the construction industry reduce its backlog by up to 45% by detecting anomalies and improving coordination among all stakeholders. Then made its pitch Instacrops, a specialist agtech startup that collects data on irrigation, soil, climate and plant conditions, to deliver real-time recommendations and virtual assistance to farmers, saving up to 50% on irrigation, and improving yields and fertilizer use. The round of presentations was completed by the company Food for the Future, dedicated to the transformation of organic waste into sustainable, nutritious and high-value food for the animal industry.

After the jury’s deliberation, the winners were Octo Inc., Instacrops and Food for The Future, who received the award from the main actors in this call: ChileGlobal Ventures, Fundación Chile, Fundación Chilena del Pacífico, Entel Exploralab, CMPC and Van Trust Capital and UPS, who arranged the tickets for the trip to the Asian economy.

The event also recognized the winners of the award from ChileGlobal Ventures in its accelerator, the startups Sensegrass, Forestia, Pooint and Acción Circular, which will receive up to USD 100,000 along with an acceleration program from Fundación Chile’s venture capital area to grow their projects, which also includes contacts, mentoring, activities and support from the foundation’s technical areas.

The future of venture capital

The activity also allowed the main players in the venture capital industry to share their views on their future in the context that all Latin American countries are experiencing. To this end, a panel discussion was held among four relevant actors in the ecosystem. The guests were Pablo Traub, president of the ACVC; Alejandra Pérez, president of ChileGlobal Angels; Alejandro Taubas, CEO of Viapool and Jamie Riggs, Managing Director of ChileGlobal Ventures. Among the relevant issues raised, they reviewed how venture capital can contribute being an agent of change in the social reality facing Chile today.

From that perspective, Pablo Traub stated that the venture capital industry “helps social mobility and democratizes access to capital, therefore the value of the industry is intrinsic. What can change is the focus on the projects being financed, towards those that can generate the greatest impact and have a global profile; and this will be important in any industry”.