Contxto – Panamanian renewable energy hotshot SolarLatam recently won US$5,000 at “Raízen Impulse”—an open innovation—on November 14. Endeavor Argentina and Raizen—a Shell offshoot—teamed up to invite startups developing solar/energy solutions for self-consumption to Argentina and duke it out so as to prove who was Latin America’s best.
Over 170 startups participated on the basis of their ability to develop energy solutions in various economic sectors. Some of these included mobility, logistics, energy, in addition to customer relations.
Apart from SolarLatam, the roster featured names such as Avancargo, Awto, BioSano, dbTrust, Whyline, Prisma, Woow Up and Drixit. The contenders presented the jurors from Raízen Innovation Board and an Endeavor representative with their most impressive proposals, and they did not disappoint.
Only nine managed to reach the final stage—Demo Day.
And the trophy goes to… renewables
After the dust settled, Alex Bril—SolarLatam’s Argentine operations lead—emerged victorious and hungry for more. Indeed, the company is certainly on a continental tour de force. Launched in 2015, SolarLatam has gone beyond its native Panama to promote clean and renewable energy in both Costa Rica and Argentina.
Besides its earnings, SolarLatam also won a trip to Raízen’s swanky Brazilian Innovation Hub—PULSE—in Piracicaba.
“This award validates our innovation strategy to bring new technologies for renewable energy users in the region,” said Mr. Bril. “In turn, this brings us new business opportunities with the Raizen group. We are very excited to get to know PULSE and explore further possibilities to strengthen our business.”
The key to the company’s success seems to lie within the customizability of their services. SolarLatam’s platform allows homes, businesses, and industries to design and purchase their own renewable energy system.
The result is a streamlined online platform that enables Latin Americans to obtain comprehensive solar energy solutions for self-consumption. In the process, this reduces costs as well as leverages sustainable and renewable resources.
According to the President of Raízen Argentina, Teófilo Lacroze: “This contest was an excellent exchange experience with the entrepreneurial ecosystem.” Mr. Lacroze went on to note that beyond selecting a winner, “we had the opportunity to meet companies and projects with high potential for adding value to our businesses.”
With all this rose-tinted back-patting, one wonders if perhaps the true winner of Impulso may just be Raízen itself.