The President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, participated in a series of startup presentations supported by Copec, aiming to accelerate innovative solutions’ development in the Andean country. The initiative arose from an invitation by Copec Wind Ventures, the investment arm based in San Francisco, USA, created as part of the company’s transformation process.
This project aims to boost the distribution and use of renewable energies while developing new forms of mobility enhancing life in motion through creativity, digitization, and artificial intelligence.
The presentations took place concurrently with the President’s participation in APEC 2023. They included the presence of various authorities, including the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, the Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Chilean Ambassador to the USA, among others.
Arturo Natho, Copec’s General Manager, emphasized the ongoing transformation to drive an energy transition towards a more sustainable future. The creation of Copec Wind Ventures in San Francisco serves as a window to the end, allowing the early incorporation of the latest trends in Chile.
Brian Walsh, leader of Copec Wind Ventures, noted that they have invested USD $120 million in 22 startups in various countries, focusing on electromobility, new energies, and artificial intelligence. He highlighted that four startups have reached “unicorn” status, and 17 are already implemented in Chile.
The startups that presented their proposals to President Boric were Source, Yotta, Galgo + Gogoro, Chiper, and Grabango.
Source, based in Arizona, developed a water generator system using hydropanels. It uses solar energy to extract pure water vapor from the air, condensing it into fresh and mineralized drinking water. This innovative approach requires no electrical infrastructure or potable water. Copec was one of the investors in a $130 million funding round in July 2022, and in March 2023, they closed an agreement to explore technology expansion opportunities in Chile.
Yotta, a US-based company, focuses on highly efficient batteries integrated with solar panels, significantly reducing installation costs and making smaller-scale projects viable. It is expected to arrive in Chile in 2024.
Galgo, a motorcycle marketplace in Chile, in collaboration with Copec and Kaufmann, will introduce Gogoro, a global leader in electric motorcycles with interchangeable batteries. The launch is scheduled for January 2024.
Chiper, an AI-based system, efficiently organizes the supply of neighborhood stores through traditional sales channels. With a B2B focus and machine learning technology, it serves over 2,000 clients in Chile after four months of operation.
Grabango offers a new AI-based shopping experience that eliminates lines in stores and supermarkets. Shoppers can leave without going through checkout, as AI cameras determine chosen products and automatically charge the customer’s chosen payment method. It also helps businesses manage inventory, prevent theft, increase sales, and better understand customer behavior.
In the Latin American panorama, Chile and Mexico follow Brazil in terms of innovation, ranking 52nd and 58th globally, respectively, according to the latest index published by the WIPO. While Brazil is currently the most innovative economy in Latin America in the annual index, it’s noteworthy that Chile held this title for eight consecutive years, remaining one of the region’s most attractive countries for innovation, as reaffirmed by Copec Wind Ventures.