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Contxto – Calling all young startups operating in São Paulo – now is the time to propel projects to new heights. Rather than pitching to a VC or angel, though, this time you’ll be subject to the government’s choosing.
Earlier this week, Brazilian officials announced a “smart government” program. That’s to say, FAPESP (Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo) and Finep have allocated R$20 million for mission-based startups to support the government in finding viable solutions for social predicaments.
What’s the goal?
This collaboration between Brazil’s PIPE/PAPPE (Small Business Innovative Research Program) and FAPESP/Finep strives to improve government agencies. Together, these groups plan to endorse innovative products, processes or services capable of improving government operations.
These funds have been designated to remedy technological challenges in the environmental sector, social assistance, housing, health, education, social security, among others.
Organizers want to support emerging firms generating new applications, processes or products for the public good. First and foremost, qualifying startups are micro/small companies conducting scientific and/or technological research for a specific cause.
Another stipulation requires startups to have a primary researcher leading the project. This person doesn’t need to have a masters or doctorate degree. On the contrary, they must work a minimum of 30 hours a week.
Further requisites say that participants should have already completed Phases 1 and 2 of the PIPE program. Candidates also need to operate in São Paulo, employ up to 250 employees and be active for at least 12 months prior to the announcement.
Moreover, FAPESP plans to select projects ready for Phase 3 of the PIPE/PAPPE program. Companies develop products for industrial and commercial markets during this segment.
Is there a process?
Interested startups must submit proposals by the April 22 deadline. Keep in mind, however, that applications have to be submitted electronically on FAPESP’s Management Support System website. Approved companies will be supported for up to 24 months.
Personally, I love this. Nothing inspires me more than major funds going to admirable causes. It’s reassuring that a government wants to revamp its bureaucratic processes. In my opinion, innovative entrepreneurs are the best people to get the job done.