They will finance “startups” that provide solutions beyond Covid-19

The Córdoba Agency Innovar y Emprender will present today a project to boost startups (technology-based ventures) that provide solutions to the problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the economy and in society.

The plan is to summon projects with a certain degree of progress, give them a boost with the advice of businessmen and specialists and prepare them so that they can attend a round with investors, in which the Province can also participate with its funds for entrepreneurship.

“The pandemic will mark a before and after. The idea is to go to the entrepreneurial ecosystem to find solutions not only to the health crisis, but to other problems that are going to arise at an economic and social level, and that have an impact in the medium and long term, “assures the president of the Agency, Diego Casali.

The program is called “Boost to Entrepreneurship and Projects”; point to startups local and regional five areas: education mediated by technology, teleworking and technological solutions for companies, social innovation, medical and telemedicine services and provision of basic services.

The initiative tries to give continuity to the hackathons (meeting of programmers) that were generated in Córdoba, above all from the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Province, from which 72 ideas emerged to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus (from banknote sterilizers to platforms to help vulnerable groups). Or from the Business Incubator Foundation (Fide), which worked with local universities and entrepreneurial organizations in Latin America.

But it also brings together entrepreneurs and spin off (parallel businesses that flow from an organization) of SMEs that have developed products and services, and that may have had a first test in the market.

Deadlines

The program has three stages. The first is the presentation of the projects, which starts today and ends on Wednesday, April 15. Registration must be done through the virtual communication channels of the Córdoba Innovar y Emprender Agency.

The objective of this stage is to map the initiatives that, in addition, have commercial viability in the market, and thus generate a database of innovative solutions for the current problems and future challenges that the pandemic generates.

From the agency they foresee that they will get no less than 20 to 25 projects in this condition.

Then there will come a stage of preparation, in which specialist mentors will participate in each of the proposed verticals and entrepreneurs such as Marcelo Olmedo, president of the Córdoba Foreign Chamber of Commerce (Cacec); Juan Santiago, owner of the Santex technology and the Incutex accelerator; Luis Bermejo, CEO of the accelerator Alaya Capital Partners, and Mario Barra, president of the technology company Vates.

This stage will last a week and aims to prepare entrepreneurs so that they can have a round of contacts with private investors, private investment funds, accelerators and public agencies.

The plan is that in six months these projects can provide solutions in the local and regional market.

Although the program seeks financing from investors, Casali did not rule out that the Agency can contribute funds, since it has joint investment initiatives with the private sector.

“The program is designed so that in the final stage, the projects are almost mature to present themselves in search of investors. The agency can support with its accompaniment mechanisms ”, he highlighted.

The provincial entity had been implementing a series of programs, the continuity of which for this year has already been approved and will have the contribution of public funds. These resources are complemented by the contribution also made by private investors.

However, the health emergency prepared to stop the advance of the coronavirus forced to delay the start of the rest of its programs, at least until the end of the period of isolation provided at the official level, as indicated by the Agency.

Print edition

The original text of this article was published on 04/06/2020 in our printed edition.