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Brazilian Startups Shine at U-Start Conference Brazil

Posted on the 11 March 2014 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw

Telefonica Vivo recently announced the four winners of the U-Start Conference Brazil, which was held in São Paulo in February. The conference is one of several satellite events for the U-Start Conference that is held annually in Milan, Italy. The mission of the U-Start Conference is to identify high-potential startups, help them find investors, and connect them to the international startup ecosystem.

Through the U-Start Conference Brazil, Brazilian startup companies competed for a chance to tap into the financing they need to grow their businesses internationally. As the event sponsor, Telefonica Vivo announced the four winners that will be advancing to the next round in Milan. The winning Brazilian startups are NearBytes, LoveMondays, Intoo, and ZeroPaper.

During the U-Start Conference Brazil, 19 Brazilian companies had the opportunity to pitch their startup to a panel of investors as well as U-Start’s local partners during a day-long session. The top four companies will now travel to attend the main event in Milan in May, where they will present their business ideas to an audience of international, early-stage investors.

Originally called Bloom, the first U-Start Conference was held in Milan in 2013. That year, the conference hosted more than 600 delegates, 15 accelerators, 80 investors, and 100 startups from South America, Russia, Africa, and Europe. This year, in addition to Brazil, the U-Start Conference is holding competitions in Cape Town, South Africa, Moscow, Russia, and Lugano, Switzerland.

The U-Start Conference Brazil specifically targets early-stage companies across a wide range of B2B and B2C sectors. However, there must be a technology or innovation component to the business. Additionally, the company must have already shown promise by having raised money from other investors or incubators.

To be eligible, competing companies must be seeking over EUR 300,000 to either consolidate their business or to scale their business internationally. They must also demonstrate a clear and proven business model. Demonstrating existing partnerships and growing revenue is also important. However, in the case of social or mobile businesses, judges will consider revenue secondary to the number of users and their activities on the platform.

As Brazilian businesses continue to seek opportunities on the international stage, events like the U-Start Conference Brazil will play an increasingly significant role.

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