Fertile ground for startups

Is there any advantage in digging the entrepreneurship and innovation mines? Searching for those companies that are valuable for generating wealth out of creativity, intelligence, the boldness to provoke disruption and the willingness to run risks in the Brazilian ecosystem?

Let’s think about the startups contribution to the North American economy. According to Compass Consulting (in The Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015), nine American companies of technology — Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Zynga, Salesforce and VMware — have together created wealth of one trillion dollars. Excepting Apple, none of them existed or were relevant 15 years ago. Today they represent almost 7% of the American Gross National Product.

Another benchmark: Israel, a nation with 8 million inhabitants and all kinds of natural and geopolitical difficulties. Thanks to the incentive policies granted to the technology companies — about 5% of the country’s GNP is invested in research and development — startups blossom and attract investments from all over the world. The Office of the Chief Scientist, a government department, manages those resources to support startups. About one hundred Israeli startups negotiate their shares in NASDAQ. In 2014, nine Israeli companies’ IPOs attracted more than 9 billion dollars from investors.

Now, let us look at our country. In the best ecosystems for startups ranking, performed by Compass, the city of São Paulo appears on the 12º position, between Paris and Moscow. The availability of risk capital, the great number of active technological startups (between 1,500 and 2,700) and a Stock Exchange with high business volume are among the relevant indicators. Finally, the report highlights the influence of companies’ success stories such as Dafiti, Netshoes and Easy Taxi on talented professionals, stimulating them to change from a corporative career to entrepreneurship.

They tell us the ground is fertile for the blooming of startups. It just lacks the mobilization of our entrepreneurs’ energies using the right stimuli. There is a bill in the Brazilian Congress (PL 6625/13) that will guarantee incentives for small businesses for that purpose.

Above this, we need to stimulate the companies who want to have high revenue. Why not offer tax incentives to those willing to invest in startups — a kind of Rouanet law for technological innovation? If we use these financial sources to encourage entrepreneurs we will certainly see the so praised Brazilian creativity work for real resulting in products, innovative technologies and profitable businesses.

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