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INNOVATE™ Curitiba

With the purpose of fostering entrepreneurship and developing micro and small businesses, the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service of Paraná (Sebrae/PR) is a private institution that, since 1972, has been working with business consultancy and development, innovation, entrepreneurial education, startups and articulates the strengthening of the business environment.

In the capital of the state of Paraná, in Curitiba, Sebrae/PR has innovation as one of its strategic pillars and works in partnership with the City of Curitiba, through the Curitiba Development and Innovation Agency, to strengthen the Vale do Pinhão (Pinhão Valley), an ecosystem of innovation in the city.

Event held by Sebrae/PR energizes the startup ecosystem in Paraná.

The strategy carried out during 2023 sought to articulate the work of innovative companies with the development of innovation environments. The union allowed the creation of more projects and an increase in the number of innovative companies, with support from Sebrae/PR, to make small businesses in Curitiba even more competitive in the market.

With this in mind, work was developed with local governance with three innovation networks with the purpose of promoting integration and providing a better space to develop the businesses involved. One of them is the talent network, made up of 47 members from educational institutions, public or private, together with the network of innovation environments, with 51 members from accelerators and incubators, in addition to a capital network made up of 28 investor participants – angel and development banks.

To encourage entrepreneurship, Sebrae/PR held, in 2023, the Feira do Empreendedor (Entrepreneur’s Fair) in Curitiba, an event that brought together more than 17 thousand participants during four days of diverse content, including the subject of innovation. The institution, in addition, dedicated efforts to working with sectoral clusters.

The Destinos Turísticos Inteligentes (Smart Tourist Destinations) aspect, started in 2020, aims to transform the city into a reference on the subject by the year 2030, through the generation of memorable experiences based on innovative, technological, sustainable, accessible tourism and having the population as a focus, according to the Mapa Estratégico de Curitiba Destino Turístico Inteligente (Strategic Map of Curitiba Smart Tourist Destination).

“Within a permanent process of innovation, we encourage initiatives and projects linked to entrepreneurship to impact the ecosystem and generate business opportunities, employment and income, through the strength of small businesses in Curitiba”, ponders the superintendent director of Sebrae/PR, Vitor Roberto Tioqueta.

Executive Board of Sebrae/PR – José Gava Neto, Vitor Roberto Tioqueta, and César Reinaldo Rissete.

Part of these efforts were recognized during the Prêmio Nacional de Inovação (National Innovation Award), where Vale do Pinhão stood out among the three large ecosystems in Brazil for stimulating the innovation environment through entrepreneurship, creative economy and technology to transform the capital of Paraná into a smarter city. Another piece of evidence is the growth of innovative companies, startups, pillars of Sebrae/PR’s strategies and which, in the last ten years, have grown sevenfold, going from 84, in 2014, to 604 startups according to the Mapeamento de Startups Paranaenses 2022/2023 (Mapping of Startups Paraná 2022 /2023).

One of the main drivers of this process is Startup PR Conecta which, in its eighth edition, in 2023, brought together 631 participants to encourage and raise awareness among entrepreneurs on the topic of startups, with content, collective mentoring and networking over two days. The event also integrated the Connect Week, a movement focused on fostering and developing innovation and technology.

Vale do Pinhão stood out among the three large ecosystems in Brazil at the National Innovation Award.

As a continuation of this awareness, Sebrae/PR promoted the Startup Garage, stimulating the development, together with higher education institutions, of 20 startup training programs with students from different courses, which resulted in around 200 innovative projects in areas such as health, technology and engineering.

They had encouragement from Sebrae/PR to connect with innovation environments. One of the success stories is the connection with the pre-incubator at the Technological University of Paraná (UTFPR), Sprint, which is an environment recognized in the Prêmio Habitats de Inovação do Paraná (Habitats Innovation Award of Paraná) and received ten projects from Startup Garage.

The Feira do Empreendedor (Entrepreneur Fair) welcomed more than 17,000 participants over four days of the event.

Another initiative promoted by the institution is the Capital Empreendedor (Entrepreneurial Capital) program, which brings investors together with those who undertake and which enables startups to raise funds. In 2023, one of the successful companies is headquartered in Curitiba. Caçambas Online was awarded in the “Outstanding Entrepreneur” category for bringing specialized solutions in construction waste management and offering rental of dumpsters, containers and machines.

Sebrae/PR also provides other free solutions or with financial subsidies encouraging companies to promote innovation in their businesses, such as the activities carried out at the Agente Local de Inovação (Local Innovation Agent) and Sebraetec, programs that served 491 companies in Curitiba during the year 2023.

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