Young people from entrepreneur centres at the country's public and private universities presented their projects to senior figures in the bank, in an event fostering dialogue and exchange. The projects were selected for their innovative capacity, scalability and potential to generate employment.

29th October 2020 
Innovation and entrepreneurial spirit took centre stage at the fourth Elevator Day. This is an event organised by Banco Santander, bringing together senior figures from the bank, representatives of universities and young people from entrepreneur centres in Uruguay's public and private universities, supported by Santander Universities. The event was live streamed from Uruguay's Technical Laboratory.

Nine teams of entrepreneurs from the pre-incubators at the Julio Ricaldoni Foundation at the Universidad de la República, the Universidad Tecnológica (UTEC), the Universidad de Montevideo (UM), the Universidad Católica (UCU) and the Universidad ORT showcased their projects at an event with limited attendance.

The chosen teams presented their projects to a jury comprising Gustavo Trelles, Country Head of Santander in Uruguay; Pablo Gaudio, head of Retail; and Carmen Farina, head of Human Resources, Customer Satisfaction, Costs and Responsible Banking.

"Entrepreneurs are the main players and driving force in building a better future. The multiple challenges and difficulties we're facing today mean that talent, innovation, creativity and effort are more important than ever. Today is a day we can all be very proud of. Some of the projects we've heard about are still in the early stages while others are already well established, but there is a common theme: progress and prosperity. We hope that our support and perspective will add value for all of the participants," Mr Trelles said.

Santander awarded UYU $125,000 to the winning project in the Ideas category, for validation of the business project, and $25,000 to the educational institution it was representing. In the Established ideas section, the bank undertook to set up a meeting with customers for the winner. The bank also offered interest-free credit, repayable over five years, depending on the maturity of the project and its position in the competition, to foster entrepreneurship among all of the participants. 


The finalist projects offer solutions in a range of areas with very diverse interests. VetCase is seeking to connect users with specialist vets worldwide, to overcome geographical barriers and lack of trained professionals through telemedicine.

Creative ColorLabs is seeking to provide a solution for the paint and coverings industry, by creating databases for tintometric systems, reducing production costs through the creation of an independent laboratory. 

The Mathematical Education Virtual Reality project is seeking to motivate students by providing an alternative to traditional teaching, through an innovative virtual-reality mechanism. 

SOSEI is aiming to help farmers move towards regenerative agriculture, where the crops return organic material and nutrients to the soil to keep it healthy, creating a road map and facilitating the information needed to achieve this objective. 

ILEX was the winning team in this category. Its project involves creating domestic-heating pellets based on waste from "yerba mate" and coffee consumed in Uruguay, providing a sustainable solution.

Hifa is focusing on replacing plastics and polluting products with environmentally-friendly products, through the creation of malleable bio-materials that can be modified to meet the consumer's requirements.

Established ideas

TGR uses hardware it has created to compile information and provide solutions for problems that electric vehicle users may face, and also garages. 

TuPase was the winner in this category. Its project aims to enable companies to retain talent through additional motivation, by helping companies subsidise monthly membership fees for sports centres for their employees, which also supports the fitness industry.

Workifit uses the best marketing and technology to optimise recruitment processes, making personalised recommendations based on artificial intelligence, to recommend candidates to companies and present opportunities to candidates.

Banco Santander and its support of Higher Education
Banco Santander is firmly committed to progress and inclusive, sustainable growth, with a long-standing dedication to higher education that sets it apart from the world's other financial institutions. With more than €1,800 million invested in academic initiatives since 2002 through Santander Universities and over 430,000 university scholarships and grants awarded since 2005, it has been recognised as the company that invests the most in education worldwide (Varkey/UNESCO, Fortune 500 Report), with agreements in place with 1,000 universities and institutions in 22 countries.