The University of Concepción's Business and Technology Enterprises Incubator (IncubaUdeC) celebrated World Creativity and Innovation Day with an event that also involved the presentation of all its 2021 entrepreneurship programmes – which will receive the support of Santander and Chile's Production Development Corporation (CORFO).
Concepción, Chile. 22 April 2021.
In 2020, IncubaUdeC (IU) digitalised all of its services and took this excellent opportunity to extend its coverage at national level; giving itself a formal presence in the southern macrozone and the Metropolitan Region. This expansion was reflected in the participation of over 1,200 entrepreneurs in the project calls announced.
It was proposed that for 2021, innovation and entrepreneurship should be brought closer to each and every one of us, by launching "IncubaUdeC Inaugural Year 2021" as part of "World Creativity and Innovation Day" in a live broadcast via www.incubaudec.cl.
Present at this event, which was jointly organised with the University of Concepción and sponsored by Banco Santander, was Carlos Saavedra Rubilar, Rector of UdeC, who commented that "21st April has been chosen as World Creativity and Innovation Day and the main characteristics of the innovators here is that they are capable of capturing human creativity in its various forms; they can remain focused on the opportunities and problems involved when creating innovative solutions; and they have belief in their ability to solve such problems."
The event also saw the presentation, through a panel discussion, of three inspirational stories of entrepreneurial success supported by Santander: Cicla 3D (represented by its CEO, Roger Escalup); AlbaMov (represented by Pamela Salazar); and Algramo (represented by José Manuel Moller, its CEO and founder, who was recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of its “Young Global Leaders" in 2019). It was hoped that presenting innovation success stories of natives of Concepción, would motivate and incentivise the local population.
Commenting on this event, Rodrigo Machuca, head of Santander Universities, said "Banco Santander's purpose is to support people and institutions and help them to prosper, not only in the financial field, but also by developing initiatives and programmes related to scholarships and entrepreneurship on a global level. The focus is on higher education, because we are sure that will help support the future of humankind. For that reason we would like to congratulate the University of Concepción and its incubator, for constantly driving initiatives to promote entrepreneurship."
The milestones related to the setting up of the IncubaUdeC Mentors Network were a particular highlight in the formal presentation of all of IncubaUdeC's services – which are backed by CORFO and exclusively for its portfolio. In 2020, 510 research students received support in this area. In a similar vein, through the PEP Student-Business 2020 programme, more than 35 UdeC students formed part of 30 start-ups in the incubation stage and help was also given to create 5 spin-offs.
Taking this into account, Macarena Vera Messer, Corfo's regional head, added that: "I would just like to thank IncubaUdeC, as when it presents its programmes and looks to Corfo for financing to develop ecosystems, it is exactly what we need. This is a collaborative effort, we couldn't do this alone in the Regional Government. We always need this support to strengthen these entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems."
The incubator, which was set up in Concepción in 2002 and is supported and financed by Corfo, under the auspices of the vice-rector of Research and Development at UdeC, was chosen as the third best of its kind among 600 South American incubators and accelerators and in the top 20 globally, in 2019, by UBI Global – a Swedish organisation which assesses and connects entities that help develop new businesses worldwide.
Pablo Catalán, head of Development and Innovation at UdeC explains that "You have to appreciate that ecosystems today need to understand the life cycle of a business start-up, that the tools used vary as these new enterprises develop. However, at the same time, you must also realise that it is tremendously difficult to successfully set up these innovation ecosystems without strong technological bases."
Finally, it is worth noting that key factors like training, technology transfer and business acceleration are all part of IncubaUdeC's burgeoning value proposition, aimed at helping the various programmes in its 2021 portfolio to grow.