• Throughout 14 editions, Banco Santander has awarded prizes worth 22.4 million pesos to encourage new ideas from young Mexicans. 

Five university teams were the winners of the Santander Award for Business Innovation 2019 in its different categories, with proposals ranging from a magnetic power generator for cell phones, a bioplastic based on orange peels, to a device that helps people with paraplegia to get up and walk.

This editions which was organized by the bank, the most important recognition to entrepreneurs in Mexico and organized received a total of 2,643 projects from public and private universities in all states of the Republic, a record figure that represents 99% more than the call last year.

During the awards ceremony, the Chairman of the Board of Banco Santander Mexico, Marcos Martinez Gavica, stressed the importance of encouraging young people as a source of innovation. He also endorsed the commitment that the bank has made to higher education precisely for the benefit of university students throughout the country "through agreements with more than 800 public and private universities, Banco Santander has awarded more than 63,000 scholarships and infrastructure support totaling more than 1,250 million pesos in more than two decades of work with universities.

The Executive President of Banco Santander Mexico, Hector Grisi Checa, said that as part of his task as Responsible Banking, Santander is accompanying the initiatives of young people who have projects with great social impact.

To more than 200 young attendees, who are part of the finalist teams of the award, he said that Santander is aware that entrepreneurs need support and the "push" to make their projects come true. Therefore, "this year we are proud to grant 1.6 million pesos in prizes and give again the opportunity for talented young people to participate in workshops and boot camps to enhance their skills", this is the only support of this kind in the country.

Luisa María Alcalde Luján, head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS), said that companies play a vital role in building a fairer society. Luisa Maria Alcalde also recognized Banco Santander for supporting the entrepreneurial skills of new generations of young innovators and helping to establish the foundations for a stronger business ecosystem in Mexico.

She recalled that young people are a priority for this government and for the Secretariat that leads it and stressed the importance of promoting and supporting them so that they form part of the country's value chains. "Millions of young people with dreams, with a lot to give and incorporating them into productive activities is a great gamble, for this reason Building the Future Youth Program is a priority.

The guests of honour at this ceremony were: Luisa María Alcalde Luján, Secretary of Labour and Social Security; Enrique Graue Wiechers, Rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico; Enrique Fernández Fassnacht, Director General of the National Technological Institute of Mexico; and Jaime Valls Esponda, Executive Secretary General of ANUIES.

Within the framework of the event, five teams of university entrepreneurs received the prizes corresponding to the category of Idea and Prototype.

Winners of the Santander Award for Business Innovation 2019

The awards to the best projects of each category, Idea and Prototype, are:

Category ´Idea´:

  • $300,000 pesos for first place
  • $200,000 pesos for second place
  • $100,000 pesos for third place

In addition to a face-to-face entrepreneurship course in the U.S., as well as the possibility of participating in TrepChallenge, Trep Challenge winners will be awarded a binational incubation process with stays in Silicon Valley and other entrepreneurial ecosystems in the United States.

The winners of the category Idea are:

First place

  • Project: Yunsei. It is an independent power generator for cell phones, similar to a power bank, which operates on the basis of magnetic opposition systems. It is an ecological product thanks to the fact that it is composed of recyclable materials and because it is not connected to the electric current it reduces the consumption and impact on the generation of C02.
  • University: UNITEC
  • Member: Ángel Manzo de la Paz

Second Place

  • Project: NanoSkin. It is a bioactive cover that combines nanotechnology with natural products to obtain a biodegradable and biocompatible material that, in addition to having potential healing activity, is low cost compared to the products offered on the market.
  • University: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Members: Mónica Citlalli Guadarrama Acevedo, Raisa Alejandra Mendoza Flores y Brenda Anahí Mejía Contreras.

Third Place

  • Project: GECO. It develops a process of obtaining bacterial cellulose from the fermentation of bagasse and orange peel to obtain a 100% biodegradable bioplastic, with a low-cost raw material, which benefits the packaging industry by providing an environmentally friendly material.
  • University: Tecnológico de Monterrey, campus Monterrey.
  • Members: Diana Valeria Rodríguez Hernández, Grecia Medina Pérez, Daniela Cepeda Perez, Giselle Mendoza Rocha y Francisco Javier Villarreal Ramírez.

Category 'Prototype':

The two best projects are awarded $500,000 pesos each, in addition to the approach to prototype improvement programs at Top 100 universities in Asia, Chile and the United States.

The two winning projects in the Prototype category are:

  • Project: RS-WC. It is a renewable and sustainable mechanism for the saving and use of water. This storage is sufficient for subsequent sanitary discharges, without the need to use clean water.
  • University: CETYS Universidad
  • Members: Christian André Iñiguez Figueroa y Fernando Raúl Cortez Chávez.
  • Project: ROKI. Es un dispositivo auxiliar que ayuda a personas con paraplejia a levantarse y caminar, aminorando los problemas derivados del uso prolongado de la silla de ruedas y permitiéndole al usuario una mejor integración social.
  • Universities: Universidad Panamericana Guadalajara y el Instituto Tecnológico José Mario Molina Pasquel Y Henríquez.
  • Members: Gerardo Daniel Izar Díaz y José Antonio Ramírez Márquez.

The Santander Business Innovation Award is an initiative of Banco Santander supported by the National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions. As well as the Higher Education Institutions that work hand in hand with Santander Universities and Universia, programs that are part of the social commitment of the Bank.

About Banco Santander México (NYSE: BSMX BMV: BSMX)

Banco Santander México, S.A., Institución de Banca Múltiple, Grupo Financiero Santander México (Banco Santander México), one of the main banks in Mexico, offers a wide range of financial products and services, including commercial and individual banking, financial advisory services, as well as other investment activities. Banco Santander Mexico offers a financial services platform aimed at the medium and upper segments of the population and small and medium-size companies. It also provides integrated financial services to large multinational companies in Mexico. As of June 30, 2019, Banco Santander Mexico had total assets of $1.368 billion and more than 17.2 million customers. Headquartered in Mexico City, the company operates 1,394 branches and offices nationwide and has a total of 19,403 employees.