Designing everything from new apps that suggest music downloads to ones that can transform any type of online content into audio, Latin American entrepreneurs stand out because of their imaginations, their creativity, and the passion with which they try to make their dreams a reality while transforming our day-to-day lives through their ideas.
INTALENT, the creative industry competition that the Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL) has launched in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) through the MIT Technology Review, has awarded prizes to the most innovative of the 680 projects that took part.
Entrepreneurs from 20 countries in the region answered the call seeking technology-based start-ups that form part of the Orange Economy and that have the potential to reach beyond national borders and contribute to the region’s social and cultural integration.
The winner was Stereotheque, a platform for exploring music on the basis of your location, preferences, and a touch of serendipity. The project’s founder, Colombian Tomás Uribe, was awarded US$10,000 and a trip to Emtech 2016, an event on breakthrough technologies organized by the MIT Technology Review in Boston.
The second prize went to Linguoo, a collaborative app featuring oral articles in Spanish and English. Its founder, Argentine entrepreneur Emanuel Vilte, won a trip to Idear Soluciones, the IDB’s regional start-up competition, where he will present the project.
Three other projects received honorable mentions: Gran Mercado (link in Spanish), an information system that connects food producers and consumers; Tradr (link in Portuguese), an e-commerce site that focuses on female designers; and Bio360 (link in Spanish), a system of modules and capsules for green walls that include a passive watering system.
INTALENT also awarded a US$2000 prize to the best photo on climate change. The winner was Argentine Adrián Feferbaum for his photo “On Another Planet.”
The power of art to communicate the importance of caring for the environment was made clear by the quality of the photographs that were submitted to the competition.
Through this contest, INTAL rewarded innovative talent with the potential to impact the quality of life in the region and generate economic growth, in partnership with Argentina’s Ministry of Culture (link in Spanish), the Mexican Embassy in Argentina, and the Spanish-language edition of the MIT Technology Review (link in Spanish).
The activities that make up the creative sector boost income generation, create jobs, and drive exports while also fostering social inclusion, cultural diversity, and human development. These knowledge- and ideas-based economic activities are linked to a range of production chains and are increasingly driving countries’ external sectors by generating exports with high value added.
The creative economy has been one of the most energetic areas of the economy in recent years and is the sector that has seen the most growth, creating 10 million jobs and exports worth US$18 billion.
The large numbers of entrepreneurs who took part in INTALENT, the caliber of those that did so, and the winning projects’ potential reflect how important this sector could be for Latin America and the Caribbean, especially in terms of cultural integration and connectivity.
The awards ceremony will take place on October 5, 2016, in Buenos Aires, during INTAL’s annual flagship event: Exponential Integration.