First round of Brazilian government-backed start-ups is announced

Public-private partnership has selected 56 new projects so far

The Brazilian Ministry of Technology, Science and Innovation (MCTI) has announced the first 56 projects that were chosen to be supported by its program to foster technology start-ups.

The Start-Up Brasil program will see R$60bi ($23.6bi) invested in 300 new software companies. In this first round, the initiative received 908 applications.

"We will strengthen the software industry in Brazil through a public-private partnership, with the government orchestrating the program's execution," says IT policy secretary at the MCTI, Virgilio Almeida.

The accelerators chosen to support the startups are 21212, Aceleratech, Outsource Brazil, Start You Up, Acelera Brasil, Papaya Ventures, Acelera MG, Wayra and Pipa.

Education is the most representative focus area of the start-ups supported by the government. This is followed by retail, health, finance, events and tourism.

Some 87,7% of these new companies are predominantly composed by men. The IT policy secretary was quoted as saying that more women need to be involved in high-tech and entrepreneurship, but did not say if the government has any plans for that at all.

Out of the pool of initial applications, 236 came from non-Brazilian companies. Eleven foreign companies - from the USA, Ireland, Argentina, Colombia, Spain and Israel - were chosen as part of the first round.

"We also want to bring bring intelligence from outside Brazil to develop the national software sector," Almeida adds.

The government will organize an event in September, named Induction Week, where the accelerators will work with the chosen companies. In October, a new tendering process will begin for the second part of the selection process for another 50 start-ups. In November, another tender will be released for the accelerators.