Developing a business plan considering global expansion is one of the main challenges for Brazilian entrepreneurs
by Mônica Miliatti*
The Brazilian startup world is changing and entrepreneurs are gaining more visibility. In the past three years, market development got a boost from the creation of trade groups, government incentive programs and new local and foreign funding sources, among others.
However, the journey is just beginning. The first insights from the study “Radiography of the Brazilian Startups Ecosystem”, developed by the Brazilian Association of Startups (ABStartup), in partnership with Accenture, point out that the three biggest challenges for Brazilian entrepreneurs up to 2020 are: client engagement, marketing strategy and pricing & revenue strategy.
There is also a cultural issue that needs to be addressed: the overtly regionalized vision of Brazilian entrepreneurs. “The very concept of a startup is to offer the best product or service with scalability to global markets, not just in a single national territory. Differently from other countries, Brazilian entrepreneurs have difficulty at adopting a global vision during the strategic planning of the business,” explains Alex Granjeiro, Director of Genova, Spread’s Entrepreneurship Hub.
For this reason, the accelerator community plays a fundamental role in developing the Brazilian entrepreneurship mentality. “As Genova Director, I have been very close to investors and other accelerators who became our partners, in addition to engaging daily with countless entrepreneurs in search of improvement and mentoring – and the globalization topic is mostly missing,” he says.
Usually products and services idealized by startups seeking investors are already operating in a few clients, but the focus of an accelerator is to expand the solution in multiple markets, always based on a risk analysis and the potential for global growth.
“A startup that takes full advantage of the process leaves acceleration programs completely transformed. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to test out every little detail of their ideas, using several different validation tools, such as Design Thinking, Lean models, sprints, viability studies and mentoring with experts,” Alex explains, “in addition to being in constant contact with an ecosystem that includes not only other startups, but large companies from many verticals.
Consequently, entrepreneurs have resources to network and interact with mentoring teams, usually composed by a multidisciplinary range of experts, who help expand the business vision. This results in a structural and strategic co-creation that helps avoid mistakes, improving startup operations.
Success also depends on the entrepreneurial profile of the founders, who must show a high degree of knowledge, specialization and commitment to what they offer. In 2018, the challenge still is to extract as much knowledge as possible, generating innovation. The Brazilian community of entrepreneurs must, according to Alex, develop scalable projects, broadening their global vision, partnering with accelerators that promote exchanges and partnerships with foreign universities and startup ecosystems.
“The kick-start for the development of Brazilian startups has already been given. Globalization is the next step for accelerators and startups to grow their businesses and take full advantage of new and diverse knowledge. The greater the exchange of skills and experiences beyond their national territory, the greater the chances of becoming true unicorns of global entrepreneurship,” concludes Alex.
* Mônica Miliatti is a journalist at essense, the agency responsible for Spread’s content strategy