A world of possibility – and productivity – now a reality for Go.GlobalX finalist Ubivis
Updated: Dec 17, 2021
Author: Jackelyn Gill
Paulo Henrique Souza had a powerful vision when he founded his industry 4.0 tech startup Ubivis: a Brazil that competes with the productivity of leading countries around the world.
And, as the winner of the first annual Go.GlobalX pitch competition on Nov. 23, 2021, he now plans to unleash productivity beyond borders.
“Our first goal was to add technology to help companies in Brazil,” Paulo says. “I think we’ve reached a point where we have very good technology that can bring value also for companies in Canada, United States, and more.”
Ubivis was one of 35 startups that joined Go.GlobalX, a one-year acceleration program designed to take startups from the South of Brazil through four phases of development, from the initial idea to validation to gaining traction in a global market, and finally reaching a global scale.
And it rose to the top of seven finalists vying for a spot in the March 2022 cohort of the Canada Starthub Program – an international startup program that helps prepare businesses from abroad to apply for the startup visa, get international traction, and scale.
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Starting local, going global
Launched in November 2020, Go.GlobalX is the result of a partnership with Sebrae, the innovation alliance that brings three universities UFRGS, PUCRS, and Unisinos together with Unicred and the state’s government.
Its mission? Luis Barrionuevo, co-founder and COO of Canada StartHub – a key partner with Go Global X – says it best. “We have an ecosystem in southern Brazil where startups are doing amazing things. But they have no chance and no voice to connect the world or connect to other people around the world,” he explains.
The goal is to connect the finalists with opportunities in the global market, and to show markets in other countries that there is an opportunity here.”
Alongside Ubivis, Go.GlobalX’s finalists include other impressive companies ready to scale internationally, like:
Nutrition Thinking, a health and wellness platform that empowers nutritionists to deliver human-centered nutrition plans.
Provid, a tech company that uses sensors and workout data to increase motivation for gym-goers and customer retention for gyms.
TideSat, a satellite-based solution that measures water levels to monitor natural disasters and climate change.
Epigenica Biosciences, an approach to healthcare that includes environmental factors when monitoring, preventing, and treating illness.
Iris, a gamified AR/AI experience that helps children build self-awareness and self-regulation around their use of digital technology.
ZeoFertil, a solution that chemically transforms industrial waste like silicon and aluminum into smart potassium fertilizer.
Ubivis was awarded the win by judges Fernando Seabra, co-founder of the Angel Investor Club; André Coutinho, venture builder and member of Entrepreneur Organization; Carl S. Furtado, principal of Frog Pond Ventures; and Pravin Rodrigues, co-founder, COO, and chief social impact officer at Creci Inc, and managing director of Espera Ventures Inc.
But Luis notes that all of the finalists benefited from the pitch competition experience. With attendees joining virtually from Canada, Portugal, Germany, Brazil, England, and Estonia, for example, six of the finalists developed some kind of international connection, he says.
“Three finalists are also connecting right now with investors in Canada.”
One received investment in Brazil during the Go.GlobalX program that will support a year or two abroad so the business can gain traction internationally.
And all finalists gained valuable knowledge and experience they can carry forward, Luis adds.
“They have the opportunity to use all the skills and the technology they evolved during the program to apply for other opportunities around the world.”
A future that goes beyond horizons
For Luis, 2021 was a culmination of hard work on behalf of the startups that participated in the program and the Go Global X program itself. And it’s picking up steam fast.
“We are very excited to push the limits more than we have done this year,” he says. “Because we have now run the first edition, Brazil knows much more about the program. Organizations outside of southern Brazil are interested, and startups from other states in Brazil will be able to apply to be a part of the process.”
Luis also looks forward to bringing new mentors on board and incorporating feedback from this year’s cohort to continually improve the program.
Paulo has a lot to look forward to as well, as he gets ready to join Canada StartHub’s 2022 cohort launching March 14, 2022: he’s applying for his Canadian Startup Visa and working with a Canadian accelerator soon. “We want to get started in Canada by doing things the right way. This will drive us to perform this correctly.”
As for leaving with the grand prize?
“What we’re developing here in Brazil will have value for Canada as well,” Paulo adds. “I think this is the best thing of all in winning this competition.”