Ideas- almost everyone has them, yet they are very difficult to bring to fruition. For this reason you will here many people say that ideas don’t mean anything, they are a dime a dozen. In my opinion this is not true, as everything starts with an idea.
No matter who you are or what your track record is, if you started a business, it started with an idea. Therefore, to discount the importance of the idea simply because it is difficult to bring to fruition is ignorant in my opinion. While I understand that the real challenge is the execution of the idea, the ecosystem still needs to be developed in a way that promotes the creation and dissemination of ideas.
That being said, I believe that two important pieces in the entrepreneurial ecosystem are: having a place where people can test ideas and having a place to discuss ideas. I think that crowdfunding is emerging as a new tool to help people test ideas, which is one of the reasons I am so excited about it. Having a place to discuss and share ideas is another thing, and that’s why I am super excited to have had the opportunity to visit with and ‘work’ in the Hub Curitiba this week.
The Hub Curitiba is located in downtown Curitiba (pronounced Cur –ee –chee –ba) and is a co-working space where people from all different backgrounds can come in and work on their ideas or build their startups. The Hub is a global initiative with several locations spread throughout the world (including Canada on the East Coast) that provides a location for people to share ideas, build companies and host events. This particular location in Curitiba is only a month old, so the paint is still drying.
It is a beautiful space, equipped with a boardroom, several areas to work, a kitchen and even a place to take a nap. I got the tour on Monday with Jessica, who is one of the cofounders of Hub Curitiba. Today, I returned to chat with a few of the people working out of the Hub Curitiba and ‘work’ (write this blog) in the space.
Through my conversation on Monday with Jessica, I got a chance to learn more about what Jessica thought about youth entrepreneurship in Brazil, crowdfunding and the emerging consciousness about various social issues affecting Brazil.
In regards to youth entrepreneurship, I asked Jessica what she thought about the video O Sonho Brasileiro (which I embedded in the blog Big Bad Brazil) to see if she thought it was accurate – she agreed that in many ways it is an accurate video. There is a growing group of young people here who are launching various initiatives, from social to more traditional businesses, and a growing conciousness about the issues affecting both Brazil and the world as a whole.
Jessica and I, in the HUB
Today, I got a chance to chat with Mariana, a young Brazilian entrepreneur whose company Aster Experiential Tourism, a social-tourism business, was one of twenty companies selected in the Festival of Ideas, a two-day festival in Sao Paulo in the Fall where people from all over Brazil came to pitch their ideas for a chance to win cash prizes. Following the Festival, Mariana and her business partners launched a campaign on Catarse, the Brazilian crowdfunding platform, and were successfully funded for 5,000 Reais (around $3,000).
Marina and I, on the rooftop of The Hub
Mariana chatted with me about the crowdfunding process, gave me some tips about how to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign and spoke to me a about her business. Since being funded a few months ago, Mariana and her business partners are now in the process of launching a social-tourism platform and evolving the business model. Very cool to see a project that was crowdfunded only few months ago now growing into a sustainable social business.
Overall, my days in the Hub Curitiba were fantastic for a number of reasons, but primarily because it was fun to get in there and chat with a couple of young Brazilian people with an entrepreneurial spirit. Secondly, it was cool to learn about a couple of projects that have already been crowdfunded, including one by the Hub Curitiba itself for some additions to its new space (ex. a bike rack) through the local crowdfunding site called Comecaki.
I left the Hub with the impression that this particular space in Curitiba is a great spot for discussing ideas, meeting new people and hosting events related to entrepreneurship. For anyone with an idea, it is a great place to start their entrepreneurial journey and learn from people who have recently just been through the process of launching a project.
And that’s my day at the Hub. Ate logo,