Innovation without borders

An online matchday held in May brought together Brazilian corporations and Swedish startups looking for new business and partnerships.

Brazilian and Swedish flag

Innovative solutions and valued relationships were the reasons that led Braskem, BRF, Duratex, Gerdau, Suzano and VLI Logística to participate in online matchmaking meetings with more than 25 Swedish startups.

The organizing institutions, CISB and Ignite Sweden, planned a week of events in Brazil between Brazilian corporations and Swedish startups since 2019, but adverse situations caused by the new world scenario, meant that the institutions had to reinvent themselves.

The solution found was a new online version of the event, the Sweden Brazil Startup Matchday, held on May 20th, with support from the Science and Technology Office of the Swedish Embassy in Brazil, RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) and SISP (Swedish Incubators & Science Parks), and funding from the Swedish innovation agency, Vinnova.

Sustainability, new materials, monitoring, information security, and others were among the areas of technological interest of the participating companies.

– Mapping and approaching companies were a long process. CISB started the dialog with more than 30 corporations until we reached the six participants. Our goal was to attract these Brazilian giants and facilitate the discovery of solutions for the innovation demands that Sweden could provide, describes Alessandra Holmo, CISB’s Managing Director.

The process included a stage of prior preparation for both companies and startups, which increased the assertiveness of the meetings, since those looking for specific solutions promptly found them.

We had initial meetings with the event team to present our challenges for 2020, and that made all the difference, says Stephanie Blum, Innovation Manager at BRF. The selection process helped find the ideal startups and we did not waste time with companies that did not have the right profile, she added.

Representing one of the startups, Maryam Nasirpour, development engineer at Insplorion, says that her company has been to several similar events, but that receiving a presentation from the company she would meet before the meeting helped a lot. 

– It gave us the opportunity to prepare ourselves to create a presentation focused on their needs, she says.

Gerdau also obtained positive results, due to the clarity of the startups in their presentations. 

They directed the speech to what we are looking for, which was important, allowing us to deepen the discussion, even within a short period of time, says Bruno Wolff de Fraga, a representative for the advanced materials innovation area at Gerdau.


More than joining sides with complementary interests, the matchday aimed to open doors for new businesses, and everything indicates that this is already underway.

In a conversation, Katja Lindvall, co-founder and vice president of the startup Moving Floor, says that they were chosen by one of the companies to continue the talks initiated at the event and that even though they are at the early stages of conversation, the organization is already a potential customer.

In the case of Duratex, the company sought assistance in the challenges presented by its industrial units, developing partnerships for projects that would be implemented soon. 

– The connections made during the matchday made it possible for our technical staff to approach the startups’ proposals, which was great! The next steps were generated during the event, explains Fernanda Bueno Vieira, Innovation and Sustainability Manager at the company.

Dynamic innovation ecosystem

Sweden is known for being one of the countries that most encourage innovation in the world, and Brazil has also remained a pulsating force in this regard. The union between these forces can bring benefits to all of those involved.

Stephanie, from BRF, is excited to say that she has already been to Stockholm and had contact with the Swedish innovation ecosystem there. “I was delighted,” she says and was even more surprised to see that the matchday managed to bring so many interesting solutions within the scope that the company was looking for.

This view is shared by Bruno Fraga, from Gerdau, who believes that a closer relationship between the two countries is possible, as he perceives “a great positive differential in the commitment relationship in the Swedish ecosystem that involves CISB, Ignite Sweden, startups and other actors.”

Everyone is mutually strengthened through cooperation. For startups, the Brazilian market and its enormous potential is an opportunity for the emergence of new customers, projects, and businesses. For Brazilian companies, on the other hand, the connection with new technologies and Swedish innovations makes it possible to increase their competitiveness and find solutions to their challenges and needs.

Article originally published by CISB. Click here to read the article on their website.

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