ACE is a result-based program influencing the creation of Centers of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to incubate and accelerate businesses; launching new companies to create jobs and innovation ventures; opening new markets to companies that are soft-landing in other countries/regions; starting new projects that support access to capital for entrepreneurs; and establishing initiatives to empower women and youth in entrepreneurship and STEM. These are just some of the many successes coming from this initiative.
A New Innovation Center Boosts Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship in Uruguay
Leveraging her experience at the ACE program, Magdalena Giuria lead the creation of the Ithaka Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Catholic University of Uruguay (UCU) with 25 incubated startups that receive $450,000 yearly for their projects.
The First National Incubator Center Promotes Technological Innovation in Haiti
The center was created as a result of the inspiration, knowledge, skills, and connections acquired during the ACE program by officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF). ALPHA Haiti offers a coworking space and training on technology-based entrepreneurship.
A Brazilian Aerospace firm Invests in Puerto Rico after ACE
Celio Vaz, CEO of Orbital Engenharia, incorporated Aerospacefy LLC in the United States as a result of his participation in the ACE Puerto Rico. Aerospacefy is an aerospace company subsidiary to Celio’s company in Brazil called Orbital Engenharia S.A.
Brazil and Israel Launched a $10M Program to Advance Innovation Ventures
Following their participation in ACE, the Brazilian Industrial Research and Innovation Company (EMBRAPII) and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) launched a $10M program to support innovation ventures between companies in both countries. EMBRAPII’s R&D units are working together with Brazilian companies to facilitate research activities and collaboration with Israeli tech companies.
Four New Centers Accelerate Innovation and Business Development in Honduras
As a result of ACE, UNITEC undertook a program to strengthen UNITEC entrepreneurship hubs. To date, four Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centers (IEC) have started operations in CEUTEC Tegucigalpa and CEUTEC San Pedro Sula. More than 150 startups have been incubated and accelerated, 750-1000 jobs have been created and retained, and 25,000 students and researchers have benefited from the centers of the University.
New Resources to Expand Biotech Projects in Uruguay
After participating in the ACE program, Sara Goldberg, COO of the Research and Innovation National Agency (ANII) of Uruguay, designed a new project to support biotech incubators and entrepreneurs by connecting them with specialized business organizations and providing seed capital to move their initiatives forward.
Canada and Germany Work Together to Advance R&D Initiatives
The ACE strengthened the on-going German Canadian R&D cooperation and increased the funding of a German Canadian network of SMEs and research institutes to support projects focused on developing new products, technical services, and better production processes.
A New High-Impact Center Promotes Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the State of Hidalgo, Mexico
Influenced by the knowledge shared in the ACE Program, José Alonso Huerta Cruz, General Director of the Council of Science, Technology, and Innovation of Hidalgo (CITNOVA), created the High-impact Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the State of Hidalgo.
A New Center Incubates, Accelerates, and Invests in Startups in Bogotá, Colombia
Jerónimo Silva, Managing Director of Bogota ICT Accelerator – BICTIA, created BICTIA after his participation in ACE 4 in the Province of Cordoba, Argentina. As of September 2020, BICTIA has trained 1,066 persons in coding, accelerated and incubated 70 startups, and has invested in 6 startups for a total of $380,000 generating around 90 direct and 250 indirect jobs.
Creation of a Club of Entrepreneurs to Boost Economic Development in Tucumán, Argentina
Virginia Ávila, Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Tucuman, Argentina, spearheaded the creation of the Club of Entrepreneurs in Tucumán based on models and examples she saw during the ACE program. The Club offers trainings, a collaborative network, coworking space, and opportunities to scale businesses into other markets.
Canada and Colombia Promote Soft-Landing Services for SMEs
Ximena Duque, Executive President of Colombian Federation of Software and IT Industry (FEDESOFT), reported that after ACE Canada, Colombian companies are receiving training from MaRS Discovery District in Canada and a Colombian company started operations in Canada due to the collaboration between FEDESOFT and MaRS. The collaboration pertains to capacity building for SMEs and soft-landing services for Colombian companies to scale-up into Canada.
Argentina and Germany Partnered to Propel R&D Projects
An agreement to fund joint research and development (R&D) projects of SMEs and academic institutes between Germany and Argentina was developed, after leaders from Argentina and Germany connected due to their participation in ACE. The participating SMEs benefit from stronger innovation capacities through funding, the international exchange of ideas and solutions, and access to new commercial relations and markets.
A New Project Empowers Women Entrepreneurs in Trinidad and Tobago
After participating in ACE, Shawn de Freitas, Co-Founder and CEO of Dingole LTD, Trinidad and Tobago, conceived the Remaining Initiatives for Sustainable Empowerment (RISE) program to address key challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean. RISE included a 3-day conference focused on women-led businesses, their potential for growth, and the possibility of creating jobs. The participants in RISE organically formed a vibrant network of active entrepreneurs, who have hosted meetups, talks, and other initiatives.
A New Project Supports Guatemalan SMEs Scaling into Mexico's Market
After participating in the ACE program, Lucia Barrera, General Director of PRODETUR Guatemala, obtained a grant of US$48,144.16 from the Association of Small Business Centers, United States, to develop a Twinning Project jointly with the SME support Center in Mexico to strengthen commercial skills of Guatemalan SMEs. The project includes a soft-landing service in Mexico for Guatemalan companies to join supply chains.
The Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil Partnered with the United States-Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC) to Boost Innovation in Ecuador
Roberto García, Research and Graduate Program Coordinator at the Catholic University of Santiago of Guayaquil in Ecuador, leveraged the ACE to strengthen a partnership with Carlos Martinez, CEO of TechBa Colombia in FUMEC, another ACE participant, to support the creation of the business incubator at the University of Santiago Guayaquil and implement innovation-driven programs to accelerate and scale-up startups and SMEs in Ecuador.
Brazil and Germany Harness the Power of Collaboration to Advance Research
The CORNET Network (International Collective Research for SMEs) Coordination Office, supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany, succeeded in incorporating Brazil as a new partner in the initiative following their participation in ACE. EMBRAPII Brazil is now representing Brazil in the CORNET Network.
A Strategic Plan Transforms the Logistics Sector in the State of Hidalgo, Mexico
After participating in the ACE program, Alonso Huerta, General Director of CITNOVA, implemented a strategic plan for the logistics sector in the State of Hidalgo, Mexico. Georgia Tech (United States) provided technical assistance and a Master Plan for the Logistics and Transportation Innovation for the State of Hidalgo was designed and implemented.
Intelligent Financing Powers Early-Stage Companies in Colombia
Based on her experience during the ACE program, Isabella Echeverry, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Chamber of Commerce of Cali, created the program Fondeate to raise awareness about the importance of intelligent financing of early-stage companies, connecting high impact entrepreneurs with financing sources, tools, and success stories.
Expansion of the Creative Business Cup-Innovation Competition to Guatemala and Haiti
The Creative Business Cup-Innovation Competition (CBC) seeks to promote the creative industries in more than 70 countries. The national winners participate in the Global Finals in Copenhagen, Denmark. The network and knowledge provided by the ACE program facilitated the initiative to expand into Guatemala and Haiti.
A New Initiative Nurtures Entrepreneurial Culture in High Schools in Haiti
As a direct result of his participation in ACE 8, Rock Andre, Director of CEDEL Haiti, sought to transform high schools into entrepreneurship hubs through the creation of entrepreneurship clubs. Clubs provide space for students to practice creativity, entrepreneurship, and experience leadership. As of August 2019, 12 entrepreneurship clubs have been launched.
Outreach Program Encourages Young Women to Pursue STEM Careers in Belize
Thanks to her participation in the ACE Program, Shahera McKoy, Manager of EXPORTBelize, connected with the SciGirls Program, an educational outreach program that encourages young women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning and careers. Leveraging the ACE network and convinced that Belize needed to encourage young women to embrace careers and entrepreneurship opportunities in STEM fields, Shahera and SciGirls Program implemented a monthly academic outreach on STEM subjects for young women in Belize during 2018 and 2019.
A New Social Innovation Comprehensive Center in Maule, Chile
Based on her experience in ACE Argentina, Carolina Rojas, Innovation Advisor at the Catholic University of Maule, Chile, was inspired to create the Social Innovation Comprehensive Center. The Center has articulated the academia with research projects in different territories, connecting them with government and businesses promoting regional development to support rural communities. The Center has created and retained at least 10 direct jobs since 2018.
An Innovation Center in Ecuador to propel business development
Roberto García, Coordinator at the Vice Rectorate of Research and Graduate Programs at the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil, was inspired by innovation centers visited during the ACE in Puerto Rico. Based on his experience, he strengthened and improved both the infrastructure and the strategy of HUB 58, an innovation center that the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil manages jointly with five other Ecuadorian universities. The HUB 58 was launched on February 7, 2020.
Toolkits to advance business digitization and eCommerce in Costa Rica
Inspired by her experience during the ACE in Northern California, Liz Brenes, Head of the SME Observatory at the Distance State University (UNED) in Costa Rica, developed two toolkits to support business digitization. On one hand, she created a Chat Bot that facilitates access to administrative procedures in Costa Rica. On the other hand, she put together a toolbox to improve the digital presence of startups and SMEs.
Mentoring Program expanded from Chile to Latin America
Based on the knowledge exchange during the ACE in Puerto Rico, Javier Cueto, CEO of Imagine Lab in Chile, was moved to expand the mentoring program throughout company sizes and across Latin America. Currently, Imagine Lab offers the Mentoring Program to startups and SMEs in nine Latin-American countries.
Public Innovation Program to Empower Civic Participation in Bogota, Colombia
After attending the ACE in Canada, Fernando Estupiñán, Director at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism -former Deputy Secretary of Economic Development of Bogota- in Colombia, was inspired to launch a public innovation project to increase citizens’ engagement in public programs. The project sought to incorporate new technologies to facilitate open communication with the citizens of Bogota. In 2019, the project was nominated for the Engaged Cities Award.
Ecuador and Guatemala Leverage Collaboration to Propel Applied Research
Roberto García, Coordinator at the Vice Rectorate of Research and Graduate Programs at the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil (Ecuador), connected with the San Carlos University of Guatemala at the ACE in Puerto Rico. Building on this connection, in August 2020 the universities entered into an international cooperation agreement to promote academic exchanges to advance science, new technologies, and applied research.
Soft-Landing Services to Propel Upscaling of Chilean SMEs into Germany
During the ACE in Canada, Carlos Ladrix, Head of Division at Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), connected with Germany’s Ministry of Economy. Leveraging this connection, Chile and Germany launched a project to train Chilean SMEs on German business culture to enter the German market.
Business Accelerator Attract Foreign Talent to Propel Innovation in Uruguay
After participating in the ACE in Canada, Sara Goldberg, Chief Operations Manager at the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII) in Uruguay, was inspired to launch a business acceleration program called Proyecta Uruguay. The program attracts foreign talents to Uruguay and boosts innovation-driven business development in the country. The program offers mentoring sessions, access to investors, and access to seed capital.