8 September 2017 | Internet

To work better by a world

Halfway between a NGO and a traditional company, Uruguay more and more generates profitable businesses with a social objective.

Daniela Bluth

The house of Javier Artigas, the heart of the Prado, a part of living was transformed into dormitory. He is that Javier, 48 years, entrepreneur of all the life and renal patient from 2007, finishes receiving a transplant. He had waited for than three years and more lost, according to his calculations, 1,872 hours workable in dialysis. The operation was a success and the discharge arrived before the predicted thing. All reasons to celebrate.

During next the six Javier weeks it is going to be there, in his house, the same place where its last project arose, the one that really did it happy. Engineer of profession, changed of work and company several times. But the last one was not by election. When its disease required dialysis three times per week, their heads in a Spanish company of Aeolian energy sent a mail to him saying: €œUntil we arrived here, thanks for everything€. Soon after, during a business trip in Cordoba it was not possible to be dializar by bureaucratic problems and its life was in danger. To the return, in the middle of the familiar table, it, its wife Alejandra and her children began to throw ideas to avoid that situation became to repeat. Thus Medical Connectus was born, a platform that allows the renal patients to accede anywhere in the world to hemodialysis clinics. €œWe phelp 1,700 dollars to him to a programmer and with that we began€, it remembers. Everything what came later clears the incredible thing.

In August of 2015 they sent an exclusive platform for Uruguay. A month later, a prize of the MIT generated a €œfabulous revolution€: in a single week the Web received 400,000 visits. Quickly it added centers in Argentina and Brazil. Today it has 151 countries and than 600 patients dializando itself more simultaneously in some point of the globe. Connectus is profitable because it obtains a €œprice negotiated€ with the clinics and receives 10% to the patients by the expenses of management. But more than a good model of businesses, for Javier the key of the €œgreat success€ is to have given account of which there is to work with the emotions. €œWe are emotional beings who we reasoned. We are as buildings, our foundations are the emotions, if you preocup¡s by them does not collapse everything to you€.

Beyond the values of creatinine, Connectus investigates on the dreams and illusions of each patient. Using virtual reality it designs a €œcustomized experience€ that neither they imagine. €œWithout putting us in its life, we showed to him that this does not have limits€.

In this way of two years the names of Hern¡n Casciari hardly intercross €” who infarct, literally, at home of Javier, of Joe Gebbia, one of the founders of Airbnb €” that was first in investing in the company with an unpublished agreement and of the Nobel prize de Econom­a Alvin Roth, that startup Uruguayan in the universities of London speaks of this. Also it appears a round of investment by a million of dollars, the alliance with an airline in emergency to make transfers in case of arising a transplant and the next opening from a clinic that will take care of 20 specialties in terms smaller 72 hours. €œFor us they have been a succession of facts that I do not know how to be thankful. They are not signals, are slaps€. The gains, assure, occupy a secondary place. €œYou feel a different passion completely. We have sent people who did not move to concerts of Coldplay! That gives a satisfaction you€¦ I do not look at the silver that enters, I look at the photos that people raise Facebook€.

And with that Javier phrase it summarizes the spirit behind the €œsocial companies€ that, as Connectus, they generate businesses to obtain a world better.

Javier Artigas, of Medical Connectus.

Question of time

The scopes of action are infinite and can give rise to projects that involve from the education or the financial inclusion to the fashion and the trash. Nevertheless, there are concepts that are repeated: idea, entrepreneur, innovation, startup, capital seed, to incubate, plan of businesses, point of balance, yield. And the list could follow. €œA company with social profile must have one double characteristic: economically to contribute to a solution to social problems and, at the same time, to be viable€, says to Paula Mosera, director of Socialab Uruguay.

At Socialab more ideas €œwith a strong social leg€ arrive that with €œa clear model of businesses€, says Mosera. To obtain the balance is, perhaps, most difficult. €œToday many people are questioning themselves to what they want to spend his time, what wants to do with their life. There is much more attitude to risk€¦ Because to make a social undertaking he is riskier and she has been more time€.

In the three years that Fiorella Bergamasco (23) takes working in Sitot, an application that detects the impact of a violent shock and notifies to the contacts chosen by the person before an emergency, several times occurred €œthe head against the wall€ and changed the model of businesses. It counted on a capital seed of 25,000 dollars of the National Agency of Investigation and Innovaci³n (ANII), but continues maintaining that €œto take an idea to the reality is as scaling a Everest€. In fact, by these days it is modifying the initial project to add a new €œphysical product€ to the objective of Sitot.

Fiorella grew surrounded by doctors €” home by its mother and by histories of traffic accidents. Native of Colony and with many hours of route it raises, always worried to him that after a wreck the people could spend several hours without receiving help. Nevertheless, never one imagined that the one was going to be its final work for the race of International Businesses that was going to provide a solution to the problem. €œMy thesis was on emprendedurismo and there I clicked. Before that it thought that it was impossible to take an idea ahead€.

Thus, with 20 years and the support of a group of companions Sitot was born, that means €œsoon€ in French and summarizes the spirit of the project. €œWith the years I realized more thing€¦ as when they say had luck of which they found it or if they had found it fast able that one was saved. That is, the time is literally gold in case of an accident€. In a minute it is possible to be killed, or to be saved. €œIt could not be that with the level of development of technology that we have today, a problem thus did not have solution€, thinks.

App, available for Android and Apple, already has more than 2,000 unloadings. Its use is simple: it is enough to enter the data of the person in two screens €” one with his medical information and another one with the emergency contacts, so that to the 90 seconds of the shock one activates of automatic form. It uses an algorithm that allows an exact location and that differentiates an accident from a fall of the telephone or an intense braking, avoiding false alarms. In addition, it has a button of panic very used by the adolescents when, it exemplifies Fiorella, circulate on the street single.

Although the way still is long, the profits already are many. In November of 2016 Sitot it was chosen as one of the five companies finalists in the regional contest Billy goats The Venture, who award undertakings of social character.

Fiorella Bergamasco, of Sitot. Photo: Ariel Colmegna.

To persecute an ideal

Connectus and Sitot are two examples of which when the project involves the medicine, usually there is a personal history that impels it €” and with force behind. Armor Bionics, a company that creates models 3D to use as support in surgical procedures, confirms it with desire and innovation.

When to the mother of Bruno Demuro (29) an operation to extirpate a tumor as large as a currency of two pesos lodged in the skull cost an enormous cut and the loss to him of bone, the today director of Armor Bionics (next to Pablo Pereira, 35) began to question if there would not be €œa more intuitive form€ to come. With experience in impressions 3D, began to make hypothesis. Until that moment, at the time of a surgery the doctors only guided themselves by the flat images that the scanner threw. From their project, those same images acquired volume. The process of validation of the company took almost two years, between 2013 and 2015.

First experiences with maxilofaciales reconstructions, consequence of traffic accidents did his. €œThe first time that was used the doctors they were skeptical€, it remembers Dark brown. But the results helped to that the perception changed quickly. Today, he is proven that to have the model 3D reduces up to 35% the time of the operation and optimizes the recovery of the patient. €œBefore the doctors obstruct to operate completely without information, lost a pile of time trying, with the patient under anesthesia and sometimes even bleeding€¦€. In addition, the model allows €œto go ahead them to any type of complication€, to do you cut more boys and than the patients they are calmer. €œThe doctors told us: This is as having a test and arriving beforehand with the answers€, it counts Dark brown.

As businessman, the main stumbling block was €œto come with a solution for a problem that they did not have (€¦) When we left to sell we must sell and evangelize simultaneously, to explain that it is translated in benefits for all in the chain of services€. They produce between five and ten models per month, but they could €œhave direct incidence€ in up to 300 local surgeries. A piece of complete jaw hill between 200 and 300 dollars, and the price increases according to the complexity of the model.

The company, that was incubated in Tech Synergy and received capital seed of the ANII two years followed, now has own offices and two laboratories of impression. It has already worked for the Hospital of Clinics, the National Institute of Orthopaedics and Traumatolog­a (INOT) and the Administration of the Services of Health of Estado (ASSE), as well as for institutions of the United States, Mexico and Russia. €œNowadays the company gives gains, but also it would enchant to us that it was to us far better. Still we did not arrive at the potential that could have€.

For the operation of its Dark brown mother it arrived behind schedule. But that far from to de-stimulate it, pushed it to go to more. €œIf you ask a dream to me, it would tell you that this would have to be the norm. There are no cons, never we had an argument. My girlfriend says that I am an idealist€¦ and is right. When the things do not work, it frustrates to me very many€.

Bruno Demuro and Pablo Pereira, of Armor Bionics. Photo: Marcelo Bonjour.

He heals restlessness

To talk by telephone with Francisco Sequeira (41) implies, always, to feel purring of the basic wind. It is that if is not walking in bike, is giving returned around the premises that opened three months ago in front of End Shopping, where their passion and its sustenance found the balance point. Its project is called Ecomoving and its catchphrase is €œbecause #estAMOs changing the world€. All a declaration of principles and intentions. A few minutes of chat are sufficient to realize of which more than businessman, to Francisco it wears sayo to him of enthusiastic, enthusiastic and anxious.

One went of Uruguay years ago because one became bored, worked in the gastronomical heading in Spain and when the political and personal situation expelled it from the Old Continent, it did not want to return emtpy-handed. The kitchen took it to the heading of delivery, delivery to the logistics, and the logistics to mobility. That, added to a previous experience in Motociclo, gave as result a company that sells bicycles but it promotes a lifestyle. €œI came for here because it knew very clearly came to change the world. That and my daughters is what it moves to me€. The money, came only and later.

Ecomoving began to roll in 2011, when Francisco returned to the country. Startup was one and it consolidated in the surroundings of companies B. Su leitmotiv is to obtain social and environmental impact through the commercialization of a product: the bicycles of attended pedalling. What means that? That although owns a motor, they only move with the pedalling of the user and they do not surpass the 25 kilometers per hour. €œThe attended pedalling multiplies the yield, pod©s to do between eight and ten kilometers in an optimal time without arriving transpired at the work€.

In 2016 Francisco it obtained a great jump for his company: it signed an agreement with the Legend multinational and it was transformed into representative of the brand for Latin America. In his premises of the Roosevelt avenue it commercializes three models: two folding (a rolling 20 and another 24) and one of stroll in rolling 26. They cost between 1,000 and 1,500 dollars and takes a hundred sold. With mobility as center, Ecomoving bets to the urban bicycles. €œWe thought about the kilometers that we do every day and for that reason we offer a functional bike, practical, ergonomic, viable and healthful€, it summarizes. In addition, this year prepares the world-wide launching of a new model from Uruguay and the implementation of a project of €œrenting & sharing€ so that the billy goats are always rolling. €œIf ten©s the experience pod©s not to share it. And to that we have lent them, they have bought one€, it assures.

According to Francisco, to change the world it is only necessary to rise a bike. And it preaches on a daily basis with the example. He is that, as says Victoria Fraschini, of Socialab, it is the small great secret of the success there: €œHere we tried to demolish that of we change the world in the free hours. No, we change the world in full-trick out of. Why? Because the possibility exists of undertaking with sense, to solve a social problem, of which they pay a pay to me, to have gains and to still hit more people. Perhaps the greater barrier than we have is to convince the people who are not bad to gain silver if you are aligned with your objectives€.

Francisco Sequeira, of Ecomoving. Photo: Ricardo Figueredo.

To recycle and to construct

Architects Carlos Ruiz (33), Stefan­a P©rez (32), Diego Mouradian (34) and Giannina Ceruti (31) arrived at the world of the recycling thanks to a work of Faculty. To take conscience from which the residues of the construction were an environmental problem, arrived later. And a new impulse took to arm them a project of company, to incubate in Synergy and to appear to a bottom of capital seed of the ANII, that already they obtained. €œRCD is a company that recycle and generates a new product, thus we reduce the volume of rubbish that arrives at the municipal garbage dump€, Stefan­a explains. So far, they obtained that Intendance assigned a sector to them in the Felipe Cardoso Factory, where classifies, crushes and filters the materials. Of all the rubbish, 10% are only clean of organic matter or domiciliary remainders. From that process €” that does with rented machinery obtain €œbarren with different sortings€, from something similar to the sand to pebble. That new product serves to generate concrete blocks recycling or it is possible to be sold for fillings and caminer­a. €œToday we found that there is a unheeded niche and of which we can remove benefit€, it says. RCD Recycling is in €œlaboratory stage€ and still it did not leave to the market, but already it has €œpromising€ results.

The RCD equipment Recycling, that works with rubbish of the construction.

Socialab, a space where the problems are opportunities

Paula Mosera (27) works more hours than when she was employee in a countable study. Surely also he dedicates €œmore head€. And more commitment. But he is happy. She is director of Socialab Uruguay, an organization who disembarked in the country in 2013 to support undertakings €œof positive impact in early stage€. Their cases, say Mosera, €œthey are a hybrid in means between the traditional NGOs and companies€. Although the amount of ideas that receive grows year to year, still €œlacks much€ way to cross. In fact, just in 2016 the ANII created for the first time a bottom for projects of inclusive innovation. €œThey touch many more doors to us of those than we can open€. Its modus operandi is, mainly, through €œchallenges€. At the moment they sent Economy for All, where they look for entrepreneurs and ideas that generate economic inclusion in the sectors that are excluded. €œWe stimulated the ideas from we go, we want that the problems visibilicen, because the problems are also opportunities€. In these years already they passed through Socialab 32 projects, 50% of them are working, although not all in its €œpoint of balance€, warns Mosera. A successful case is the one of UYRobot, a company of educative robotics that was born as a project from the Faculty of Engineering of the hand of three students. UYRobot uses the robots as a €œintegral and cross-sectional didactic tool in the education of the traditional materials€. In addition, it offers qualifications, robotic technical service and it sells kits through his store online.

Of championes, prisoners and ecology

The industry of the fashion is fertile ground for the social innovation, although he is not simple to obtain yield. Xinca, an Argentine company that makes footwear from the reusability of tires and employs interns of the penitentiary of San Felipe, in Mendoza, obtained it. In 2016 it invoiced 150,000 dollars and it gained the contest Billy goats The Venture. In Uruguay, the designer Alice Otegui incubated herself in Socialab and created Barren, a textile brand that makes clothes, pictures and accessories with organic materials (dyes with tea or roses, for example) and Integra in its chain of production to craftswomen of all the country.

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