From January to August 2023, the Amazon Journey, an innovation platform for bioeconomy businesses in the Amazon, aimed at forest conservation and supported by Fundo Vale, attracted 4,107 applicants for its three programs. 

For Fundo Vale, the platform dovetails with its strategy of expanding, diversifying, strengthening and connecting, on a regional scale, the organizations responsible for boosting the impact ecosystem, by creating a more favorable environment for entrepreneurship in the Amazon, driving the creation and strengthening of bioeconomy startups, investing in these impact businesses and generating greater competitiveness for forest products. 

“In recent years, we have seen record deforestation and threats to the forest and its communities. Now, given the urgent need to rehabilitate the forest and meet climate targets, the bioeconomy presents itself as one of the innovative models with the potential to support local development,” says Marcos Da-Ré, the director of the CERTI Foundation’s Green Economy Center, which organizes and coordinates the Amazon Journey. 

The Genesis Program, focused on the activation stage to awaken talent and create a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Amazon region, encouraging the emergence of innovative ideas aligned with valuing the standing forest and building the basis for strengthening the ecosystem in the medium and long term, has received more than 3,300 entries, provided 78 hours of collective mentoring and generated more than 300 ideas for innovative solutions in the program’s community. So far, 193 training certificates have been issued to participants. The program has also selected 17 new “ambassadors” – participants who continue to be engaged, spreading the methodology and promoting local Genesis actions.  

In the same period, the Bioeconomy Synapse, a pre-incubation program that seeks to create new impact businesses focused on the bioeconomy and the competitiveness of preserved forest, attracted 662 entries, involving more than a thousand entrepreneurs in 22 Brazilian states.  

In the final selection process, this program will originate up to 70 new impact businesses in the states that make up the Amazon region this year and distribute a total of R$4.9 million of non-refundable resources. The program offers training, support and resources of up to R$70,000 for business development, as well as knowledge exchange and connections with partners, clients and investors. The goal is to create 200 new businesses through the program within three years. 

In August, the Amazon Journey also ended its Synergy Program selection process, which corresponds to the evolution stage and seeks to generate connections and strengthen existing innovative businesses to generate even more positive impacts for the Amazon Rainforest and its communities. The program attracted 127 entries and selected 21 companies in 10 states that are currently in the support phase. The aim is to strengthen around 100 startups by the end of the three-year cycle. 

The Amazon Journey, which is supported and financed by Fundo Vale, Bradesco, Itaú Unibanco, Santander, CLUA and Porticus, also has a community of 38 startups that have been through the pilot phase and continue to receive support from the initiative. This represents a significant portfolio of companies at more advanced stages, helping us identify and understand the profile of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.