A program carried out by the CERTI Foundation, with the support of Fundo Vale and other funders, selected 70 startups in 2023. It is now proceeding to offer these businesses financial resources and other support to develop their solutions.

As part of the Amazon Journey Platform, the Bioeconomy Synapse program is offering up to R$70,000, with the support of Fundo Vale and other funders, to 70 new businesses in Brazil’s Amazon region. In addition to these non-refundable financial resources, amounting to R$4.9 million per funding round, the program encourages the origination and evolution of businesses focused on the bioeconomy, through workshops and talks on management, sales, impact, marketing and other topics relevant to entrepreneurship training, as well as connections with partners, clients and investors.

The program’s focus is on originating innovative businesses that contribute to the maintenance and competitiveness of intact forests. “The Bioeconomy Synapse plays a fundamental role in originating businesses that actively contribute to the conservation and competitiveness of the forest. Our goal is, by 2025, to foster 200 new businesses that work by creating relevant and innovative solutions for production chains. This is an essential step toward consolidating the bioeconomy as a strategic and sustainable development model for the Amazon region and consequently for Brazil and the world,” says André Noronha, coordinator of the Bioeconomy Synapse. Lucas Folgado, an innovation consultant at Fundo Vale, adds, “By supporting entrepreneurs in the formalization, modelling and structuring phase of their business, which is a more bureaucratic phase, the program acts at a crucial moment to help startups access financial resources and markets, and then grow from there.”

In this edition, there were entries from 14 different Brazilian states. Out of the successful applicants, the focus of innovation was in the following areas:

· Development of new ingredients and advanced raw materials;

· Creation of B2C products;

· Product quality improvement and control;

· Processing of basic goods.

According to data provided by the CERTI Foundation, among those selected there are intelligent solutions for various sectors and purposes. For example, in the area of aquaculture, there is an alternative fish feed made from açaí seeds, adding value to a

byproduct of the production chain, previously discarded as waste. There are also products that use artificial intelligence, such as a tool that connects coconut breakers, cooperatives, researchers, manufacturers and ESG companies to provide insights and descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analysis.

Supporting initiatives like this is aligned with Fundo Vale’s strategy of expanding, diversifying, strengthening and connecting, on a regional scale, organizations responsible for promoting the impact ecosystem, by creating a more favorable environment for entrepreneurship in the Amazon, boosting the creation and strengthening of bioeconomy startups, investing in these impact businesses, and generating greater competitiveness for forest products.

Fundo Vale’s ambition is to strengthen and develop businesses with a positive social and environmental impact, emphasizing businesses working on the forest and climate agenda. Thus, by supporting businesses like these selected by the program, we also indirectly support solutions to maintain, preserve and/or restore areas of forest,” says Lucas Folgado, Fundo Vale’s innovation consultant.