Washington D.C., October 11th, 2016 - For the third consecutive year, the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV), are pleased to announce two awards to the Start-Ups with the Highest Potential for Global Impact. The award took place during the “Demand Solutions: Ideas for Improving Lives” main event.
On the closing stage of the “Demand Solutions” event, organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a total of 12 Start-Ups exposed their own solutions or products that improve people’s lives in cities. The winners of the YABT scholarships are Crista Nuñez from Guatemala and Camilo Lucero from Colombia.
Crista Nuñez is also a finalist of YABT Innovation Competition: TIC Americas, and was selected to receive the scholarship due to her leadership in front of DIDART. She graduated as an elementary school bilingual teacher. Later, she studied Industrial Design, seeing that, through design she could solve day to day problems. However, two things led her to launch a cultural entrepreneurship: The course "Design for Development", a class where she learned about the World handicrafts; and her presidency of the team "ENACTUS" where, as a student, she executed a number of social projects that had great impact. After that, and in an effort to raise awareness about culture, she decided to create DIDART. DIDART, which means "craft teaching", seeks to educate and stimulate children to value their culture. Her project allows children to virtually visit artisan communities with the use of holograms, virtual maps, and other resources to learn about their culture and crafting techniques, stimulating the students’ imagination to create their own pieces. The materials used come from natural resources that indigenous women gather to develop their own handicrafts. Through DIDART, it is possible to generate jobs for more than 250 artisans in different parts of Guatemala and to educate children in history. Crista believes that her model can be replicated with other indigenous communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 2015, Lorapp, founded by Camilo Lucero, was selected as the education startup with the greatest growth potential in Latin America by Village Capital. Camilo graduated from International Business Administration at the Rosario University in Bogota. From an early age he was fascinated by technology and online education, using the Internet as his primary source of learning. Due to his entrepreneurial experience, in 2014 the Entrepreneurs’ Organization recognized him as one of the best young entrepreneurs in Colombia. In Latin America alone there are 20 million college students, and 99% of them resort to the use of photocopies, which mount to a yearly expenditure of more than $1.100 million USD in illegal photocopies due to copyright infringements. Camilo saw this as an opportunity for a team of experienced entrepreneurs to legally compete against piracy in academic texts. Lorapp, was created in 2015 as an app that allows universities to digitally rent chapters of academic books, at a similar price of photocopies. Lorapp pays authors and publishers for each rented reading, creating a simple, legal and economic alternative through which publishers can recover the money they were not getting from piracy, and also reducing environmental impact by avoiding the use of paper and ink.
These awards consist in a scholarship, which includes the participation of one of the international courses at the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center (MCTC) in Haifa, Israel (2016).
The winners can choose from two options: 1) A Business Innovation Training, which is given in March- in English or 2) A course on Supporting Systems for Entrepreneurs, scheduled for May- in Spanish. These Training Scholarships cover the course expenses, housing, medical insurance, meals, and visits to historical landmarks.
The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) is a nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the Organization of American States (OAS) in promoting and implementing programs that encourage entrepreneurship in the Americas to combat poverty and seek better opportunities for youth.
MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation - at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was founded in late 1957, and is responsible for the design, coordination and implementation of the State of Israel’s development cooperation programs. MASHAV concentrates on human and institutional capacity building by sharing Israel’s own development experience and expertise, imparting know-how and transferring innovative technologies and tested methodologies adaptable to a developing country’s needs.
The Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center (MCTC) was established by MASHAV in 1961 to assist in the training of women engaged in community work in the newly emerging states in Africa and Asia. MCTC enjoys the active cooperation of a number of international organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations and development authorities.