1. FOS Rico, Saludable y Nutritivo (Paraguay)
Fredy Matto Ovelar
Category: TIC Paraguay
"I really enjoyed the idea of having my own business. In our hometown, Yataity del Norte, located in the department of San Pedro. There was no place for families to hang out. The closest place was in Santania, and there practically no restaurant that offers healthy meals; most locals sell fast and fried food, and we wanted to eat as most of us practice sports (…) From that reality, we decided to approached INCUNA, a business incubator, and asked them to assess in preparing and presenting our business plan, Thanks to INCUNA, we heard about TIC Americas. We then registered our business plan. When we heard that FOS was selected as one of the finalists for TIC Paraguay, it was a great surprise for us ⎯ my wife almost cried out of joy and I got goosebumps ⎯ that we come from the countryside. And we are here to represent our community"
2. Orquídeas in Vitro (México)
Zazil Ortiz y Ernestina Vivas
Category: Social Innovation
"We develop a product that has two objectives: first, to satisfy the need of having a plant at home; second, to give kids the opportunity to see a plant growing with a tube. That way, kids will learn how a plant develops and how take care of it once it goes outside the tube (…) we saw the potential of this product, so we registered it. After some research, we did not find any product that was an innovative as ours and focused in our aims. We then decided to give the product a more international focus (…) we think that by participating in events like TIC Americas, we can transmit our vision to other countries and get a great feedback and advices from the judges. We are very satisfied with what we have heard up to now, we understand it still not a perfect product but we seek to refine it so it can reach to a higher number of homes in Mexico and elsewhere."
3. LeniBrothers (Colombia)
Category: Economic Innovation
"LeniBrothers was first created as means to fulfill an economic need of college and university students. We saw how the vast majority of our peers and even ourselves ran out of money by the end of the month and were not able to buy material to prepare our assignments for school. We, as students, mainly ask our families for financial means to make ends meet, but they do not always enough ressources to support us. For this reason, we decided to pool our savings into one common fund so we can borrow money from each other (…) TIC America gave us the opportunity to get to know other business ideas from other countries and evaluate our own business idea. We also have increased our networks that we believe we will use them once we are back home. The most interesting of this competition is that we have been heard and demonstrated that we, the young people, are also contributing for a change and to innovate."
4. GardenEs from Garbage (El Salvador)
"GardenEs was created as a way to solve the needs of a rural and poor community in El Salvador. In doing so, we aim to solve trash processing and environmental issues within this community. For example, our soils are muddy, which prevent us from harvesting and our community depends on agriculture. With GardenEs we seek to reduce the amount of garbage by teaching families how to compost ⎯ something that it is totally new for them, not only because it reduces the amount of garbage but also because it creates nutrients for the soil (…) For me, participating in the TIC Americas is an honor, I am the only Salvadorian in the finals. I am learning a lot of new lessons as you can find many youth leaders and young entrepreneurs, who inspire me to become a change maker in my country, in my community."
5. Grace Farm School (Trinidad and Tobago)
"Grace Farm School was born out of a need of my community to access quality early childhood education at an affordable price. I love agriculture, so I decided to use a farm to make money to pay teachers and build a school. For me, TIC Americas means my voice has power and that I should not be afraid to be heard".
6. Proyecto Gerontovida (Costa Rica)
Gema Monge V.
Category: Social Innovation
"Our participation in TIC Americas have represented one of the best opportunities has ever had. We have brought back to Costa Rica terrific experiences and learnt lessons from this competition. We congratulate YABT Staff for demonstrating its professionalism, organization and kindness to all finalists. Also, we congratulate the winners and wish them the best of success; we hope they continue with their hard work and high performance. We hope to keep in touch through the Young Americas Forum Network."
7. Pisotapitas (Argentina)
"One of the things that we brought back to Argentina was the incredible experience of receiving excellent feedbacks from professionals not involved with our project. This allowed us to expand our vision and bringing a new perspective to Pisotapitas. On the other hand, TIC Americas represented a great opportunity to expand our network globally and to show our work directly to managers of Pepsico, YABT and the OAS. Also, it meant for Pisotapitas an enriching experience to prepared and present our business at the TIC Americas Expo prepared by YABT. Finally, it helped us grow professionally by participating in the round-tables and more. The pep talks and the protocol used to conduct the event were outstanding. We now have new friends and looking forward to continue innovating".
8. YouVo (Chile)
Category: Social Innovation
"The momentum gained by YouVo since the TIC Americas awards was instant. Since our return to Chile, we have contacted 2 new schools to start new initiatives and the project has been pre-selected by Microsoft's business accelerator ImagineLab to make the YouVo online platform as scalable as possible and reach all countries in Latin America. Participating in TIC Americas and meeting the OAS and YABT staff marked a before and an after for YouVo".