The South Summit platform catalyzes innovation and is one of the foremost hubs for engaging with the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, making it a promising destination for business connectors such as the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator. From March 20 to 22, investors, companies, and startups convened at this year’s edition summit in Porto Alegre, Brazil, a city renowned for its pool of local, highly skilled talent that attracts professionals with diverse international backgrounds.

In addition to being a foster partner of the Summit, EU-LAC Digital Accelerator members participated actively in the activities and sessions. On behalf of the accelerator, Octantis, Tecnalia, IESE Business School, and EBN partner members engaged with participants at a dedicated stand and contributed to expert panels, facilitating discussions on business collaborations and open innovation. 

Voicing open innovation in a trustful way 


The EU-LAC Digital Accelerator’s South Summit experience started with the panel discussion “Synergies for Ecosystem Resilience” on the demo stage. Coordinator Sergio Bandinelli led the conversation with Paola Santana, Founder and CEO of GLASS, delving into the impact of collaboration among diverse entities. Bandinelli emphasized –  as the South Summit 2023 held in Spain – that while the open innovation presents a natural pathway for exploring new opportunities, it entails challenges.

“Establishing trust among collaborating entities and individuals is crucial,” said Bandinelli. He introduced the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator’s role in creating a trust network that includes corporations, startups, investors, accelerators, business associations, and public bodies. This network overcomes geographical barriers and spans Latin America, the Caribbean, and the European Union. Bandinelli also explained how the accelerator supports these partnerships, from their formation to their collaboration and investment.

Bridging corporations and startups across the Atlantic


The second day of the Summit deep dive into discussions surrounding the open innovation methodology, featuring Josemaria Siota, Executive Director at IESE Business School and Partner at EU-LAC Digital Accelerator, in the panel titled “Thriving Together: Open Innovation Unleashed.” Moderated by Eduardo Lorea, LATAM Director at South Summit, and alongside Itai Green, Founder & CEO at Innovate Israel, the session explored how open innovation has become a crucial strategy for companies to maintain a competitive edge and enhance the ecosystem.

“The adoption of corporate-startup innovations in Latin America has been duplicated since 2018. Yet, around 70% of these collaboration fail. What is the remaining 30% doing differently? The EU-LAC Digital Accelerator aims to support these two bridges: the innovative (between corporations and startups), and the geographical (between Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean)”.


Sharing opportunities and networking with the ecosystem 

The Summit brought together more than 24,000 participants from over 50 countries, creating an engaging environment for the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem to connect. Attendees included startups seeking open innovation calls, corporations interested in expanding their innovation initiatives, investors looking to grow their portfolios, and innovation hubs networking with crucial ecosystem players.

This Summit provided an excellent scenario to showcase the potential of EU-LAC Digital Accelerator in a dedicated stand. 

‘“At the event, we had 120 interested participants visit our stand. We extended an invitation to them to join our Matching Platform, which currently has over 500 ecosystem actors and 50 business challenges for startups to solve. We also highlighted the opportunity to receive in-kind acceleration services valued at up to 30,000 euros through our Open Call for EU-LAC partnerships.” shared Paco Prieto, from Octantis, EU-LAC Digital Accelerator’s partner.

Watch some highlights of our South Summit Brazil 2024 experience here!