Global Forum Innovators' stories will showcase innovative businesses that are emerging in developing countries, as well as draw attention to the challenges that entrepreneurs are facing in growing their businesses and how business incubators are helping them overcome these challenges. For further information about the background of the contest and selection criteria, please see infoDev's Global Innovators Contest 2009 Announcement here.
Successful candidates are current or past beneficiaries of business incubators that are members of infoDev's Global Network of Business Incubators:
GLOBAL INNOVATORS CONTEST WINNERS
AdvertSMS in Macedonia (incubated at YES Business Incubator)
The explosion of mobile phones around the world has created opportunities for entrepreneurs worldwide. Danco Dimkov knows this well – his company, AdvertSMS, is revolutionizing marketing in Macedonia. Using popular text messages, AdvertSMS connects businesses and consumers in a more engaging fashion than ever before. His success has been extraordinary, but AdvertSMS continue to look for new opportunities both sectorally and internationally.
Biosecure Technologies in Cape Town, South Africa (incubated at Softstart BTI)
Mark Kinnear always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur, so after graduating from the University of Cape Town, he founded Biosecure Technologies. Their flagship product, Go2Doc.com, allows patients to book medical care online, in addition to purchasing safe, reliable medical products. Housed in the SoftStartBTI incubator, Biosecure Technologies is ready to adapt its innovative model to other countries, bringing modern medicine to more and more people.
Container Consultants & Systems in Panama (incubated at Panama Business Accelerator)
Panama-based Container Consultants & Systems is providing some of the most sophisticated shipping logistics software available. Their company vision of making transport more affordable for everyone is being accomplished through their web-based planning software that allows companies to reduce the cost of international trade. Sebastian Mendoza and his team are well on their way to becoming a global brand for a global age.
Equinox Intercom Ltd in Accra, Ghana (incubated at Ghana Multimedia Incubator Center)
Among the key inputs to economic growth is a vibrant, well-educated population. Yet, around the world, access to high-quality education is lacking or stagnant. Cecil Nutakor from Ghana founded Equinox Intercom Limited to bring developing world education to the 21st Century. Through the use of the eCampus software, schools are able to foster collaborative, online learning – something that has attracted 12 major institutions of higher learning to Equinox Intercom Limited.
Focus Solutions in Jordan (incubated at JIC-iPark)
Based in Jordan, Focus Solutions provides technical solutions to banks and law firms throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Although it started with less than USD 100, revenue has grown to surpass a quarter of a million USD in 2007. The infrastructure provided by the JIC-iPark was essential to the ICT-enabled business, but, as a true success story, Focus Solutions has since graduated, establishing itself as a leading service provider in the region.
GeoCiclos Ltda. in Chile (incubated at International Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 3IE)
Reducing the effects of global climate change is going to take work from everyone. GeoCiclos Ltda., a Chilean start-up based at the 3IE incubator, has created a line of composting products that allows households to significantly reduce their waste. In fact, in one year, GeoCiclos products were responsible for lessening Chilean waste by approximately 200 tons. In the coming months, GeoCiclos hopes to expand their products to meet the needs of enterprises, as well.
KONUS in Tambov, Russia (incubated at Tambov)
Innovation, and its inputs of science and technology, is key to successful growth. KONUS, a Russian firm, is working to utilize modern advances for economic opportunity. Through research and development, in addition to education and consulting, KONUS is working to promote high-tech growth and development.
Portafolio Verde in Medellin, Colombia (incubated at Crea-Me)
As global climate change advances, businesses are beginning to realize that they need to adapt. Portafolio Verde of the Crea-Me incubator in Medellin, Colombia, has positioned itself to support enterprises in designing, implementing and evaluating environmentally friendly business practices. Led by a life-long environmentalist, Portafolio Verde recognizes that timely, accurate information is key to business success and has developed the innovative GREEN.MARKETING.TOOL to provide this essential knowledge.
PV Inova in Brazil (incubated at Genesis Institute of PUC-Rio)
Andre Averbug has traveled the world, attended premier universities and worked for major multilateral donor agencies, but for this native Brazilian, a start-up focused on consumers at the bottom of the pyramid was his true calling. PV Inova, based in his native country, offers telecommunications to public transportation users and sleek software solutions to transportation managers. As PV Inova grows, Andre has begun negotiating with companies in the USA, Argentina, Angola, Chile and South Africa.
RotaSOFT in Ankara, Turkey (incubated at METU Technopolis Incubator)
RotaSOFT is developing groundbreaking educational solutions that blur the line between traditional books and modern software. Benefitting from incubation and funding from the METU Technopolis incubator, RotaSOFT has focused on understanding their customers’ needs and desires while always searching for the next innovative idea.
WebCom in Maputo, Mozambique (incubated at MICTI)
Cirilo Macanze from Mozambique is trained as a civil engineer, but after teaching himself coding and web design, opened WebCom, a service-provider focused on bringing businesses and government agencies online in Mozambique. Clients already include the President of Mozambique, as well as the most popular radio station. The MICTI incubator has given WebCom the necessary visibility and credibility to attract other clients.
infoDev thanks all the Global Innovator 2009 applicants and wishes everyone continued future success in their business endeavors!