The fifth version of Entrepreneurial Talent Caja Los Andes (Tecla) seeks startups that generate innovation and impact areas such as education, health, tourism, and economic and environmental sustainability.
In order to broaden its horizon of search for startups and impact in more areas, Caja Los Andes reformulated the Entrepreneurial Talent Caja Los Andes (Tecla) contest, which this year aims to search for the new “social unicorns”.
This fifth edition of Tecla -which is carried out in partnership with Socialab- instead of looking for a specific solution or area, aims at startups that generate innovation in sectors such as education, health, social, economic, environmental sustainability, financial empowerment, sustainable tourism and quality life of older people.
Marie Auteroche corporate manager of transformation and experience of Caja Los Andes.
The corporate transformation and experience manager of Caja Los Andes, Marie Auteroche, comments that Tecla was born five years ago to support startups that seek to impact people’s quality of life, leveraged with excess credits offered by the entity to its affiliates .
He started looking for ventures with specific solutions, but for this version they have made a series of modifications. For example, Auteroche explains that they restricted to a minimum the requirements to apply – to have a consolidated product and sales – to summon enterprises “that want to create a better world and impact thousands of people.”
“We speak of ‘social unicorn’ because we are not focused on finding an enterprise that has a highly developed business model, although they must already have sales, what matters most to us is that their solution has an impact on people and the environment”, affirms the executive.
The reformulation of Tecla also considers providing more training to those selected, greater accompaniment during the contest process with personalized guidance and bootcamp activities (intensive short-term programs) to prepare the semifinalists.
In addition, they are working in the Tecla Community, in which previous winners participate, to generate a support network for the finalists and new generations of winners in accelerating their businesses.
Applications will be open until November 30, from the total 20 semifinalists will be chosen who will present their solution in a demo day in the first quarter of 2022. From them, the eight winners will be chosen in two categories, “Consolidation” and “Expansion”. those who will receive prizes of $ 10 million and $ 25 million.
“We have the goal of exceeding a thousand applications, in previous editions we have had much less interested because they have been very focused on some theme or area,” says Auteroche.
I work with startups
The innovation area of Caja Los Andes that is related to startups, debuted five years ago, to face the new collaborative platforms and applications that could affect the business.
“We observed that we had the leadership in the industry, however, from one moment to another Netflix, Airbnb, Uber, Cornershop began to emerge, and if we did not jump on the bandwagon, any young person could appear from a garage to generate a disruption in the matter of social security ”, comments Auteroche.
The first measures aimed to incorporate digital tools, but with the passage of time they noticed that this implied a “cultural change”, where they had to join organizations and accelerate internal processes that had been worked in the same way for 50 years.
“The most traditional DNA of the Caja had to be hacked and to integrate this virus of innovation with a social purpose, we had to form alliances with the ecosystem. We are not good in all areas and that is why we had to incorporate speed from the outside with a different look, ”says Auteroche.
Today the institution invests $ 2,000 million a year to support entrepreneurship and the development of startups, they also work with 30 national firms and of them, 22 come from past editions of Tecla, but they are also added to others by direct scouting (search) , as with Betterfly, to offer free insurance to members of the compensation fund.
During this time, they have introduced innovations with the support of entrepreneurs in various areas, such as social benefits, vacation centers, tourism, education, finance, and management of affiliate demand.
Among the startups that work with Caja Los Andes, there are some winners of Tecla, such as Usafe, focused on improving financial inclusion and promoting micro savings for members, and SUDA outdoors, a platform that recommends routes and trails, promoting the health of the people who visit the entity’s holiday centers. There are also others that support them in the reservations of their tourist centers and in customer service in their offices, such as Hora Fácil and ZeroQ.
In parallel, the innovation area develops other initiatives, among them, Reactívate Chile, together with the Ministry of Economy and the Association of Municipalities (Amuch) that gives access to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to platforms where they can sell and have tools to improve your business.