RADIUS Director Shawn Smith returned last week from working with the Ecuadorean entrepreneurs in our “Salto Social” accelerator program in Quito. Run in conjunction with partners Impacto Quito and Global Agents for Change, the program is the first of its kind in Ecuador.
Running from October 2014 through February 2015, Salto Social is adapted from the 10 week Trampoline program RADIUS developed for social ventures attempting to validate their business models, which has already met success with entrepreneurs in a number of BC communities.
Shawn was in Quito last week for a special session, and joins other weeks by video conference from Vancouver in support of the excellent on the ground delivery team of Andres Ypes and Daniella Peralvo, both from Quito.
The 5 ventures in this inaugural cohort are:
Suspiro Taller – Suspiro is a socially conscious design workshop. We work with artisans from Ecuador to create textiles and bags using natural materials and traditional knowledge.
Hongos Alinimbi – an organic mushroom production company working to deliver fresh, organic mushrooms to local markets, restaurants and consumers.
Kradac – Working on a made in Ecuador prosthetics solution to create access to prosthetic limbs at dramatically lower prices.
Lunyxtec – designers of sustainable products for Ecuador, currently validating their business model for a rural biodigestor that can be sold to medium sized farms (a biodigestor is an airtight chamber in which anaerobic digestion of manure, biosolids, food waste, other organic wastewater streams or a combination of these feedstocks occurs. This process produces commodities such as biogas (a blend of methane and carbon dioxide), animal bedding, and fertilizer.)
Carpazo – a cultural events production company building on a very successful local music festival.
RADIUS intern Milica Pavlovic arrived in Quito this week to continue supporting development of this program, as well as an additional collaboration with Impacto Quito to create a social entrepreneurship bootcamp for youth in Quito which we hope will launch in April. Milica connected with us through her work with Youth In Development, one of the current cohort of Slingshot Ventures. Milica will also be blogging about her experience, so stay tuned for more updates!