How Brazilian startups are winning the international market


Having an internationally recognized brand, new sources of revenue shielded against economic instabilities and reducing costs due to scaling up production with only minor adaptations.

This is a dream of most Brazilian entrepreneurs who own small and medium-sized Brazilian companies. But the people at the head of their businesses still think that this achievement is restricted to large corporations.

Although this premise may, at first, seem true, internationalization is getting closer and closer to the reality of smaller companies.

It is now possible to follow national enterprises reaching the world, such as Buscapé. Created in 1999 by a group of students, the platform that shows price comparisons for the same products is present in Argentina and Chile.

Also Brazilian, Easy Taxi, responsible for creating an application that thousands of people use on a daily basis to order a taxi on their cell phone, is present in 12 Latin American countries.

And Hotmart, a free platform for hosting and selling online courses, has 3 offices around the world and has customers in 170 countries.

Reaching expressive numbers like those obtained by these 3 companies motivates most entrepreneurs to follow the same path.

But to follow this promising path, it is necessary to face obstacles.

The challenges of internationalization for small businesses

The lack of knowledge about the markets in which companies will operate and the wishes and desires of potential customers can also be real obstacles to the international development of smaller enterprises.

The big challenge is to establish partnerships or hire local resources to work with sales in the destination country. A salesperson who works by commission (“sales agent”) is one of the alternatives for companies that can invest little. Another alternative is to hire employees to work in sales locally. This sales team would work to schedule meetings to present the solutions and generate new business opportunities.

Sales actions are more challenging for small Brazilian companies than the technical knowledge part. Brazilian startups have enough knowledge to export and establish themselves in new markets abroad. As Guilherme da Silva, CEO of ATS, a Brazilian company participating in the StartOut, says: “Brazil in the aeronautical sector does not owe it to any country. It’s exceptional. Our workforce from industry and universities is extremely qualified. We are different from India, Turkey, Japan and China as we are more mature in the product development cycle and certification process. In terms of cost and quality, we are unbeatable.”

the turn of the game

But to change this scenario, StartOut Brasil emerged, an initiative of the Federal Government that takes 60 startups a year to several countries around the world, such as Argentina, France and the United States, with the goal of maximizing the volume of startups’ business abroad. .

The main objective of this program is to support the insertion of promising Brazilian startups in the most favorable innovation ecosystems in the world.

The National Association of Entities Promoting Innovative Enterprises (Anprotec), Sebrae, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex Brasil) and the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services are involved in this initiative.

The Program consists of immersion cycles, which last from 6 to 8 weeks. During this period, entrepreneurs undergo a veritable battery of new knowledge and experiences, which include everything from consultancy specializing in internationalization, through access to Apex Brasil’s “Passport to the World” platform, connection with mentors who already know the destination ecosystem. , face-to-face workshop to online pitch training sessions.

After this marathon, the startups have their business plans (“pitch decks”) and the strategy for entering the international market ready.

Then, the entrepreneurs go to a Mission in the destination country. Already settled on foreign soil, startups continue to have the opportunity to advance once again in the internationalization of the business, experiencing unique experiences, such as participating in international pitch training, opportunities seminar, round of meetings with local service providers and visits to corporations. with an open innovation strategy, accelerators and outstanding startups.

And to complete the full integration with the ecosystem of the destination country, the entrepreneurs are introduced to other Brazilian entrepreneurs who already know that environment well. In addition to this support, people who followed the Mission are also introduced to potential investors.

And even after the Mission’s return, startups also receive personalized assistance in consulting and, if they need it, they receive support to settle in the destination country, as well as promote the export of their product or service.

The Development of Brazilian Startups

The StartOut program is free of charge to participants. They only pay travel, accommodation and food expenses for immersion in the destination country.

But to be part of this Initiative, entrepreneurs need to enroll in the Program and pass a rigorous selection process, which assesses various business requirements, such as business model, team qualification, degree of innovation, maturity and the objectives of international insertion.

After the opinion of an international technical panel, only 15 startups are chosen for each Mission. All approved startups need to dedicate time, dedication and people from the team to participate in all processes defined by StartOut.

Without fail, the destinations of all missions are carefully chosen considering the existence of an investment environment for foreign startups.

destinations explored

Cycles are carried out periodically throughout the year. In 2017, missions were organized to Buenos Aires and France. Already this year, the first mission was to Berlin. And now, in this second semester, the destination is Miami.

Despite being known as a beach and summer city, even chosen as a vacation destination by many Brazilians, Miami is also becoming a reference when it comes to entrepreneurship. There are already more than 1,200 startups present at the site.

It has several aspects that favor the arrival of new foreign startups, such as affordable housing and without state or municipal taxes. Miami-Fort Lauderdale was even recognized by the Kauffman Foundation Index, which tracks the creation of new ventures, as a strong metropolitan area for startup activity, ahead of Austin, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas.

In the last 12 months, there were more than US$ 700 million raised in investment funds for startups, in addition to the growth of angel investors and the city’s strategic location, which is positioned as a gateway to other regions of the United States and also to Latin America. .

Who is one step away from internationalization

One of the 15 startups selected by StartOut this second semester for the Miami Immersion Cycle is Aerothermal Solutions and Software Distributor LLC. Located in São Paulo and for 11 years in the Brazilian market, and in Miami for 8 months, the startup combines computational techniques with traditional engineering methodology to offer reliable and accurate results to its customers.

ATS works in engineering with simulations for the aerospace and heavy industry. It already has large and influential companies in the Brazilian scenario, such as Embraer, Avibrás, Marinha do Brasil, Força Aérea, Braskem, Ultragás, Vale, Queiroz-Galvão and Petrobras, but plans to conquer a new level in the international market from from now.

Although it already has a branch installed in Miami, FL, for the sale of engineering and simulation services in the areas of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and structural analysis (FEA), ATS saw the opportunity provided by StartOut as a passport to the achievement of new customers in the US. “The Miami Cycle will allow us to start our definitive insertion in the American market and will give us tools to explore the market in terms of Marketing and Sales”, believes Guilherme Araújo Lima da Silva, CEO of ATS.

Essa oportunidade de consolidar-se como uma empresa internacional chega também como uma chance de fortalecer ainda mais a marca da startup. “Temos respaldo técnico e excelência comprovada em função da nossa experiência com grandes corporações aqui, no Brasil, para atender o mercado americano, mas é importante aprimorarmos a nossa capacidade de prospectar clientes internacionais, entender onde e como procurar, compreendendo melhor esse mercado”, pondera Silva.


ATS operates in the aerospace industry from the pre-project, with conceptual studies, through the product, planning and testing phases to the analysis of results. Troubleshooting ATS covers fluid, mechanical, and thermal systems engineering; test and solo flight; structures and aerodynamics.

One of ATS’s mottos is to work incessantly to provide innovative solutions to solve real customer problems. For this, it participates in research programs with universities, government agencies, defense forces and companies.

About StartOut

In addition to ATS, the following startups are also participating in the Miami Cycle: Portal Telemedicina, Take, VG Resíduos, Flex Interativa 360 Tecnologia da Informação, Mogai Information Tecnology, Tracksale, AgileMs, Kryptus, Labsoft Tecnologia, I.Systems, TruckPad, Aya Tech , Fastdezine and Molegolar.

The startups will be in Miami from September 9th to 14th and underwent training and monitoring in São Paulo between July 16th and August 31st. The selection result was announced on July 13.

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