Brazil’s development bank BNDES has announced that it would soon create a fund of 100 million reals (US$31 million) to fuel the growth of the country’s innovative and prospective young entrepreneurs.
Chosen startups will get up to 500,000 reals in equity investment in addition to access to mentorship and training programs.
Startups that are making more than 1 million reals in annual revenue are eligible to seek investment.
The development bank will raise 60% of the 100 million real fund from public investors, paying the remainder from its own coffers. The initiative will be handled by BNDES equity investment arm BNDESpar.
Reports from some Brazilian newspapers say the bank will only invest if a venture capital fund or a business accelerator agrees to invest the same amount of money.
Interested entrepreneurs have until January 12, 2018, to submit their proposals. The bank says it will choose the startup after evaluating its history, governance, and cost structure, among other things.
Despite the new Brazilian government passing a series of severe austerity measures, which threaten to freeze public spending, the startup scene remains strong, with foreign venture capital funds continuing to pour money into local companies.
Sao Paulo is now ranked 12th for startup innovation worldwide, with more than 2,700 active startups. According to Venturebeat, Brazil’s startup sector grew by 30% annually between 2011 and 2016.