Brazil TFF Ambassador Jéssica Gimenes Tâmbalo sat down with Ricardo Campo who is the Head of Marketing at Pulse Hub in Piracicaba, Brazil, to chat about the innovation ecosystem in Brazil and how Pulse Hub’s work is playing a big role in strengthening it. Pulse Hub is a Raízen initiative – one of the biggest agro companies in the world – which aims to promote the agro innovation ecosystem. At Pulse Hub, startups, corporates, investors, and students unite to shape a smarter future. Initiated by Mateus Astun Cirino and his TFF Ambassador Team in Piracicaba, we have been running several meetups this year at Pulse Hub to create a space for discussions around food and agriculture innovation.

How would you describe the role of an innovation ecosystem and who can get involved?

Innovation ecosystems gather universities, entrepreneurs, investors, companies and other relevant stakeholders. There is a wave of young professionals and changemakers who have the knowledge and the mindset to create substantial change if knowledge is being turned into real projects that have a long-lasting impact. We see this changemaker mindset especially in Millennials and GenZ’s but anyone willing to change how business is being done can be an innovator and changemaker.

What needs to be done to increase and encourage entrepreneurialism in Brazil?

Unfortunately, we still see that Brazil is lacking educational initiatives and entrepreneurship programs at schools and universities. Entrepreneurship used to be associated with informal project work. However, the good news is that this is changing rapidly with investments from big companies who want to fuel the innovation ecosystem. I believe that the trend to invest in innovation will drastically change how and what we teach in schools and universities.

How can innovation hubs, like Pulse Hub, contribute to the strengthening of the innovation ecosystems?

Our role as a hub is to establish connections and enable collaboration within a city or country and even beyond that on an international level. With our global network, we can give entrepreneurs from Brazil access to international markets and can support a drastic market change where we collaborate across borders, rather than simply adopt, newly available technologies within our spectrum. We also open the gates for startups who want to do a soft landing in Brazil. We are thrilled to be able to say that we have become the main port of call for startups who want to test and validate their solution or scale up internationally.

TFF Ambassadors Jéssica and Mateus (in the back), Ricardo (on the right) and his colleague from Raízen at Pulse Hub’s 2nd anniversary.
Our world is changing faster than ever before. How do corporates, such as Raízen, manage to adapt to the outside world?

Big companies need to be up to date in terms of technology and consumer trends. Pulse Hub represents one of Raízen’ s efforts to keep an eye on the future and funnel innovation, technology and young talents back into Raízen. Pulse Hub connects companies with startups and universities, offers them a sense of what to anticipate in terms of the new early-stage technologies that are on the market and then help them scale up. At Pulse Hub, we also contribute to fostering an innovation culture within companies who want to benchmark and develop open innovation initiatives.

Why is a partnership between Pulse Hub and Thought For Food important?

Thought For Food has over six years of a track record and is represented around the world. We can learn a lot from their expertise working with next-generation entrepreneurs and changemakers and empowering them to create viable solutions for food system challenges. We too work with thinkers and startups who are dedicated to the challenge of sustainable food and agricultural production and will collaborate with TFF to provide innovation opportunities for young people here in Brazil and beyond. Just like TFF, we are collaborative, solution-oriented and inclusive, and want to foster these values with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Do you have an innovative idea and turn it into a real solution to create more sustainable and inclusive food systems? Join the TFF Challenge on World Food Day (October 16th)!