inovaBra Under Armour Flight to Rio
By: Skyler C. DeWalt, Smith MBA Candidate, 2018
We began today by taking the Sao Paulo metro to inovaBra, which plays an interesting role in the startup ecosystem. Whereas an incubator might house new, early-stage businesses or an accelerator intends to speed up investment and growth within a short amount of time, inovaBra offers companies a “habitat” environment whereby they can utilize communal workspace while also building relationships with larger companies who might also share the space. The space is provided by Bradesco Bank with no strings attached and no expectation of Bradesco as an investor, so long as the business met certain standards and levels of maturity.
We also received presentations from two entrepreneurs who currently operate in the inovaBra space, with companies pioneering AI, machine learning and facial recognition technologies. Larger companies are eager to partner with inovaBra in order to collaborate and learn about the services of small but exciting businesses such as these.
In the afternoon, we got the chance to learn about Under Armour’s Brazil operations. As Terps, we were obviously enthusiastic to see how a Maryland-grown company was faring abroad. Under Armour is a fascinating case-study for doing business in Brazil. Not only did we learn about UA’s market research for customers in Brazil, but we also learned about how the firm adjusted its strategy and operations in the face of the country’s recent economic woes.