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Cloudgrid and Bankity have been named the winning start-ups in BBVA Open Talent 2014 Central and South America in the categories of Digital Life and New Banking respectively. Both projects will receive prize-money equivalent to 30,000, which will lead to a contract with BBVA to try out their product or service. Latin American entrepreneurs –with 312 start-ups and representing over 35% of all the entrants– have featured strongly in BBVA Open Talent 2014. Argentina, Colombia and Chile are among the most active countries in the competition at the global level.
Cloudgrid, a start-up that allows energy resources and electricity supply to be managed from the cloud using data for real time analysis and control, was declared the winner in the Digital Life category. FirstJob.me was awarded second prize for their idea for a Latin-American social network geared to talented young professionals seeking a job, training or professional work experience.
Bankity and IncreaseCard are the winners in the New Banking category for their services to help monitor expenses associated with personal credit cards. They offer a daily card analysis and a tool that enables businesses to monitor their credit card sales and payments and plan card collection dates and amounts, thus reinventing the financial sector and offering potential for growth.
"Open Talent 2014 is meeting our highest expectations, particularly in Latin America. The Central-South American edition has inspired entrepreneurs from up to 15 different nationalities –from Argentina to Cuba, Costa Rica and Brazil–, highlighting the wealth of talent and vocation for innovation waiting to be tapped among the Latin American population," says Gustavo Vinacua, manager of BBVA's Innovation and Open Innovation centers.
In addition to prize-money equivalent to 30,000 euros, the winners and runners-up will be treated to a week of training and networking with investors at the Crash Acceleration Week in New York.
These start-ups are the first to take their place on the BBVA Open Talent 2014 podium, and were selected from a shortlist of 20 finalists in BBVA Open Talent Central and South America. The entrepreneurs pitched their projects in the final event held as part of the Next Bank Bogota conferences.
The jury was made up of representatives of BBVA, in addition to investors, entrepreneurs and a member of the Next Bank organization. What's more, for the first time this year the audience attending the event was able to choose the best pitches, with their vote representing 20% of the jury's final score.
BBVA Open Talent has now ended its Central-South American edition, but the European and North American finals have yet to take place, and will be decided next 18 and 19 September in Next Bank Europe (Barcelona); and 15 and 16 October in Next Bank Americas (Mexico DF).
The winners will receive prize-money equivalent to 30,000 euros, and along with the runners up will be treated to a week of training and networking with investors at the Crash Acceleration Week in New York.
Once the winners of each regional edition have been decided, in October there will be a 14-day period in which Internet users can vote online for any of the 60 finalists in BBVA Open Talent 2014, and the winner will be given a special prize. Anybody except the competition participants themselves can vote for as many of the candidate projects as they want. Voting is via the web page of the BBVA Innovation Center.
The inventors of the project awarded the most Internet votes will accompany the winners and runners-up on a trip to the Crash Acceleration week in New York, where they can pitch their projects to potential investors and business incubators and receive training and expert advice on the entrepreneurial environment.