Archive for February 2010
iPhone brazilian users are very concerned about the possibility of being fined. That is what the ranking of paid apps downloaded on the App Store Brazil says, the iPhone and iPod touch software store from Apple.
Top of the list is the iRadar Brazil 2.0 application, which costs $ 1.99 and shows in the smartphone screen the location of the of radars around the streets of Brazilian cities. Upon reaching the radar (the distance you set in preferences), it emits a warning sound or vibration. To do this, use the GPS feature and the triangulation of cellular antennas.
Developed by Studio6 (Campinas/SP) the program uses the GPS iPhones 3G/3GS, cellular phone antennas and bases Wi-Fi to determine its location, and thereafter shows a list or map radar (fixed and / or phones), cameras, electronic speed bumps, road police and / or traffic lights next. In the preferences you turn on or off whatever you want.
The application, currently in its version 2.0, has had its release 3.0 submitted to Apple for approval. With it, besides having access to more than 8 thousand radars, cameras and electronic speed bumps, you can enter new radars. The 3.0 also fixes a bug that turned off the music (if the User is using the iPod) when radar is detected.
Rua Antonio Galizia, 181, cj. 62, Cambuí
13024-510, Campinas, SP
Tel.: +55 19 3294-7228
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Posted by Fabiano Gallindo
Emerging companies in the biotechnology and nanotechnology sectors are going to receive a boost. The creation of a venture capital fund has been passed by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). According to the BNDES, the two sectors have been selected in keeping with the institution’s strategy of supporting technological innovation in the country’s industrial matrix, as a means of guaranteeing the competitiveness of Brazilian companies.
The bank will participate by means of its subsidiary BNDES Participações (BNDESPAR), and will own up to 25% of the fund’s committed equity.
The venture capital fund will be established under the BNDES’ Investment Funds Program, launched in July last year. In the first phase, in August 2008, the program selected three private equity funds: BB Brasil Agronegócio, FIP Terra Viva and CRP VII.
According to the BNDES, the investment targets for the second and third phases are being selected. The bank intends to choose funds linked to assets in forestry and oil and gas. The BNDES currently takes part in 31 investment funds, with committed equity of approximately 8 billion Brazilian reals (US$ 4.4 billion).
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Posted by Fabiano Gallindo
Over the last few years, China and India have emerged as the twin hot spots of emerging tech innovation. Now IBM (IBM) is betting that one of the next big technology stars will be Brazil.
In the latest sign of Brazil's rising power, Big Blue is announcing on Aug. 18 a new initiative to stimulate the development of the country's technology sector. To kick off the effort, IBM is hosting its first-ever forum for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in São Paulo along with FINEP, the Brazilian government agency that finances technology development. The daylong event will bring together more than 100 investors and dozens of new companies looking for investment and business advice.
IBM is also launching a Portuguese version of its developerWorks Web site, which provides free programs and online teaching guides that help programmers build skills in the Java programming language, the Linux operating system, and IBM products such as Lotus. To host the event, IBM has dispatched Claudia Fan Munce, managing director of IBM Venture Capital Group, and Steve Mills, senior vice-president and group executive of IBM's $20 billion Software Group, a clear sign of the growing importance of Brazil to the IBM portfolio.
"We have been watching Brazil for a while," says Munce, who grew up in Brazil. "The time is right."
In the past, Brazil has been hobbled by hyperinflation, rampant political corruption, and failed fiscal and monetary policies. But with a growing and stable economy in recent years, multinational corporations such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and venture capital and private equity players now see additional opportunity for technology innovation in the sun-drenched nation. "That potential is there," says Mills. "The university systems are strong. There is a level of interest in entrepreneurship that is growing."
Investors increasingly see Brazil as an attractive destination. As of the end of 2008 nearly 150 local and foreign investment firms had committed $28 billion in venture and private equity capital to Brazilian companies, according to the Brazilian Association for Private Equity & Venture Capital. That's up from $6 billion in 2004, amounting to a hearty 50% compound annual growth rate over the last four years. Investors have financed 500 Brazilian companies to date with venture or private equity capital, and there's $12 billion left to invest over the next few years from that $28 billion kitty.
Still, the country's business challenges, including high taxes and restrictive labor laws, could hamper growth. And native businesspeople say a Silicon Valley-like ecosystem where risk and creative thinking in technology are the norm remains elusive. "We do not have an ecosystem in place," says Berthier Ribiero-Neto, head of Google's (GOOG) Latin American research and development center, which is based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. "Most of the students go to work for the outsourcing companies. I would like to see more product development."
The IBM initiative is designed to help remedy some of those issues. The idea is to serve as a matchmaker and coach to the growing number of companies IBM works with in Brazil. In fact, IBM's Munce says that among the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), Brazil is seeing the highest growth in business partners that IBM works with, averaging 150% year over year.
TAPPING INTO BRAZIL
To help its partners raise money, IBM will introduce them to dozens of local and foreign private investors at the forum, including Intel Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Rio Bravo, and Darby Overseas Investments. And to design, build, and market new technologies for their businesses, IBM will invite its several thousand Brazilian business partners to visit its Innovation Center in São Paulo, which opened in February. At the center, entrepreneurs can gain access to training courses, consulting services, and technical seminars. "The center will help us tap into this huge growth market," says Munce.
Humberto Matsuda, founding partner with Performa Investimentos, a new Brazilian venture capital firm, says the IBM forum is a significant event for his country. "We are very excited to see how IBM will become a player in this industry," says Matsuda, who is closing an $8 million fund, with 40% of its capital coming from FINEP. "It is a very significant event, given the size of the players."
Matsuda, who helped IBM draw up a list of companies to invite to the forum, says startups have been hobbled in the recent past by a lack of capital and experienced entrepreneurs. But he says the IBM event is important because it will help foster more investment, training, and networking in the technology community. "They will make introductions to potential clients and offer training and services," says Matsuda. "You have to use a key player like IBM to teach companies."
Posted by Fabiano Gallindo