In London, they have Abbey Road; in Brazil, we now got the Tech Road – or Technology Highway. The novelty will not be exactly like the street that was immortalized by the cover of the last album recorded by the Beatles, but an initiative of the municipalities of five cities in the South of the country, in support of technology and innovation in the region. The signing of the agreement took place on Wednesday (4), at the opening of South Summit Brazil, the South American edition of the Spanish technology and innovation event that took place this week in Porto Alegre, the capital of the Rio Grande do Sul state.

The municipalities involved in the agreement are Caxias do Sul, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Joinville and Porto Alegre. Together, the five cities have 5 million inhabitants and a density of creative talents that have generated more than 3,000 startups and 20,000 innovative companies that generated nearly BRL 18 billion ($3.5 billion) in business.

According to the mayors present at the event, the program’s objective is to promote joint action between the five cities with projects that attract new businesses, more talent and investors. In practice, instead of each one looking at its navel, the cities start to act as a macro-region. This is a grand committee to debate and define strategic plans that can further leverage innovation in the South and contribute to the development of cities and the regions they represent.

“Innovation needs economic freedom and legal certainty. Removing bureaucracy from the entrepreneur will be fundamental in our proposal”, said Adriano Silva, mayor of Joinville, without specifying what this will imply. The mayor also highlighted that, even in the pandemic, the city saw economic growth of 10.3%, thanks to the technology ecosystem and industries established there.

Transfeera, a fintech focused on managing and processing payments, is a success story from Joinville. Launched in 2017, the startup decided to remain in its home city and avoid the traditional exodus of startups to Rio or São Paulo. Things have worked out for the company. Last year, the firm’s revenue has doubled after “embracing” instant payments system Pix as a new engine of growth and a series A is on the horizon.

Other event participants were Sebastião Melo, mayor of Porto Alegre; Adiló Didomenico, mayor of Caxias do Sul; Topazio Neto, mayor of Florianópolis; and the president of the Curitiba Agency for Development and Innovation, Cristina Alessi, who represented city Mayor Rafael Greca.

Fabiana Rolfini traveled to Porto Alegre as a guest of South Summit


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