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Latin-American E-C Business Plan Contest Opened

Banco Itau, Brasil Online, Intel, Itautec, McKinsey and Universo Online joined forces in a project to encourage the development of new business on the Internet.

In an initiative to stimulate the creation of new ideas as well as to attract entrepreneurs and investors, the companies have created the e-Cobra - e-Commerce Brasil Institute, and are organizing the first Latin-American e-commerce business plans contest.

Relying on a broad advertising in the U.S. and Europe, where such contests have been held for more than ten years, these events have credited with revealing new talents and for the development of new business on the Internet.

"So far there isn't in Brazil any tradition of business plans contests. With e-Cobra, we plan to promote the country as an exponent in the new digital economy," says Heitor Martins, president at the Institute.

The goal of the contest is to motivate young university students, researchers, and professionals to find innovative solutions for e-commerce.

A jury formed by seasoned venture capitalists, executives and various specialists will evaluate the works and choose the three winners. The prize will be the equivalent to additional R$2 million (approx. US$ 1 million) in cash, equipment and services, that will support the deployment of the winners' business plans.

The startup companies will also benefit from a broad contact network formed from the contest which will include investors, academic community members, equipment vendors and specialized services in different areas.



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