Welington Backes is the innovation advisor at Sicredi Pioneira. During his time there, he has occupied many other roles within the co-op from helping the associated business develop to getting suitable investments within their markets. So, when the Comunitá Sicredi branch was launched a year ago, he found himself in the perfect position to help startups gain traction within the market while also finding new ideas that could directly impact the Sicredi group, its associates and the co-op members.
We want to find new ideas and tech all across Brazil that can create impact in our community
This new role as investor has already proven fruitful for the Sicredi co-op, with Welington pointing to the startup ELYSIOS as one of their significant investments today. ELYSIOS fits perfectly into Comunitá Sicredi’s mission, he says. “It is an agrotech company that could directly support our co-op members and the overall Sicredi network.” Welington notes that since most of the economy of Rio Grande do Sul is focused on ranching and agricultural production, innovation in that area is always welcome, and not just within the state. “Currently, we only have local startups in our roster, but our program is open to startups nationwide. We want to find new ideas and tech all across Brazil that can create impact in our community.” Currently, Comunitá Sicredi’s goals are to give monetary incentives to innovative businesses and expand them beyond their fields. As Welington explains in their co-op business model, “We want companies that already have a minimal base of clients and that know what they are selling and how to do it. We look for things beyond Series A, because at the end of the day, we are not working with a few individuals; we are functioning and building as a community.” Comunitá Sicredi is open to new investments and actively looking for startups across Brazil.
Main photo: Diego Soares