Graduate of INCAE's Entrepreneurship MBA Program among the winners of Seedstars by PROCOMER Contest

13 de November 2018

MBA graduate from INCAE’s Entrepreneurship MBA Program Ignacio Barrientos won the prize to Innovation and most Sustainable Innovation at the 2018 Starseeds by PROCOMER contest with his Bambú Pallet project. "I was very glad but not surprised by the success of Bambú Pallet and Ignacio. One day he came to my office to say, "I am less interested in good grades than in the success of my business." And that's what he did. For him, INCAE was not a school with a logic of grades, but an environment offering business opportunities he knew how to use. Ignacio was never a student, he was and still is an entrepreneur", said Professor Urs Jager, Academic Director of INCAE’s Latin American Center for Entrepreneurs.

For Bambú Pallet Founder Mr. Barrientos this contest was a great opportunity as Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (PROCOMER), has a direct, close relationship with product exporters, which are actually his potential customers. And of course to start promoting acceptance of his innovative product.

The Seedstars contest involved a quite complex process. Regional calls were held throughout the country and based on them the 15 most innovative proposals, which were also the finalists of the contest, were chosen to move on to the following round. These included Biomatec, Caffer Embutidos, Bambú Pallet, Gricket House, La Paila S.A. (BioFertilizer), Essential Air Costa Rica, Osopez and Eco Ctrl. Also Rosalind Innovations, Sail Cargo, Lingo Call, TECFarmer, Ginger Elixirs, Zen Clean and Defter Sports.

Mr. Barrientos says that at no time in the contest he felt insecure. "When you compete, the only feeling you should have is to do things in the best possible way with the resources available to you." Participants presented their business ideas to a jury including Pedro Beirute Prada, General Manager of PROCOMER; José Rafael Brenes, General Manager of the National Stock Exchange; Michael Ben-Eli, CEO of Sustainability Labs; María del Noel Suzacq, representative of Seedstars World and Henry Chen Weinstein, renowned investor and Founder/CEO of Cockpit.

Bambú Pallets was selected in the Most Sustainable Innovation category and received $ 2,000 from Sustainability Labs / EARTH and $ 3,000 in legal advice from Dentons Muñoz. In addition it won the PROCOMER Award for Innovation, $ 10,000 from the National Stock Exchange and $ 3,000 in legal advice by EY. According to Ignacio, "These awards mean many things to me. They mean being closer to the market, decreasing resistance to change, receiving more support, and making ourselves known. However, above all it proves that with God’s help, much sacrifice, effort, work, and support from family, dreams may come true." Great opportunities remain for Bambú Pallet and, as Barrientos says, "Now everything seems more achievable."  For PROCOMER video click here.