Now in its 20th year, ‘G-Lab’ helps to promote entrepreneurship across Brazil
Cambridge, Mass., January 15, 2020— They are four Brazilian companies poised to expand globally and are interested in exploring how best to take that next significant step. Now, Cortex, Dito, Involves, and Trocafone have been selected to host Global Entrepreneurship Laboratory (G-LAB) projects in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management, founder of the international entrepreneurial program. The companies were chosen based on their business models, growth potential, and successes to date.
Teams of MBA students from MIT Sloan—one of the world’s top-ranked business schools—will be working on-site at Cortex, Dito, Involves, and Trocafone throughout January to provide them with high-impact insight and analysis.
This year marks G-Lab’s 20th anniversary. Since 2000, nearly 2,500 MIT Sloan G-Lab students have worked with host companies on 650 projects at 482 startups in emerging and frontier markets in more than 50 countries. To date, approximately 100 G-Lab projects have been hosted in startups and companies across Brazil.
When determining project scope, host companies draw from a broad spectrum of business challenges such as growth, new market entry, pricing, marketing, benchmarking, fundraising, and financial strategy. G-Lab strongly emphasizes concrete “leave-behinds” as a primary component of the teams’ project deliverables. In the process, the MBA students gain real-world experience in creating, developing and running young enterprises with diverse economic infrastructures as well as thinking about the role of politics, culture, and other non-economic variables.
Meet the Companies
Cortex, with offices in Sao Paulo and Rio, is a ten-year-old tech company that helps big enterprises grow by leveraging their marketing, communications and sales decision making through data with its growth intelligence platform. Challenges they tackle include generating market intelligence insights, increasing earned media economic value, boosting sales with efficient prospecting, right pricing and media budget allocation, winning more government bids and increasing sales on chain stores, among others. The G-Lab project goal is to run a strategic assessment of the U.S. market.
Dito, with offices in Sao Paulo, Rio, and Belo Horizonte, is a technology company that revolutionizes the engagement experience between brands and people. Its CRM and marketing automation platform helps companies understand their customer’s behavior and target multichannel campaigns – both on and offline – for every moment of the buyer journey. G-Lab students will focus on pricing and strategic growth.
Involves, founded in 2009 in the city of Florianópolis, is responsible for the development of Involves Stage, a software dedicated to the management of retail execution, currently in use in over 20 countries worldwide. The platform helps teams of enterprises, such as Unilever, L’Oréal, Motorola, Playstation, Seara, Danone, Fini, RedBull, and 3M, ensure the best possible execution in thousands of points of sale.
Headquartered in the state of Santa Catarina, and with branches in the cities of Sao Paulo and Mexico City, the company employs over 250 people and utilizes innovative people management policies. It is currently recognized as the 5th best technology company to work for in Brazil, and occupies prominent positions in the GPTW rankings of 2016, 2017 and 2018. A reference when it comes to retail execution, Involves promotes ongoing projects to increase knowledge on the field through initiatives that include its blog, Involves Club, and Latin America’s largest conference on the segment, Involves Experience, which happens every September in Brazil.
Trocafone, founded in 2014 with offices in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, buys, refurbishes, and sells used smartphones to consumers. The company has already recycled and sold more than 1.1M smartphones across a variety sales channels: e-commerce, "quiosques," “televendas” and third-party marketplaces. As the company scales, it is looking to optimize all these channels and build a true omni-channel strategy regarding stock, pricing and overall customer experience. The G-Lab project focuses on building algorithms and internal tools to allocate stock and define pricing for each of these channels.
“Across Brazil, smart people are running good companies and looking to create more good jobs," says MIT Sloan Professor Simon Johnson, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund who co-founded the program in 2000. “Over the past twenty years, it has been a privilege – and an education – for our students to find ways to be helpful. Everyone returns to the United States impressed with the energy and intensity of the CEOs in these companies.”
Some Brazilian success stories, such as that of the startup Slice Group, may be viewed on the G-Lab website: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/action-learning/managing-traffic-brazil
G-Lab—based on the MIT Sloan Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab) model launched in 1992—is one of 15 pioneering Action Learning labs available to students at MIT Sloan. While project activities vary, they are united by common themes, including experiential, reflective, and peer learning; faculty mentoring; real-world problem solving; knowledge transfer; and, perhaps unique to MIT Sloan, a student team engagement intended to have a measurable business, which often includes a social impact. These real-time management challenges bring theory to life.
About the MIT Sloan School of Management
The MIT Sloan School of Management, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, is one of the world’s leading academic sources of innovation in management theory and practice. With students from more than 60 countries, it develops effective, innovative, and principled leaders who advance the global economy.