Open doors for startups


The global marketplace is being reinvented by new business strategies. Brazil continues to stand out as an important and powerful player within product and service innovation, and it is through design that these new start-ups gain strength to become both profitable and relevant.

The magical world of Silicon Valley, once recognized as the only place where a startup could be successful, is no longer the exclusive platform for launching new businesses. Today, Western Europe, Japan, India, Israel, and Southeast Brazil are experiencing a boom in the entrepreneurial space.

In Brazil, despite the enormous bureaucracies involved in entrepreneurship and the lack of expertise of many of these small businesses, new companies are emerging at an exponential rate.

In addition to transforming our economy and business culture, startups have also begun to attract foreign investment. In a recent move, the Brazilian-based company, 99Taxis was acquired by China’s Didi Chuxing for the dirt-cheap price of $960 million USD. Decora, a service that uses augmented reality to assist with online furniture sales was just bought for US$ 100 million.

While the numbers indicate that the hype around the startup universe is real, many startups fizzle out due to the complex development process for new companies. Whether it’s developing a consistent business plan or fully materializing a product or service, the challenges are immense.

Successful startups already prioritize design as a key part of their evolution, and in an effort to answer to this movement, large corporations are creating their own design centers and consulting firms to boost and invest in new businesses.

In 2009, Google designer Braden Kowitz took over the direction of Google Ventures, starting a cycle of Design Sprints that began to add value to startups, not only through monetary investment, but also through the refinement of businesses that were in their initial stages. Small startups such as Pinterest, for example, grew to be worth US$ 3.8 billion, and have achieved unimaginable market value through business design sprints.

At Questtonó, we began to reach out to various entrepreneurs through our broad network of people. We promoted events, listened to stories, and shared ideas, but in the end we have realized that our role could be much more meaningful.

We believe that through design we can create relevant systems to reach another level of emotional connection with users. This strategy, which we call Systemic Design, needed to be relevant for established companies and startups alike.

With some tweaking, we developed Venture Design, a process similar to a Venture Capital, however, in a Venture Design process, the main currency of exchange is not financial but strategic. This process occurs when a Design and Innovation consultancy lends its methodologies and processes to boost the advancement of these entrepreneurs.

With an eye on the entrepreneurial movement in Brazil and New York – where we have been operating since 2015 – we have officially inaugurated our Venture Design front launching PEER2BEER, a platform for the development of home beer production and the first startup supported by Venture Design.

This new strategy has a great creative pollinating effect, allowing diverse experiences to come together to produce something new and impactful. We use our methodologies to accelerate these businesses, and the whole process has brought about countless positive changes to Questtonó itself.

We believe that by bringing these entrepreneurs closer to our reality, startups will be able to take advantage of a vast library of resources within our professional community to produce more coherent and innovative businesses.

This article was originally published on Designers Brasileiros, a brazilian digital magazine focused on Design.

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Questtonó is a design and innovation consultancy that has a successful track record of 25 years + 140 design awards, developing great understanding of the US & Brazil market to deliver data driven + human centered results. Your organization will be in good company with Budweiser, Ford, Samsung & Magic Leap, among other clients we have the pleasure to work with.
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