18 Sep 18

Anna Martins, Orbi: Innovation through collaboration in Brazil

Although Brazil’s 2015-16 economic recession certainly impacted the country, using creativity to push innovation in a collaborative manner is one of the keys to a robust recovery, and this is something that is occurring in Minas Gerais state capital Belo Horizonte.

According to Anna Martins who is the CEO and co-founder of local business startup catalyst Orbi Conecta (Orbi), groundbreaking ideas are better born through diversity and collaboration.

Join Global Fleet in a brief chat with the executive as we see how the company has teamed up with car rental and fleet management company Localiza and other key players to help proliferate new ideas in the country. 

Global Fleet: Could you tell me a little about how Orbi got started?

Martins: It all started with Pedro Menezes, an entrepreneur involved in the startup community here in the São Pedro valley region of Belo Horizonte. He first started collaborating with Banco Inter president João Vitor on the idea of helping startups and then brought local engineering company MRV Engenharia and Localiza into the mix.

By September 2016, Orbi was established , and by November of 2017, we launched the 2,500m2 space that you see here today.

Global Fleet: And why the name Orbi?

Martins: Orbi comes from the word orbit. We seek startups that have their own orbit, but need a common gravitational force to help develop a real ecosystem towards success. For us, this gravitational force is made up of technological entrepreneurship and it is empowered even more by collaboration.

We eventually want to develop a force that will change the country, and even the world.

Global Fleet: How many startups are you working with?

Martins: Well, this number changes from time to time. Right now, we have seven companies that are physically present within the building and another three that are in the test phase so I’d say 10 all-together.

Global Fleet: Is there a startup related to mobility that you are collaborating with right now?

Martins: Sure, we are working with Zumpy, a company aimed at providing corporate mobility solutions. Basically, they organize car-pooling for routine commuters. Localiza is also helping us with networking and connections.

Orbi co-founder Anna Martins, Global Fleet Latin America editor Daniel Bland, Zumpy marketing director Leopoldo Vieira (Source: Global Fleet)

Global Fleet: From what I understand, the startups pay for a space here at Orbi. Therefore, besided the space they are renting out, could you explain a bit about what else they get in return?

Martins: Startups who have already passed the valley of death phase (first two years in business) usually need two things to push their growth over the next two to four years, and that is financial capital and business connections.

We provide the latter through a steady stream of contacts supported by our three partners.

We also support with the overall development of these companies through a co-working system which provides support in the areas of communication and infrastructure.

Finally, keep in mind that we don’t rent this space out to just any new company. If you are a genius that wants to call all the shots, its not going to work. We are looking for those with a collective spirit. For us, innovation is better born through diversity and collaboration.

Global Fleet: Speaking of collaboration, could you give me an idea of how companies such as Localiza are benefiting from the partnership?

Martins: Of course, through our network of new players, Localiza has first-hand access to innovative ideas in mobility and associated businesses. This could be used to help develop strategies aimed at reducing their internal costs or anything else that could give them an advantage in the market.

Authored by: Daniel Bland