IEEE Entrepreneurship UN-MGCY Workshop

UN-MGCY Workshop at G-STIC 2023

IEEE Entrepreneurship Rio de Janeiro Workshop

Photo: Carnival 2023 in Rio de Janeiro.

By Ken Staffer and Surya Raghu

Ken Stauffer and Dr. Surya Raghu conducted an intense but very rewarding IEEE Entrepreneurship (NIC) Workshop in Rio de Janeiro from 11 – 15 February with the Global Sustainable Technology and Innovation Community (G-STIC).  Our workshop was co-sponsored by Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN-MGCY).  IEEE Entrepreneurship has been partnering together with the UN-MGCY at G-STIC since 2018 to “accelerate technological solutions for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

We met in Rio de Janeiro to explore entrepreneurial sustainable development ideas in teams of 4-6 people. Our workshop participants were from Peru, Colombia, and many cities in Brazil.  Individual participants proposed ideas related to the UN SDGs, and teams were formed on a “caucus” basis selecting the best ideas and fit for both talent and aptitude among the participants.  For 3 days, the teams developed their ideas and learned about “Taking an Idea to Market, Business Models, Financing, Marketing & Sales, Intellectual Property,” etc.

One workshop participant commented she learned “That if you want to be an entrepreneur, you should study finances, marketing, and how to build a company in your country. And when you become an entrepreneur, you are married to your company.”

On the 4th day, the teams presented their “10-minute pitch” to a panel of 4 judges who selected the recipients to present on the G-STIC stage.  Gavea Angels worked with the teams to help them sharpen their investment pitches and participated on our judging panel.

On 15th February, our top teams presented their pitches on the G-STIC stage to both in-room and online audiences.  Their pitches were simultaneously translated into Portuguese, English, and sign language.

WOW – Well Being and Women


Water Iris – Clean Water

ECOBUILD – Waste Reduction & Circular Bioeconomy

The WOW team took home the prize, as voted by the G-STIC audience and the judges! CONGRATULATIONS to them and all the teams for their great ideas and pitches!

Special shout-outs to all our sponsors, speakers, and mentors who participated in making this Rio Workshop a very special workshop – Danielly Magalhaes, Ona Ambrozaite, Susana Lau, Laura Velásquez Herrera, Teresa Simoes, Lilian Ghitnick Arcalji, and Rodrigo Marques!

The other planned 2023 IEEE Entrepreneurship (NIC) Workshops are in Johannesburg, South Africa, in July, Panama in September, and Marrakesh, Morocco, with the IEEE Power & Energy Society and Industry Application Society PowerAfrica Conference in November.

Our goal is “impacting and assisting aspiring entrepreneurs in building a better sustainable world!”