Fast Company magazine just published their annual list of the world’s 50 most innovative companies – among them, two Brazilian groups, biological control experts Bug Agentes Biológicos (33rd position) and social media marketing maven Boo-box (43th position).
The magazine also published their list of Brazilian innovative corporations, here followed by Fast Company’s comments:
1 - Bug Agentes Biológicos
It sells insects, mainly wasps, and other organisms for biological control of plantations
Bug’s timing feels right. Brazil is the world’s third-largest agricultural exporter (behind the United States and EU); it recently passed the U.S. as the largest consumer of pesticides. Yet the country has begun to phase out the more noxious chemical pesticides Brazilian farmers use despite diminishing effectiveness. Bug has the only alternative approved by Brazilian agricultural, health, and environmental ministries. It’s currently at 100% capacity with plans in 2012 to double the acreage it covers.
2 - Boo-box
An online ad start up specialized in social media
The Brazilian advertising network exploded last year, quintupling the number of ads it placed to reach some 80% of its home country’s web users. The key, says founder Marco Gomes, is creating novel ad formats “where people are already paying attention,” such as in Twitter feeds or blog text. Next up: targeting all of Latin America. “There’s a lot of room to grow,” says Gomes, citing a recent merger with Argentine semantics firm Popego. “The car isn’t the center of our culture anymore, it’s the computer.
3 – EBX
Eike Batista’s holding – the richest Brazilian man’s businesses include mining and logistics companies, among many, many others.
For bringing fresh dirt. Brazil’s march toward self-sufficiency got an extra push from EBX this year. Grupo EBX’s Acu Superport, originally dreamed up as a “highway” to send raw goods to China, will now include a compound capable of holding 3 million tons of nitrogen-enriched fertilizer a year. Acu’s infrastructure can shuttle the resource to Brazil’s three major regions responsible for 87% of the country’s agricultural output.
4 – Stefanini
For going where the clients are. Brazil’s largest IT services company cemented its global presence by expanding further into fellow emerging economy and outsourcing powerhouse, China. Stefanini also has designs on making inroads in Japan: Its new software development center is located in Jilin , a city in China that has a large Japanese-speaking population.
5 – Embraer
Aerospace conglomerate that produces commercial, military, and executive aircrafts.
For serving and protecting its country. New ventures into defense and security will pay off for the world’s fourth-largest aircraft manufacturer and its home country. Embraer has its eyes set on building Brazil’s first geostationary satellite, a move that will boost the country’s communication, remote imaging, and weather prediction capabilities.
The semi-public multinational energy corporation
For shoring up innovation in the Gulf of Mexico, post-Deepwater Horizon. This year, Petrobras received long-awaited U.S. Interior regulatory approval for the first floating deepwater oil and natural gas production and storage facility in the Gulf, positioning it to lead other energy companies toward what’s being billed as a safe new way to tap into natural resources. Located 165 miles off the Louisiana coastline, Petrobras’ Chinook-Cascade facility’s mobility makes it stand out from typical fixed platform sites; it can be unhooked and moved out of the path of hurricanes to avoid long-term oil shortages. The project has 600,000 barrels of oil storage capacity and can process 80,000 barrels per day.
7 – Predicta
Behavioral marketing targeting firm
For opening the app marketplace to web developers. São Paulo-based Predicta launched SiteApps in April 2011 as a platform for easy-to-use website optimization. Developers can post their free or paid apps on the site; users can then install the tool (from analytics to social media widgets) onto their websites.
8 – F*Hits
Network of fashion bloggers
For blogging Brazil’s fashionable ascent. A rising middle class has brought luxury to Brazilian storefronts but not laptops. Alice Ferraz’s blog collective–featuring 26 style mavens’ takes on fashion–attracts more than 3.5 million uniques a month, besting traditional style bible Marie Claire Brazil.
9 – Apontador
The leading internet geolocation company in the country
For defining the way Brazil does local. Apontador has long moved away from its mapping roots to become the top geolocation service company in Brazil. In 2011 it rolled out Apontador+, a feature that lets businesses create pages on the site to see how Apontador users (more than 12 million a month) interact with their brand.
10 – Vostu
For bringing radio to gaming. Fresh from a copyright infringement settlement with Zynga, Vostu soldiers on as the first company to incorporate radio into its social gaming. Users can now hear Brazilian pop hits and gaming advice instead of canned music and sound effects while building farms and cities on its popular games MiniFazenda and MegaCity. Listeners can also earn rewards by completing in-game missions promoted on the station.