November 26th was another day of company visits. We got up at 7:30, a luxury for study tour standards. The first company that we visited was Wayra, an incubator that was founded by Telefonica. Wayra scouts for promising start up companies and offers them support in terms of funding, office space and mentoring, in return for a share in the company. This visit started with a presentation by the manager of Wayra. He explained what Wayra does, and stressed that although Wayra is there to help startups, entrepreneurs don’t stand a chance if they aren’t fully dedicated to the job. The visit then continued with presentations by three of the startups, with work ranging from a same-day-delivery platform to a fashion app.
After these presentations we had a five minute walk to Telefonica, where we had what was probably the most fancy lunch yet. Because we were on the 20th floor we had a great view over Sao Paulo. We even saw a helicopter landing on a nearby office, which is relatively common in Sao Paulo because of the major traffic problems in the city.
Having had lunch, the Telefonica presentations began. They told us about how they approach innovation and the Internet of Things. But we also had students from our tour who presented their own projects. Isa presented her work on mediated social touch, and David and Stijn told us about their big data project. More interesting presentations followed, resulting in a great company visit.
However, the day wasn’t over just yet. Some of the participants (although not us) went to a football match between Sao Paulo and Atletico Nacional. Those that didn’t go to the match spread out to do different things. Some went to a skybar to enjoy the skyline of Sao Paulo, others had delicious ice cream and dinner in a shopping mall nearby. All in all it was an exciting day in Sao Paulo!