Crystal Lagoons and UC Berkeley Rewards Entrepreneurship Scholarship Winners

25 July, 2014 / News

The innovative multinational Crystal Lagoons and the University of California, Berkeley, announced the winners of the “Crystal Lagoons-Berkeley Scholarship 2014“, initiative for entrepreneurs already established as a company, which seeks to promote the entrepreneurial talent of Chileans.

Those selected for this academic initiative, made in Chile for the first time, were: Charles Rohrer founder of managing digital recruitment referrals Terviu; Andrés Vergara founder of the platform Wholemeaning which rates customer interactions of companies, and Rodrigo Andrews, co-founder of the biotechnology firm Amniofilm, which developed a patch or membrane for tissue reconstitution. They will travel on August 16th to the U.S. to participate in the intensive program “Skydeck – Global Venture Program (GVP)“, focused on the “Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship (BME)” whose holistic approach (strategies, tactics, drills, mentality, culture, infrastructure and networks) will enhance their commercial takeoff, under the concept “Go to Market”.
The jury was composed by Fernando Fischmann, Chairman and founder of Crystal Lagoons; Ikhlaq Sidhu and Ken Singer, directors of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology of Berkeley; Alfonso Gomez, CEO of UC Innovation Center; Alfonso Cruz, Executive Director of the COPEC-Pontificia Catholic University of Chile Foundation; and Ricardo San Martin, Visiting Scholar UC Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and coordinator of the initiative in the United States.

The scholarship program will take place at the main Berkeley University Headquarters in California and will be fully financed by Crystal Lagoons as a way to contribute to the local innovative human capital and the creation of jobs in our country. “We have ascertained the impact of innovation in job creation. In only 5 years, our projects in Chile have opened more than 10 thousand direct and indirect job positions”, says Javiera de la Cerda, Director of Investigation and Development at Crystal Lagoons.

The executive adds that the firm has experienced the serious hardships which come for local business when exporting innovation to the world. “Innovator must face a difficult road. Because of that, Crystal Lagoons wishes to be a support with scholarships not aimed at innovative “ideas”, but to entrepreneurs already established in Chile with the intention of maximizing their entering to the market. That’s why one of the requisites is to have invoicing and not necessarily have patenting”, she says.
“This alliance between Crystal Lagoons and Berkeley University is a huge landmark for Chile, for it gives a formative impulse of world excellence. Moreover, it’ll be an unforgettable experience for those selected and a superlative support for their innovative endeavors”, the executive highlights.
For Ricardo San Martín, coordinator in the U.S. for the Crystal Lagoons -Berkeley 2014 Scholarships, “this program connects with the fascinating world of entrepreneurship of Silicon Valley, in one of the best Universities in the world. The experience allows meeting angel investors and Venture Capitals, mentors and possible new members of your endeavor”.
He highlights that “the Berkeley method is unique in the world, because it trains on opportunity identification, team formation, business models, start-up, cultural behavior characteristic of Silicon Valley – leading innovation region on the planet”. He adds the work with interdisciplinary and multiracial teams and client seduction, “to think really big, convinced that the only market there is the worldwide”, concludes.

The Winners

  • Rodrigo Andrews and Amniofilm With the strong belief that they were creating a powerful solution for health through biotechnology, Lynx Labs was founded in March 2013, through which they developed the product Amniofilm, a surgical graft obtained from cryopreserved amniotic membrane that helps regeneration of human tissue. The product, like a patch, is 100% biocompatible, and is used for treating wounds and promoting the re-epithelialization (the process by which the wound is covered again with new tissue). With unique features such as being antimicrobial, reducing swelling and post-operative pain, Amniofilm has been successfully used in reconstructive surgery of the ocular surface, glaucoma and oculoplastic. Moreover, this membrane can be applied in almost all areas of medicine that need regenerating tissue. As a result, it was used in the treatment of venous and diabetic ulcers, which had not been successfully treated with traditional therapies. “This product is highly innovative in a country that has no major advances in biotechnology. Our major innovation was to develop a process that allows the application and storage of amniotic membrane in a biological patch for human application”, says Rodrigo Andrews, co-founder of Amniofilm. To develop the product, the companiy had to build its own laboratory according to their needs and are now refining the strategy to expand into international markets.
  • Carlos Rohrer and Terviu With a year of operations and only three months of sales management, Terviu is an innovative digital recruitment tool with the differentiating factor of using referrals and networking of its own company workers. The platform is notable for its agility in finding quality candidates and success in hiring. “The idea is that employees themselves are headhunters,” says co-founder and industrial engineer Charles Rohrer (35). He adds that the retention of new and existing employees, and the increase of professional commitment to the company increases exponentially with the use of this instrument, among other benefits. Rohrer points that there is no direct competition in Chile and Latin America, and that it has a direct impact on team building and leadership generation. It is a comprehensive and exportable to any market, in fact, they already evaluated landing in Peru and Colombia. “With the team we are designing a strategy to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity that gives us the scholarship of Crystal Lagoons in Berkeley. We considered, along with absorbing and assimilating all the knowledge that the course will deliver us, generating networking meetings in San Francisco to raise capital and to establish Terviu in the U.S.”, explains Carlos Rohrer.
  • Andrés Vergara and Wholemeaning Classify and prioritize the communication of large companies with their customers, capturing moods of the public, is the innovation of Wholemeaning, through its software, which reads in real time and classified with 90% effectiveness all interactions between the company and its customers, through algorithms and linguistic models created by the company itself. According to one of its creators, the civil engineer Andres Vergara, “the truly unique thing is that the system is able to identify whether it’s reviews, complaints, requests, tweets, emails, transcripts of calls or surveys, distinguishing emotions involved with precision and speed. For big products companies and services this is a key issue today, as it helps to identify early the root of the problems and prevent leakage of good customers,” he says. The first customer of this project was the claims area of BCI bank, company that after just three months of working with this software was able to reduce by 60% the number of customer complaints. Thereafter, Wholemeaning has conquered companies like Entel and Kimberly-Clark, among others, and they are already preparing to internationalize, starting in Colombia and Peru.

Crystal Lagoons Corp. is an international innovation company, founded by scientist Fernando Fischmann, that has developed and patented technology that allows for the low-cost construction and maintenance of unlimited size bodies of water in crystal-clear conditions.

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