In terms of living conditions, Rio de Janeiro is number one in the world, according to many Brazilians and other people familiar with the city. Sure, Rio has more than its fair share of crime, but who can resist the granite cliffs, the lush jungle canopy, and the picture-perfect beaches that make Rio one of the best cities in the world for bikini watching. Brainstorming about the next new startup seems to be the business flavor of the day in cafés overlooking the ocean. And team building while hiking through the mountains looks like the new way to exercise.
Event holders are taking advantage of Rio’s stunning landscape and diverse culture to promote new startups. Regardless of what some Brazilians think, Rio is transforming itself into a more attractive environment for Millennials and cosmopolitan professionals. More private investment is pouring into the city, according to Flavio Maluf, the CEO of Eucatex. Eucatex is one of Brazil’s leading exporters. Maluf thinks the new government programs that are improving security, transportation, and 4G connectivity are helping his business and the startup industry in Brazil.
Maluf likes to say his grandfather was a pioneer in the startup industry. Maluf’s grandfather owned a sawmill in the state São Paulo, and he decided to start a company called Eucatex. Eucatex produced eucalyptus wood ceiling tiles in the 1950s. The tiles were a hit in the domestic market, and by 1960, Eucatex was shipping ceiling tiles to Argentina and Germany. Today, Eucatex has a presence in cities around the world. Branded and unbranded Eucatex products are sold in home improvement stores like Home Depot in The United States. Eucatex building materials are also used for residential and commercial building projects in Europe, South and North America.
Flavio Maluf is involved with the clean air imitative, and he also has an interest in the startup industry in Brazil. Maluf keeps a close watch on the startup markets in São Paulo and Rio. The Brazilian government is encouraging more business development, and that is helping the country pull out of the crippling depression. Maluf sees light at the end of this economic nightmare, and the number of new startups seems to indicate Maluf is right.