With the assistance of academic authorities and distinguished executives and entrepreneurs, the Faculty of Economics and Business at Universidad Diego Portales in alliance with Fundación Chile, released the new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, PLEIN UDP, in its Campus located in Ciudad Empresarial, with the purpose of creating a culture that promotes the search of new business models, technical skills and business capabilities among graduate and post-graduate students.
The event was attended by Carlos Peña, dean at Universidad Diego Portales; Fernando Lefort, dean at Faculty of Economics and Business; Hernán Cheyre, executive vice-president at CORFO; Álvaro Fischer, Chairman at Fundación Chile, in addition to entrepreneurs, academicians and students.
For Fernando Lefort, dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business at UDP, the new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, seeks to motivate students to develop their creativity and entrepreneurial skills in order to expand their horizons and develop professional employability. "The new platform is an ambitious project that positions Universidad Diego Portales within the innovation ecosystem in the country. In this first PLEINudp stage, we are developing workshops, entrepreneur talks and entrepreneur competitions both in the area of new businesses and social entrepreneurship", he said.
When asked about the benefits of having an alliance with Fundación Chile, the dean explained that "when working with Fundación Chile, the University benefits from its broad experience, methodologies and practices in the areas of entrepreneurship, as well as from its network of contacts with financial actorssuch as SAFF Seed Capital and ChileGlobalAngels investor network, which enable the development of the entrepreneurshiprelated to projects supported by PLEIN".
Meanwhile, the manager of the Businesses and Enterprises at Fundación Chile, Andrés Pesce, said "innovation is in what we do and, as such, it is essential that university students complement their theoretical training with experiences that bring them closer to the reality of the development of startups. In turn, students should be exposed to the opportunities that the world of entrepreneurship offers and understand the power it generates for our country". Similarly, he added "at UDP we have found a partner in tune with our vision, and we are really proud that such a prestige University has invited us to participate in this challenge that we enthusiastically take".
• WINNERS of the 2013 IMPULSAUDP CONTEST
During the inauguration of PLEIN, the winners of "Impulsa UDP 2013" were rewarded, to which 62 Diego Portales’ student projects applied.
The first place in the Business Ideas category was awarded to “Represento! Hip Hop Magazine”, a project that creates a printed and official communication media dedicated to document, report and discuss all contingency issues facing the growing hip hop movement in Chile. Second place went to "DIZA" initiative that creates a shoe selling Website/ Ecommerce site for women, and the third place went to "MINILAB" that creates educational video games for preschoolers.
In the Social Innovation category, the first place was awarded to "En tus manos" initiative that commercializes wool lamps woven on a metal frame made by poor women from the Melocón Alto shanty town, located in San José de Maipo. The designs are inspired on world references and trends. El Second place went to "PreuPortales" project that creates a university training program targeted to vulnerable educational institutes adjacent to the University. Meanwhile, the third place went to "Donafacil.cl" a platform for donors and buyers, where donors publish the items they want to give away in a web page similar to a purchase and sale.