Peruvian university taps Palladium for startup incubator program

20 September 2023 2 min. read

Last year, a large university in Peru tapped global consulting firm Palladium as a partner to support its startup incubator program. The project offers chosen entrepreneurs a valuable six-week boot camp with support and guidance, positioning entrepreneurs on a path to success.

With the aim to foster entrepreneurial projects, in 2022 the Daniel Alcides Carrión National University (UNDAC) in Cerro de Pasco (Peru) launched the Pasco Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge in collaboration with Nexa Resources, Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) Ventures, and Palladium.

“The partnership that we’ve cultivated between UNDAC, UTEC, Nexa, and Palladium is unique because it unites the public and private sector to boost youth achievement outside of the mining value chain in a region where mining is the biggest game in town,” said Erin Leyson, a manager in Palladium’s Natural Capital team.

Peruvian university taps Palladium for startup incubator program

“These strategic alliances enable UNDAC to lead the effort, helping to ensure the incubator’s staying power in the region. By getting behind local leaders, mining companies and other private investors create more sustainable impacts with their investments,” she continued.

Cerro de Pasco is a town of around 59,000 located at a high altitude in the Andes Mountains where nearly every family makes a living from the mining industry. UNDAC is billed as the premier university in Peru for mining engineering specialties.

Peru ranks fourth among the countries in Latin America for entrepreneurial activity. Peruvian President Boluarte’s recent national plan for education, which aims to boost resources for both entrepreneurial and traditional productivity, is part of Peru’s overall strategy of capitalizing on its significant entrepreneurial spirit.

The incubator recently hosted a competition between a number of startups, with projects like production of an artisanal mead made with local materials, an alpaca fabric producer that works with small-scale farms, and the first place winner: A company that boosts recycling by collaborating with local stores through bartering.

Most projects aim to create a positive impact in the local community and entrepreneurs mainly hope for support, guidance, and funding.

“The big challenge for startups is receiving support and guidance, which serves as the necessary push to transform an innovative idea into a profitable and sustainable business. With the second challenge, we saw two successes: an increase in the number of proposals submitted to the Incubator and the diversity of startups ranging from a technological to an environmental focus,” said José Gamarra Tong, Palladium’s project team lead in Peru.