A forward-looking business finds value in unusual places. 2Future is kicking off a new project that unlocks a potential new tech ecosystem in an Amazon community
One of the top challenges tech companies and professionals face every day is figuring out how we can improve, innovate and be creative. In addition to these core responsibilities, the tech industry has been facing an extra challenge in the past few years: how to leverage technology to address social and environmental issues in a manner that helps boost local economic growth. In short, to make a significant positive impact on a region.
With so much at stake, unusual ideas can become game-changers. But how to find them? Brainstorming meetings are often frustrating, as participants put forth ideas that fail to generate a genuine light-bulb moment. This demonstrates that pure creativity and solutions to problems aren’t always found under the same roof.
Take the story of Archimedes and his famous eureka moment. Legend has it that the Ancient Greek mathematician and inventor developed the principles of density and buoyancy when watching the water flow as he drew a bath. In the euphoria of the moment, Archimedes leaped out of his bathtub and ran naked through the streets of Syracuse, Italy, shouting, “Eureka! Eureka!” —or “I have found it!” in Greek.
Archimedes’ story became a metaphor for how people sometimes find inspiration in unexpected places. When we think of the Amazon, the world’s most valuable region in terms of biodiversity, sustainable development ideas usually focus on promoting the area’s bioeconomy. Using biological resources —such as plants, animals, and microorganisms— to produce food, consumer goods, energy, and new medication sustainably is undoubtedly a path towards a better future for the Amazon region and our planet.
However, biodiversity does not only refer to wildlife but also to humans. In an ultra-connected world, where opportunities can be anywhere, companies and investors must think of solutions that are good for business, for people’s lives, and can contribute to sustainable development in diverse places. As Apple founder Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is connecting things.”
With all that in mind, 2Future is kicking off a new project designed to make a positive impact by merging technology with a ground-breaking idea found in an unusual place for the tech industry, the Amazon. The project involves 2Future’s acquisition of Nasph, a software start-up whose products are partially developed by a team based in Oriximiná, a small riverside town located in Pará state, in Brazil’s Amazon region. Nasph’s business will be restructured under a new 2Future portfolio company, Qriar Labs, which will focus on creating next-generation products and solutions on top of open-source technologies.
Nasph’s story began during the COVID-19 pandemic when founder Edgar Silva sought new developers interested in a long-term career. He then reached out to the Federal University of Western Pará in Oriximiná, his father’s hometown, looking for remote interns among the computer science students there. The college course had just recently been opened, but the selected students —some with Indigenous ancestry— soon started to work on Nasph’s software development.
As a result, they had the opportunity to learn new skills and improve their lives through career growth and income generation while developing the Nasph API Manager, a complete API tool set for companies of any size (APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, are software programs that allow different applications to communicate to each other.)
One early adopter of the Nasph solution was Embrapa, the Brazilian government’s agricultural research corporation. Nasph will enable third parties to access and use data collections and information about the country’s agricultural assets from the state-owned agency.
By investing in Nasph, 2Future aims to support three major components that promote sustainable economic growth in the Amazon:
1. Talent development, by expanding Nasph’s local team in Oriximiná and in other cities where there is an opportunity to improve local economies.
2. Product diversification, by adding value to new technology made in the Amazon.
3. Promoting a new tech ecosystem in the region, by fostering innovation in a novel, friendly environment for the tech industry.
For innovation to address social challenges successfully, new partnerships and stakeholders are always welcome. This has been one of the core elements of what drives 2Future’s transformative businesses: connecting purpose-driven investment with technology makers and meaningful impact, searching for new and unexpected combinations.