Bruno co-founded Koga as a means to develop a robust ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and sustainable economic development. Young people are at the center of his approach, guiding them through a path of learning and action. This is accomplished through inspiring spaces, classes and mentoring, and concrete venues to implement social impact enterprises. Throughout the process, a pipeline is generated to detect new, committed and innovative entrepreneurs who are supported through incubation or acceleration.
Koga, has five business units which were developed progressively. Koga's value proposition follows 4 staggered stages, which can be followed in that way, but are also self meaning in each phase, for the specific publics and interests .
At first, Bruno was interested in the idea of generating impact through mainstream business avenues. However he rapidly realized, that social companies did not exist in Paraguay. And because of this, he decided that their contribution would be more impactful if they were able to incubate and/or accelerate social companies. However, even with this approach Bruno realized that Paraguay didn’t even have enough projects to incubate. Thus he shifted his approach to try and tackle the problem at a more systemic level. As a result, Bruno is currently enabling a strong ecosystem of youth, social entrepreneur and traditional economic players, universities and media.
Initially they launched Gramo, a digital education platform where they engaged internet users and more specifically youth in different ways of thinking about success. Through inspirational talks and digital engagement techniques, Bruno connected a large community of young people who became excited and curious about the field of impact entrepreneurship; in doing so, he established the foundation of a Paraguayan entrepreneurial network. The lectures are recorded and then uploaded to both the Gramo Chats, a YouTube channel and the “Paraguay TV” television channel. Bruno has developed 6 editions, with 250 inspirational speakers from different parts of the country and some international speakers. More than 30.000 people have attended the talks, and more than 1 million online viewer have attended the sessions virtually.
Connections generating from Gramo include the development of a law to invest in child nutrition, established in partnership with Argentine Ashoka Fellow, Abel Albino. Among the success of the events, they rapidly realized that inspiration was important but not enough, because young people were lacking tools and specific knowledge to create their own projects.
With the success of Gramo, Bruno then formed Transfomadores (Transformers), an intensive training program to help entrepreneurs enhance and scale their ideas. Today, they have officially completed 4 editions of Transformadores and 1 bootcamp, with 250 participants. Moreover, over 40 existing social enterprises have been impacted as a result of the organization.
To follow Transformadores Bruno also created a competition platform for social innovation called Trampolin. Through the initiative, promising projects are given seed capital to foster their activities. As of today, Trampolín has gathered 1400 impact enterprises ideas developed by 3000 participants, and 9 of them were incubated and developed as new companies. The Impact Lab is the last step of Koga value proposition, from which 15 existing companies with social or environmental focus are incubated and assessed to grow bigger. Bruno has also developed Loffice, 6 co working spaces that gather 30 companies and more than 200 entrepreneurs. Large companies invest in the grow of this companies, in the initial stages.
In the present, Bruno is working to set up the first angel investment fund of Paraguay to nourish the ongoing and emerging ventures. Koga is currently working throughout Paraguay via an ambassador program - Former participants of the program. Koga has scaled to 20 cities in the country's interior.
Gramo is one of the more popular initiatives established by Koga and has significantly scaled. To date they have rolled out Gramo in Medellin, Colombia and Washington DC, USA. In 2017, they hope to expand Gramo to 10 more cities in Latin America in partnership with local organizations and position it as a gateway to develop or reinforce entrepreneurial ecosystems. In past May, they developed the first edition of the Gramo jointly with FISS (The Social Innovation Festival borned in Chile), with at least 10,000 participants.
Through the various activities, Bruno and his team have created an institutional culture that has at its center collaboration and the integration of actors and sectors to promote true development and bring new capacities to traditional players. To do this they have allies from all sectors: Cervepar and Tigo, Ted, Agora Partners and Sustainable Brands, Development Latin America, Unicef, Incupar, Globalshapers, among others. The long-term goals aim at influencing public policies, achieving the creation of a Ministry of Entrepreneurship, influencing the Conacyt (National Council of Science and Technology) to consider innovation as part of its missionary work, and that Congress allocate budget to the promotion of innovation.
The Koga team consists of 4 co-founders, 19 staff members, a board of 4 members (co-founders) and an advisory board of 12 people. Bruno is the Executive Director. The organization's funds come from 40% of companies, 40% from FOMIN, 5% from government funds, 10% from sales of products and services. In the long term, the model will turn to a model of incubators similar to the United States, where Koga will take a small share of the incubated organizations and then receive the economic benefits should they be successful.