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Source: Inter-American Development Bank

Over 290 companies from 30 countries around the world participated in the competition.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the four winners of the PLAY Challenge today. The competition recognizes the most innovative global solutions in the education sector and the creative economy. The purpose of the competition, which was launched on July 22, 2020, was to identify video games, platforms and digital products that use gamification for the development, measurement or certification of cognitive, socio-emotional or executive function skills.

“Latin American talent focused on video game development provides a great opportunity to bring the worlds of entertainment and technology closer to the education sector. It could benefit from one of the creative industries that is experiencing the greatest growth, especially during the pandemic,” explains IDB Lead Specialist on Innovation and Creativity Alejandra Luzardo.

Mexican startup DADBOX was awarded the first place. It will receive US$10,000 from the IDB and the opportunity to make part of the 21st century skills regional project, as well as an invitation to attend the 2021 Outsource2LAC (O2LAC) conference. Furthermore, Altered Ventures will give them an acceleration program and will connect them to investors in their global network. Altered Ventures will also offer them business advising. 

ELEMENTS ME, a Mexican solution, was awarded the second place. It will receive an invitation to participate in a video game seminar in Mendoza, Argentina and a voucher for US$5,000 from FILMANDES, mentoring meetings with the accelerator Globant Ventures and its gaming studio, and the opportunity to participate in the Bizarro Lab technology startup acceleration program.

Startup CODEDARENA from Spain won third place. This award consists of mentoring hours to scale up their project with Seedstars, a promotional video made by Fábrica de Medios, and a trademark, branding and communications strategy to strengthen their idea from FCB Mexico.

The top three winners will receive prizes from New Ventures (personalized mentoring sessions with experts from the Sustainable Minds network) and Possibl Media (developing a pitch video).

LOLY-MIDI, a solution from Ecuador, was awarded the fourth place. It will receive three months of incubation for its team members from Compromiso Digital and a promotional video produced by Vertex Studio.

During the award ceremony, the “Promotion of the Creative Economy in Paraguay” project awarded a US$2,000 creative voucher to 2 Paraguayan startups that participated in the challenge, Apporandu and Waraní Studios. Additionally, The Creative Business Cup (CBC) gave LOLY-MIDI the “Most Creative Solution Award”. The prize consists on an invitation to represent its country at the international startup competition Creative Business Cup Global 2021, which will take place in Denmark during BRIGHT21. Lastly, the ten PLAY Challenge finalists received an invitation to be part of CBC’s “Play and Learn” initiative and an enterprise assessment from MagiceLAB’s  Propulsor initiative.

Ten startups from Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Israel and Mexico participated in the final competition, which was held on November 5 before a jury of experts. These finalists were chosen from 296 proposals from 30 countries. They presented their pitches to a 14-member panel comprised of IDB leaders and specialists as well as international experts from the video game ecosystem such as: Mario Valle Reyes (CEO and Managing Partner, Altered Ventures), Martina Santoro (Evangelista, America Epic Games), Juan Pablo Pisón (Director, Trojan Chiken), Natalie Abuchaibe (Co-founder and CEO, Mindot), Mariana Carril (Product Director, Globant), Laia Barboza (Co-founder, Pincer Games Studio), Seth Allison (Video Game Designer, Supercell), Marcelo Ortega (President, Filmandes) and Leandro Folgar (President, Plan Ceibal).

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About the IDB

The mission of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is to improve lives. Founded in 1959, the IDB is one of the main sources of long-term funding for the economic, social and institutional development of Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also develops cutting-edge research projects and offers advising on policy, technical assistance and training to public and private clients throughout the region.

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