The National Service of Learning (SENA) is one of the largest federal agencies in Colombia and focuses on skills training and workforce development. In 2002, they launched Fondo Emprender, a seed fund dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs. However, SENA realized that due to the vast differences across Colombia in regional strengths, education levels, and industries across, they needed assistance in mentoring and funding the best startups possible.
MassChallenge utilized its 8+ years of experience building innovation ecosystems and accelerating startups to help SENA reframe its acceleration methodology. MassChallenge sent experts to Colombia to transfer knowledge through ”train-the-trainer” programs, empowering SENA to develop a national competition model that adopted numerous MassChallenge best practices. SENA executives also came to Boston for ecosystem leader training to understand how to best drive innovation in their home region. Using MassChallenge’s methodology and best practices, SENA and Fondo Emprender radically improved their programming, training, and competition framework. By employing validation tools recommended by MassChallenge, such as the lean canvas model and expert mentoring, SENA is now able to support the most successful and regionally unique startups