Photo: Progreso X – Exponential Changemakers. Credit: Pexels

Progreso X, one of the leading companies in the construction industry in Central America, decided to embark on its digital transformation journey in 2019, viewing these new players more as allies than competitors. For the second year in a row, the company has launched Exponential Changemakers, the open innovation initiative, with the overall aim of identifying, selecting, and implementing the best solutions.

“At Opinno, we are working as a flexible partner to support Progreso X along the way. We not only scout new talent, but we have also worked hard to understand the company’s challenges and the needs of its business units. Our goal is to find the best available solutions in the market to meet the specific needs of the company with our high quality standards,” says Mercedes Bouzas Estevan, Project Manager at Opinno.

Our work started with research and interviews with the different business units and key people in the organization. The analysis of all the information that we gathered resulted in a challenge that would form the basis for the rest of the work:

How can Progreso X exponentially develop the technological capabilities that will enable it to provide its customers with a digital experience by adding value and quality to the services it offers?

As the goal was to find specialized solutions, the six most relevant specific use cases were established. These include different situations such as data processing for customer experience, B2B payment processes, web and mobile digital platforms, traceability of the supply chain and customer orders, automation of key processes and a project marketplace.

Based on these use cases, we launched an active and exhaustive global recruitment process, including massive communication campaigns aimed at startups that could provide the best specialized solutions. After a recruitment period in which more than 120 applications were received, the ten with the greatest potential were selected together with Progreso X, based on standards of quality, scalability, ethics, and openness to co-development of pilots, among others.

The competition took place as a live event with semi-face-to-face and online attendance during 4 days of bootcamp and a demo day involving Progreso X, its business units, the Opinno team and, of course, the participating startups and the judges. Finally, the winners were announced for the final phase of the project, which involves setting up the pilots.

The support of the pilot projects is proving to be a roaring success. These include Witrac, a Spanish logistics startup; Mexico’s Yaydoo, which provides financial solutions for e-commerce; and Asynos, with its pilot for smart tags.

Finally, the words of Erick Melgar, General Manager of Progreso X, encourage us to prepare for the next edition of Exponential Changemakers in 2021: “There are countless contributions that Opinno has provided to Progreso X, especially in our Exponential Changemakers program. If I could keep two, I would choose the wide network of contacts they have (especially with startups from around the world) and the invaluable contribution to execute innovation in a flawless and agile way”.