Building tomorrow’s city of knowledge

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The Yachay City of Knowledge is one of Ecuador’s most emblematic projects. It is a planned city, the first of its kind, aimed at researching and developing necessary technological applications to achieve a ‘better life’. The City of Knowledge is an ecosystem that fosters innovation and promotes technological entrepreneurship, encouraging the creation of new businesses, high value products and innovative services to be commercialized locally and internationally, thereby supporting the country's vision for exportation.

As part of this vision, one of the first initiatives was a contest, Retos Yachay 2015 (Yachay Challenges 2015). The contest focused on technological innovations and creating practical solutions to build economic engines that would help drive Ecuador towards becoming a knowledge-based economy.

Yachay’s Center of Entrepreneurship partnered with ThoughtWorks in a public-private alliance that allowed winners of the ‘Smart Grid’ category to receive 140 hours of training from ThoughtWorks in agile methodologies and design thinking to help bring their innovations to life.

Both Yachay EP and ThoughtWorks encourage creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and technical development by providing a nurturing ecosystem with the goal of positioning Ecuador as a country that generates disruptive ideas and builds technology for a better world.
Héctor Rodríguez - General Manager Yachay EP

The winning entrepreneurs worked with ThoughtWorkers and learned how they could transform their ideas into high-functioning businesses. Workshop themes included creativity, agile methodologies, MVP design, business model creation, target identification and product necessities identification, among others.

Through this partnership, the following objectives were achieved:

  • Encouraging entrepreneurship and a culture of innovation that will support the country’s development and bring about a change in its productivity matrix
  • Identifying dynamic entrepreneurs who can provide innovative solutions to the challenges presented by “Retos Yachay 2015”
  • Developing tools for nurturing entrepreneurship, creating business plans, commissioning market research and identifying future investors

Following the success of the workshop, the city of Yachay and ThoughtWorks continue to build their strong public-private alliance, supporting Ecuador’s drive towards innovation and technological development.