Startup success: What Web Summit means to Jade Autism

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Maeve Harris
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We spoke with Jade Autism CEO Ronaldo Cohin about the company’s success and how ‘everything changed’ after winning Web Summit Rio’s startup competition, PITCH.

Founded in Brazil in 2017, Jade Autism is a game-based platform that fast-tracks education for neurodivergent children. 

We sat down with Jade Autism CEO Ronaldo Cohin to discuss our events and how winning Web Summit’s startup competition, PITCH, has helped support the company’s global success.

Tell me a bit about your company and its focus

We are a Brazilian company that promotes inclusive education through technology. Our software is intended to support children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or other cognitive comorbidities, enabling schools and teachers to offer individualized approaches to each student.

We convert data to prognostic and developmental reports for teachers so they can teach kids based on their specific needs. We currently support 180,000 children in 179 countries.

What was your first experience at our events, and why did you choose to attend?

I went to Web Summit in 2022 and was a part of the PITCH competition. I think our company reached the first round. 

I was completely obsessed with the competition because I had seen a video of the final stage of the competition and it was amazing – it looked like American Idol or something. I thought to myself, ‘I want, I need to win this.’

But it didn’t happen, and I got really frustrated. So much so that I even considered not going to Web Summit Rio. But we decided to go and enter PITCH again, and I’m so glad we did.

Talk to me about your experience participating in and winning PITCH, and the success your company experienced as a result of your win.

I had won previous startup competitions, and I thought PITCH was going to be like that, but it wasn’t. PITCH was absolutely huge. 30 minutes after I won, my face was on TV Globo – the biggest TV network in Latin America – and Globo’s website.

I got messages from my friends saying I was on TV and that everyone was talking about Jade Autism. 

After Web Summit Rio, we started to secure much bigger contracts.

Ronaldo Cohin, CEO of Jade Autism

Everyone kept asking me how much the prize money was for PITCH and, unlike other startup competitions, like Gitex in Dubai where we had won US$50,000, there is no money. But what you can achieve is worth so much more than that. 

Before winning PITCH, we had only ever had interest from smaller companies, but after Web Summit Rio, we started to secure much bigger contracts. So this experience was one of the best days of my life I would say.

I went back to Web Summit Rio this year and I was honestly jealous of the finalists because I loved the whole experience.

Have you made any useful contacts/received any funding off the back of your PITCH win?

Everything changed after winning PITCH. We received a new round of investment off the back of it, and made so many contacts. I hope future PITCH winners are prepared to work a lot after the competition, because you are going to gain so many opportunities. 

A lot of other magazines started reaching out to us, even outside of Brazil. When I went to Web Summit in Lisbon in 2023, I was kind of a celebrity. It was amazing.

How do you think attending our events has supported Jane Autism’s success?

The quality of leads that you get at Web Summit is different from any other event. I’ve attended a lot of similar events of varying sizes, but the quality is just not there. 

We’re planning on going to every Web Summit event from now on. Now, it’s part of our company’s journey. Web Summit events will forever be in our hearts.

What advice would you give to other founders looking to get involved in our events?

I think founders should be prepared to be part of a global ecosystem. You’re going to have people from all over the world approaching you. 

In terms of PITCH, I think everyone that can enter should. Because even if you don’t win, there are a lot of people watching you and you have a perfect space to present your company to a global audience. It’s amazing. It’s like Disneyland.

Don’t miss out on Web Summit Rio 2025. Get your ticket today.

Main image of Jade Autism CEO Ronaldo Cohin holding up PITCH trophy at Web Summit Rio: Jade Autism

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