[from left to right in the photo] Bruna Bertuzzi is a young Brazilian entrepreneur with a background in architecture and urban design. She is currently doing a Master’s degree in Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship in Porto, with a focus on communication, and working on startup projects, podcast presenter and creative and communication director. Graziela Weber (or just Grazi) has a Bachelor degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Fortaleza in Brazil. She is currently a MIETE student. She has six years experience in this area and co-founded with Bruna their former company, StudioWIB, specialized in Architecture and Design. More recently, again together, they founded the “Arrocha Podcast”, powered by Engenharia Rádio.

João José Pinto Ferreira:  Graziela Weber and Bruna Bertuzzi, thank you so much for your availability for this interview! You have an exciting background. You both graduated in Architecture and Urban Design before coming to Portugal to do MIETE. Would you be able to share with us how this all started?

Bruna Bertuzzi: I’ve been working in architecture offices since I was 19 years old until Grazi and I decided to launch our own architecture business, for which we worked for a year in Brazil. Before that, I used to think that I was a grumpy person that was frequently trying to change my bosses’ way of working, so I figured that I needed to have my own architecture office. But after a while, I realized that the Brazilian way of constructing wasn’t something that made me happy but to be an entrepreneur was. I realized that I didn’t want to have a career in architecture, but a job in creating new businesses.

Graziela Weber: Well, Brazil, as everybody knows, is going through a harsh and very unstable economic phase. As I said, Bruna and I have founded our own architecture office and we weren’t really happy with the market. In her research for something more, Bruna found the MIETE course and showed me the disciplines, I really liked it and decided to apply. I was accepted to the program and here I am.

JJPF: The “trigger” for this interview was that you launched the Arrocha Podcast in Engineering Radio (https://www.engenhariaradio.pt/category/programas/arrochapodcast/). It is an exciting and challenging project; what was your primary motivation to start?

BB: We’ve talked about having a podcast for a few years now, mainly because we are regular listeners and we enjoy this type of format. We both have different backgrounds and we complement each other as a working team of two, but we share similar visions of how some things should happen in society. One of those visions is never withholding information because we believe that knowledge is power and can change lives and realities. So when we were interviewed to be part of Engenharia Rádio’s team, we already knew the topic of the podcast without even discussing it beforehand.

GW: We decided to talk about entrepreneurship in a different way, focusing on the idea in a relaxed, light and emphatic way, not focused so much in the mainstream business world. We wanted to motivate everybody by interviewing people that did that, following their crazy ideas. We have this dream of creating a community to share and support entrepreneurship in all different aspects.

JJPF: What is the main message you want to convey to your listeners?

BB and GW: We want to encourage people to make their ideas real, even the crazy ones. We believe every idea has potential and importance, and with hard work and dedication, you can make it happen. We want to share people’s original stories, the problems they faced, the solutions they found, the funny or sad stories and, especially, to be a space that people can express how they feel or felt during the process of making ideas come true. Arrocha Podcast is a collaborative experience, that kind of talk we have with our friends in a bar, talking about their personal excitement for life.

JJPF: How does it feel? I mean, listening to you on the radio, how does it feel?

BB and GW: We quite like it! We’ve dreamed a lot about having our podcast, to speak with a lot of people, to try to help or give some incentive to someone we don’t know but that we could help somehow. It’s very pleasant to read all the messages from our listeners saying how our words touched them and how we were the kick they needed to start following their dreams. We see our listeners as friends, and that’s what we aim.

JJPF: In fact, we could have started with this question… What is the meaning of “Arrocha”? I’ve listened to the explanation in your podcast, but I wonder if you could explain it here for the sake of our international audience?

BB and GW: Arrocha is a popular expression, very used in the state of Ceará, in Brazil, which was the place we grew up. When you say Arrocha to somebody it means that you want to encourage that person to do something. You are showing support in that specific action or decision, saying just go for it, don’t be afraid. And that’s exactly what we want with Arrocha Podcast. To show people to just go for what they are dreaming, because ideas are worth the try.

JJPF: I can’t help asking how does it feel to live and study in Porto?

BB: I really like to live and study in this city. As a designer and art fan, I just love the chaos of the houses and the city center, full of tourists going up and down the hills, old buildings and the electric cables, the “pastel de nata”! And… how polite are those people asking me if I want hashish while a take a close look in “azulejo” tiles around the facades. I just love Porto’s atmosphere; it’s unique.

GW: Life in Porto is quite different from living in Fortaleza, but I like it. It’s not really similar to what I read before coming here, especially the “rent a room/apartment” part, but it’s still nice. I do love this city, it’s beautiful and has the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen.

JJPF: Thank you Bruna and Graziela for your most kind availability for this interview! Wish you all the success! ARROCHA!