A taste of Portugal – Entrepreneurship emerging – Startup Pirates

Well, I admit it – I like Portugal, may be too much. And I spend gladly my holidays there and of course try to combine with business as much as possible. I have a craving for Portuguese food – fish and sea food don’t taste better anywhere else in Europe. And some of you know this weakness of mine and keep teasing me asking for good places to eat in Porto and Lisbon. It is time for you to contribute folks and send me your hints in return.

Of course, it is the mix of people, history, nature, food (where do I stop?) that makes Portugal unique.

Sorry, I guess I you are already asking yourself what this blog was about. So I get back to the original topic.

The ecosystem has been growing for quite some time. My first contact with the emerging entrepreneurs of Portugal was at a meetup of the Startup Pirates in Porto. I had hardness to find the places and when finally got there was not entirely sure if in the right place.

My first thought was – well, this is just a handful of people – is this all compared to the full halls in London and Berlin?

This was 3 – 4 years ago. Since then @Ines, @Daniela and @Rafael have taken this to another level and  I could see them bringing their entrepreneurial vibe across Portugal and many other places/continents. Where this journey is going to bring them only time will show. But the results are obvious – in a country where having a secure job has been priority of many generations, Portuguese students and professionals readily take a year or two and try to build their own companies.

Entrepreneurship has arrived as a mindset. It has become viral.

In my next post, I will talk about other entrepreneurial establishments in Portugal.

I also gladly accept hints about good places to eat as well as other startup hubs if I missed some in Porto. Thanks!

If you enjoy these short reads please subscribe for my blog updates.

Have a great week!


Yet another kick-off of Grants4Apps Accelerator, yet another cool line up of startups

It has been more than a week since the kick-off but it is never too late to share impressions from the event.

In sum, it was a great one. As usual @Jesus del Valle has managed to put a strong line up together plus get some of the smartest heads at Bayer to embrace one startup each. You could feel that together with few other establishments Bayer really moves things here in Berlin. And its serious intentions were underlined with an opening speech from Dieter Weinand, CEO of Bayer Pharma AG.

The pitches of the new batch of Grants4Apps startups offered an enjoyable mix of industry insights, entertaining gigs and prototype showcases. The lucky 5 in this batch are:

I was particularly happy to see Alexander Puschilov on stage presenting his startup Viomedo. Our acquaintance with Alex goes back in time when we worked together on a food marketplace for Rocket Internet. Super glad to see my colleagues starting their own ventures.

One real highlight for me was the open mic session where newcomer startups could pitch their ideas.Well, some were struggling a bit for attention but in any case a good starting ground for the future batch of entrepreneurs in Berlin.

If you enjoy these short reads please subscribe for my blog updates.

Have a good weekend!

Summer gone wrong?

It is summer but my car seems to disagree.

-40 degrees












No worries, just a broken sensor 🙂 But discomforting when you have +40 degrees Celsius outside.

Enjoy the summer!

Help a good man get back on his feet

My topics are usually about technology, startups and entrepreneurs. This time it is about a friend, classmate and a great person. This time it is about Matt.

This is how I remember Matt. I took this photo back in 2010. But Matt is no longer like this. His life turned upside down and it could happen to you too. Read below why he needs your help now. You can also read the story directly at the fundraising campaign page.



Matt played for Cambridge University in 2010 and 2011 while studying for his MBA and was 1st XV captain in 2011. He was also a member of the Canadian national rugby team in both the 15- and 7-a-side squads from 2002 to 2006 and was captain and MVP of the latter in 2005.

Matt suffered a neck injury in 2002 while playing for Canada. The extent of the injury was misdiagnosed and he was advised to play through the discomfort, which he did for the balance of his career, causing serious damage to his spine in the process. Additionally, Matt has recently been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a connective tissue disorder that leaves him prone to ligament and tendon tears and severe degeneration and arthritis. For further reading on this condition, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehlers–Danlos_syndrome.

Matt has been unable to work since completing his MBA in 2011. In order to survive, he has exhausted his savings and RRSP funds, accumulated significant debt, and now tries to live off his $750/month disability allowance.

Matt has significant earning potential as evidenced by his strong work ethic, business and personal network, and his status as an elite athlete. He is, however, caught in a cycle where he’s in too much pain and too fatigued to work or make much progress in his recovery since many of the treatments that help him are not covered by the Canadian health care system and he has no additional benefits coverage. 

Matt does well with low impact exercise in water and various modalities such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, and other similar treatments. We are arranging for Matt to see a chronic pain specialist and a geneticist to see if they can offer some fresh opinions and are planning to enroll him in a chronic pain management course this fall. 

We are raising funds to help Matt to access treatment, pay for a pool membership, and return to a state of health where he can work and support himself. Matt’s weekly medical treatments cost $450 (or $90 each) and a monthly pool membership costs $40. Your contributions will help him achieve his goals. 

Many thanks for joining our efforts to help Matt get his life back. 

We need to help him. We have set up a fundraising campaign. Please donate as much as is dear to you. Every contribution counts.

Thank you!