A taste of Portugal – Entrepreneurship emerging – Lisbon Challenge

There is plenty of great establishments in Portugal and if you remember in Part 1 I talked about entrepreneurship in Porto, Portugal. Now is time to go to the capital.

Let’s start with the dining options – as you might suggest the food in Lisbon is great. Just kidding, of course, it is great but I won’t talk about it now. Disclaimer: yes, I am biased about this country. 🙂

When you go to Lisbon, entrepreneurship starts and ends with Lisbon Challenge. It is a 3-month acceleration program organized by Beta-i and attracting a crowd of tech startups. The numbers speak for themselves: alumni consists of 140+ startups, capital raised goes over 50 million euros and many companies went on to YCombinator, Seedcamp, Tech stars. Least but not last they claim that 40% of alumni got invested. These numbers are valid as of writing this article (late summer 2015). Knowing the team and especially @Pedro and @Ricardo this does not come as a surprise. I am glad to have met these guys at the start of their endeavour and to have the chance to give my modest contribution during the mentorship sessions.

If you find this interesting – go and try the programme. If not, here is some more to get you excited: one of the extra cookies besides the many mentors and perks is the Investors Day in Lisbon. The best teams then go to a roadshow to London and San Francisco. In the past some also went to Brazil. Another one are the great places you can go on a weekend like Cascais, Evora and Beja just to recharge for another challenging week.

Apology in advance: If I missed or messed up something e.g. numbers, please just write me a message or post a comment. Thanks!

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Have a great week!


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!