A Startup Story from the roadshow to China

A Startup Story from the roadshow to China

The second edition of Protechting recently came to an end, with three winners selected for the Roadshow to China. We asked one of the founders of the three startups to report back to us on their experiences in China.

Gonçalo Consiglieri is one of the founders of Visor.ai: a chatbot and human messaging platform. Here is his story from the Roadshow to China with Fidelidade and Fosun.


We had the opportunity to participate in the roadshow to China organized by Fosun for the winners of Protechting. It was an amazing experience for several reasons.

We had the opportunity to meet the Fosun group and their associated companies. This was an amazing opportunity for us to get to know more about the company, their structure, and strategy. They can be a great partner for us in the future, both on the commercial side, and as a possible investor for our company.

This visit allowed us to meet the Chinese market and culture. It introduced us to the main challenges and opportunities, in case we decide to start operating in China.

We got to know more about services and trends leading the future of our sector in China. It was mesmerizing for us to realize the importance of WeChat in China and the multitude of utilities it has, not only as a Chat platform but also as a payment method. There are some possibilities and use cases that we can implement for clients in Europe, and it would also be a possibility to implement our system with this platform in the future.

During the visit, we also participated in an international pitch competition. It took place in the city of Ningbo and was transmitted on national TV. This was an amazing and exciting experience, where we had close contact with Chinese Startups and the ecosystem.

The experiences in China were great for us to enrich our relationship with Bdeo and Amiko, the other winners of Protechting, with whom we are exploring potential synergies. We are grateful to Rita Delgado from Fosun and José Maria Villa de Freitas from Fidelidade that joined us for this incredible experience and did a hell of a job, making us feel great and promoting our projects to the Fosun companies and partners that we met.

After this experience, we truly feel we are better, both as a startup and as people, due to all the experiences we had the opportunity to live and the people that we had the opportunity to meet.

A big thank you to Fosun and Fidelidade for all the opportunities that they gave us not only during this trip, but also since the first moment that we met in Protechting.



Cisco Partnering with the Next Generation of Startups and Developers

Cisco Partnering with the Next Generation of Startups and Developers

Rui Brás Fernandes, CTO at Cisco Portugal,  writes about how all the startups  and developers can make the most of Cisco’s tools and resources to foster innovation and bring new solutions to the table. As one of the founding partners of the Smart Open Lisboa these technologies will be available for the teams participating in this project that aims to redefine and improve the city life in Lisbon.

Digital transformation is here. With less than 1 percent of things in the physical world connected to the Internet, there is an incredible opportunity to connect the unconnected, creating vast opportunities for the Internet of Things (IoT) to transform businesses and industries by re-inventing business processes, operational efficiencies and customer service innovations.

No company can do it alone. We need to grow an ecosystem of digital transformation solutions and partners, but this depends on everyone’s participation. On our side, Cisco aims to be at the forefront of innovation and we can best do that by discovering the next generation of startups that will partner with us.

Let’s look at the picture:

  • Cisco is an innovation engine, with more than 170 acquisitions over 30 years plus an annual investment of 5,9B$ in internal R&D.
  • Cisco is, and has always been, looking into market transitions and disruptive technologies that impact the world.
  • While the world is becoming more collaborative, more dynamic and more open, Cisco is also opening its traditional Network world to this new paradigm
  • Technologies like Cloud, SDN, Big Data and Analytics provide new tools to develop solutions and applications based on traditional or new business models and Cisco is making these tools available and “consumable”.

So, what do we have to offer you?

Following this commitment to innovation, in 2014 Cisco launched an initiative called DevNet to make a shift to this new world. DevNet is Cisco’s developer and innovation program, where we give developers the learning and coding resources needed to develop with Cisco platforms and APIs.

DevNet Cisco Smart Open Lisboa Beta-i Startups

How can DevNet help?

  • DevNet’s learning and coding resources are available at http://developer.cisco.com.
  • DevNet Learning Labs are free, self-paced labs that help people learn coding 101 (with REST, JSON, XML, and python) or networking 101 as well as deep dive into Cisco APIs ranging from collaboration to software-defined networking and work with open source. You have to register to use the Learning Labs, but all the Learning Labs are free.
  • The DevNet Sandbox is a place for developers to code on real Cisco kit, ranging from live networks to contact centers. Jump in and code on real kit!
  • DevNet Labs is a place to showcase DevNet Innovations made by Cisco and by DevNet developers. Take a look at the innovations that exist, or submit your own innovation.

And what Technologies can I use in the Smart Open Lisboa Hackaton?

Cisco is one of SOL founding members and will be looking for disruptive ventures that harness the power of the intelligent network in the Four Challenge areas by developing synergies with the Cisco solutions such as:

Beta-start: an unexpected ending for an unexpected program

Beta-start: an unexpected ending for an unexpected program

Beta-start’s 12th Edition ended precisely 10 days ago – disclaimer: this is an emotional blogpost.

Every Beta-start edition is special. And this is mostly due to its participants. I’m not talking about the idea or success of the startups that “survive” but, the people. These men and women who were bold enough to pause their lives for 4 weeks in order to come learn how to validate and continuously test their business assumptions. For that they deserve our respect, no matter how crazy some ideas may seem.

6 startups + 1 pitched brilliantly on the Demo Day. They had it all: the well-structured pitch, the pretty design slides and the charisma, it was an interesting moment and the perfect ending for this program. But, why 6 + 1? Well, this is a program about validation and getting facts to support your assumptions, meaning: it is more than okay when participants decide not to continue with their projects if they understand that somehow their initial idea is no longer viable – so we had 6 pitches on projects and 1 on learning, decisions and conclusions after validation.

So, in short the outcomes of this batch:

André was our plus one here and he is now taking some time for ideation  – my guess is he will integrate a startup team soon 🙂

Miles ‘n’ Dreams: Sofia rebranded her project and aims to build a marketplace for destination weddings.

Viable: Jaime and Manuel, are true hustlers, now with a new business model and different targets for their entrepreneurship viability platform.

meTour: Christine pivoted within the same solo traveler market and is now focusing more in offering better prices to solo travelers by doing shared tourism and leisure activities.

Buzaco:  Diogo is still materializing (literally) your outdoor furniture dreams now with full power.

Sweat Experience: Alex, Andrew and Marvin are now back in the UK full powering their platform for athletes posting their stories and achievements I bet we will hear from them soon.

FlyPilot: The platform for renting airplanes is now taking off, Miguel has his numbers in order and is ready to his MVP.

We always wanted Beta-start to be a mind shifting experience and this was precisely what happened with more than 100 mentoring sessions, 13 workshops, a lot of pitch practicing, tailored help and networking. It is hard to describe how much they evolved during these 4 weeks mainly in terms of pitching and having their business ideas structured.

There is no other acceleration program like Beta-start. No other program provides this much freedom to projects that gradually may evolve to startups. No strings attached in a program where ideas are never stupid (at least before validation) yet demanding enough to set the pace and a “must-deliver” culture.

Excited? Want to more about one of these startups or about our pre-accelerators?

Email me: marta.baptista@beta-i.pt