Bluetech Accelerator – Ports and Shipping 4.0 just wrapped-up its Bootcamp phase. Bluetech is an ambitious and innovative program looking to create a new batch of ocean startups and attracted startups from all over the world.
The Bootcamp, that occurred from 24th to 28th, is an intensive work week where startups and met for the first time with the partners.
The week started with a speech from Ana Paula Vitorino, the portuguese Ministry of the Sea, who inspired the entrepreneurs with the government’s vision of developing a new blue economy, that both uses ocean resources and protects its biodiversity and sustainability.
After the first introductions, the startups received guidance from Beta-i’s team on how to build pilots in collaboration with the partners and spent their time meeting one-on-one with the partners.
This is an essential moment, where startups can dive into the partner’s business and discuss to find common goals and operations.
The Pilots Moving Forward
Of the 21 startups that joined the pilot, 15 have been chosen to move on to the pilot phase. They will be developing 23 pilots in partnership with the Bluetech Pioneers.
APDL, who administers the ports in the north of Portugal will be leading in the number of pilots – having 7 pilots being developed with several startups, followed by APS (ports in the south), with 5 pilots. These numbers clearly reflect the vertical being developed in this first edition – Ports and Shipping.
Smart Open Lisboa (SOL), an open-innovation program connecting some of the most relevant players in the residential and commercial real estate sector with startups to implement innovative solutions in the city of Lisbon, had the Demo Day for its Housing vertical, today at Museu da Água.
The 14 startups selected for this phase in the program worked on 25 pilots in partnership with the big corporations involved in the program, that ranged from real estate companies to construction companies and to utilities.
An on-going process
After an intense Bootcamp, where startups and partners met for the first time and worked on collaborative pilots, the Demo Day showcased the work that partners and startups have been developing for the last two months and the first results of these collaborative pilots.
The different rhythms of these two types of companies and the matching of technology and processes make the experimentation become a journey – these are just the first results and plans, from which the teams can learn to keep perfecting the projects in the months to come.
Solutions for real estate
The projects presented by the startups varied in range and style within the real estate and housing sectors: from testing the predictive maintenance of water leaks to the logistics and management processes associated with the food-court of commercial spaces. But they all added new layers into the partners’ businesses, for example:
Heptasense is working on identifying behaviors via surveillance cameras already installed in commercial spaces. Using Heptasense’s solution, it is possible to identify behaviors (without comprising the anonymity) of the users of the space. In this way, it’s possible for commercial spaces to identify theft in real time, and also qualify the spaces they offer and give them fair value.
Howz is working with social assistance from the Municipality to use their sensors in the homes of the assisted elderly population. The sensors examine behavior through electricity use, analyze patterns and notify the system in case of abnormalities. The system will allow for faster assistance in case of need, and the reduction of unnecessary emergency calls.
OneGrid, Meazon and Enerbrain are experimenting with partners in ways to measure consumption and identify over-consumption to take action and reduce costs in building management.
What all the projects have in common is that they all contribute to reducing inefficiency, making decisions based on accurate data and shift these companies to a more proactive way of managing.
Portuguese startups seem to be everywhere in the media, and that’s no wonder – they are growing, getting invested and collecting awards – and they have raised over €485M in 2018.
Venture Capital in Portugal is definitely growing: the volume of transactions was 4.4x bigger in 2018 than it was in 2017, and business angels are rising up to VC level, mostly through co-investment.
During 2018, the total value was boosted by the investment of two portuguese unicorns: OutSystems and Talkdesk. Pedro Falcão, managing partner at LC Ventures, added “I believe Portugal will have more unicorns in the next few years – Feedzai might be next.”
While the market is clearly investing in early stage startups, as seed stage investments represent 83% of the total, venture capital still has an immense potential to grow – as it represents only 1% of the investment in portuguese companies.
You can download and read the whole updated report: Venture Capital in Portugal 2018-S12019, the most complete report on the portuguese venture capital market elaborated by LC Ventures and FNABA, and presented by Pedro Falcão at Lisbon Investment Summit.
Lisbon Investment Summit happened over two weeks ago now, but for us, it is still going: through all the things that we learned, the moments we treasured and the relationships we started.
It’s all about community
The most important thing we learned at #LIS19 is something that we at Beta-i have always believed: it’s all about community. Innovation is only possible when different stakeholders join forces together and collaborate to thrive – and #LIS19 is the perfect melting pot that joins entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, investors and decision makers in one place.
Humanity Will Fix the Future
Andrew Keen, the best-selling author of How To Fix the Future and the headliner at #LIS19, spoke about the unfulfilled promises of technology – the promise that it would bring equality, boost democracy and create bridges between people. To overcome these challenges, we must take action through regulation, innovation and citizen engagement. The “fixing” of the future does not rest on more technology – it rests solely on our shoulders.
Investment in Portugal
Pedro Falcão, Managing Partner of LC Ventures, gave #LIS19 attendees an overview of the investment landscape in Portugal. You can download the report here:
Lisbon Investment Summit would not be the same without our amazing pitch competition, sponsored by GROW, which was one of the highlights of these two days – 12 amazing startups pitched on stage but there can only be one winner. The prize went to Musiversal, represented by founder André Miranda (and a Lisbon Challenge alumnus).
For 10 weeks, the teams went through an intense program, filled with enriching content, workshops and mentoring sessions. The program is structured in four phases:
Validation: The founders started by validating their value proposition and gaining a better understanding of what could be their target audience and their potential needs.
Product And Tech: This phase meant a deep-dive into the startups’ solutions and the technology behind them, defining how is their project solving the clients’ needs better than any other out there, and designing a roadmap for product market fit.
Growth: At this third phase, founders learned how to talk with customers and make sure they don’t leave after trying the product – in other words, it was all about client retention and which metrics should be analyzed in order to figure it out.
Investment: The teams learned to understand investors, and what they are looking for. But also, what to say to investors to tell their story and secure investment.
The value proposition brought by Lisbon Challenge it’s its unique people-centric approach – a Beta-i landmark.
This approach is about bringing a people-centered vision to the founders’ businesses, keeping in mind: Who are they building a solution for (getting to know their consumer), who are they building a solution with (building a team and company culture) and who they are as entrepreneurs (preparing founders’ for the future ahead).
The Lisbon Challenge journey, taking them closer and closer to a product-market fit, is only possible thanks to the strong network of mentors, who have been through the same processes and similar experiences as entrepreneurs themselves.
Our 88 mentors, from different specialties – from branding and product to growth, from personal development to investment, have clocked in over 450+ hours of mentorship, giving the founders’ the tools they need to succeed.
The big stage at #LIS
The journey led the founders to the biggest stage in the investment arena: Lisbon Investment Summit – to an audience on national and international investors and innovators, in an event with over 1500 attendees.
Originating from very different countries – this international cohort had startups from Portugal, UK, Italy, Ireland and USA – they took to the stage: OUTBOUND, VAIRT, FLOCK, CROWDBOOKS and SKOACH were the startups pitching.
The crowd had a say – they gave feedback live, through a form vote – and it was positive: over 50% of voters said that they wanted to meet and talk with the founders.
It’s only the beginning
For our founders, this is just the beginning – they are now ready to jump to the next stage: scaling. In the words of the team: “We’re really proud of what we saw today. And today is just the beginning for these teams. They are already doing pilots with big corporates – all companies looking for innovative solutions should talk with these startups. They are a group of trusting, capable founders, with impactful solutions and a growth mindset. We’re excited to see the global impact they will bring in the future – we know they are ready to jump into scale.”