Between June and October 2013, Beta-i will transform Lisbon into an entrepreneurship center, launching its first edition of the Lisbon Challenge, an international startup acceleration program addressed to start-ups seeking funding.
Inspired by Boston’s internationally recognized Mass Challenge, the Lisbon Challenge kicks off on June 18th 2013 and includes the participation of 200 mentors and more than 100 investors with sessions in Lisbon, Boston, London and Sao Paulo. 75 teams will be selected to attend the program, and the start-ups that want to enter the competition can apply until May 31st at http://lisbon-challenge.com/. Non-equity cash prizes of 150.000 EUR will be offered in the end to the winning teams.
„The Lisbon Challenge is looking for start-ups in all sectors from any part of the world. It is an intensive four months program with a strong transatlantic connection that offers the teams the chance to introduce their products and services to the European, Brazilian, and American markets. The program also has a competitive component, as only the best startups will be awarded the opportunity to present themselves to investors in three different locations – Lisbon, London, and Sao Paulo”, said Beta-i President Pedro Rocha Vieira.
The Lisbon Challege will be divided into 5 distinct periods.
The first phase of the Lisbon Challenge (June 18 – 30) is a teambuilding component having as purpose to get the candidates to know each other. Activities such as surfing, sailing, and cooking will be a part of the program with the goal of establishing good relationships among all the participants.
The month of July will be dedicated to mentoring and workshops to explore the various themes related to start-ups in the growth phase looking after investments. These will be completed by one-to-one sessions with investors. At the end of this phase, the first evaluation of the teams will be conducted and the winners will have the opportunity to participate in the MassChallenge program in Boston.
August is dedicated to an immersion program with the MassChallenge team from Boston. The organizing team from MassChallenge will be present in Lisbon to participate in the program and offer its contribution to the Lisbon Challenge teams. Moreover, the first pitching sessions will be open to the public (open-days). This second phase ends with each team presenting before a panel of judges that will select 25 teams to advance to the next stage.
During the first two weeks of September, the teams will be challenged to prove the viability of their startups. They will have to justify in front of a jury the decisions they made, the results obtained, and how they managed the challenge. Afterwards they will have the opportunity to participate in a unique event: The Explorer’s Festival, an inspiring conference with international speakers. They will also get the chance to attend SeedCamp Lisbon. During the official closing of The Explorer’s Event, the 10 winners of the Lisbon Challenge will be announced along with the awards they receive.
The Investors Day will take place in the beginning of October in Lisbon, followed by other two Investors Days in London and Sao Paulo.
The Lisbon Challenge is organized by Beta-i, a Portuguese non-profit organization founded in 2010 with the mission of innovating entrepreneurship. The official launch will take place on June 18th with an official ceremony that will be attended by entrepreneurs, national and international investors in the context of Portugal Ventures Day. Start-ups from all over the world are invited to apply to the program until May 31st at http://lisbon-challenge.com/.