Funding: We offer a pre-seed funding of 10K for 1.5% equity, giving start-ups a good valuation to start with. Also, if you have tried fundraising in the past, you’ll know how hard it is to close a round when you have no traction yet. At LC, we are giving you peace of mind for almost 3 months, to focus only on building an amazing product. If you succeed in that, you direct access to further investment right there. We are looking for investment driven teams that understand the commitment of fundraising and are ready to start that journey with us.
Mentoring: We bring on experience entrepreneurs and market experts to mentor start-ups. Also, we’re lucky with have Web Summit right in the middle of the program allowing us to connect you to many more amazing entrepreneurs and investors that come to Lisbon. So far in our past 7 editions of LC, our network of mentors and investors have been the most valued and worked upon. Because of it, we have been able to pitch several of our alumni to top investors or growth accelerators in the US like Y Combinator, 500 startups and Techstars.
Structuring: We give you the structure you need to grow a solid founding team. At the very start, even for second time founders, starting a company can be challenging at all levels. We work closely with you to give you the guidance and structure you need as founders to build a strong team that can hustle and fight for what you need, while balancing inter-founders’ differences and expectations. This topic is usually overlooked by founders, but team issues is one of the main reasons start-ups fail (way too many articles online about this).
Validating: We focus on problem-solution fit and validating your minimum viable customer segment. Time after time, most start-ups that attend LC, start off by stating that they have the problem-solution fit completely validated and evidence that their product has market need. But validation is never enough, in fact a start-up’s growth is based on validation, so this process should be a continuous one.
Product-market fit: We help you define your roadmap for product market fit. We want to make sure that start-ups are on the right track after leaving LC, so together with you, we will define your roadmap post-program to ensure you’re on the right track to reaching product market fit. That starts off by matching your product with the right customer segment and the ability to position it properly in the market.
No. We do not charge you anything. We fund you € 10K for 1.5% equity to cover your costs, and do not charge anything back.
Yes. Lisbon Challenge is a full-time program and requires at least 2 co-founders (one tech and one business) to attend the entire program. We encourage you to book meetings with clients, but it is not OK for you not to show up for no reason or to keep flying around and not coming in every day to our open space. Before you apply to LC, you need to be 100% committed to spending 10 weeks with us in Lisbon and only dedicated at product development.
The € 10K are meant to be spent on accommodation, food, travel and tools to test and build your product. If we understand you are spending the investment for anything beyond the start-up, there can be legal consequences, as any start-up funding.
The reason we are funding € 10K at the start of the program is to push you to execute as fast as you can during 10 weeks to launch the product and gain initial market validation. If your start-up shows immense promise as a team and with the product you are building, you can get another investment of 50K at the end. Our intention is to have a long term investor relation with the most promising startups, by funding 10K for Lisbon Challenge, 50K at the end of the program, and become a lead or co-investor in a seed round. We also have 2 investments partners (Sonae IM and Caixa Capital) that are looking to fund startups at the end of the program.
Whether or not you’re selected to attend Lisbon Challenge, the bootcamp is a great starting point for any start-up, and you can access it all for free. The bootcamp is the perfect moment for you to get to the know the LC managing team and other start-ups, and for you to prove to us that you have all it takes to grow a successful start-up.
The bootcamp is part of the selection process and the finalists will be the ones invited to the program. We cover the flights, accommodation and lunch costs up to 2 founders per team, so that we can work close to you for one week. In that week, we will be working on your investment deck that will include a business plan, financial projections, marketing plans and pitch. On the last day, each start-up will pitch to the investment committee and deliver their investment deck and up to 10 start-ups will be selected to participate.
The teams that are invited into the program will be asked to provide all the necessary documentation for a due diligence, and will then be given a founder friendly simple to use term-sheet. It is up to each team to any legal support they may need for the term-sheets, however we have a partnership with Portugal’s leading law firm acting in the startup industry, that can provide this service at a cost.
Our mission is to help start-ups grow, and most start-ups need funding to scale quickly. We want to help in that process, a step earlier when they are still in product development. Many teams never end up finishing an MVP because they run out of cash. We’re here to avoid high potential teams never launching their amazing products.