You can have the best idea, best product, best solution to a huge problem, but if you are not a person we want to work with, all that won’t be enough. We are very selective about who we let in and work with because once people are in, they are in for life – like a family.
Do you have to be a perfect example of all the values? No, as long as you willing to work on yourself.
No, we are a horizontal accelerator. We invest in all tech companies. In general, we avoid heavy capital investments like hardware and biotech. We might invest in companies with a hardware component (ex. Wall-i). We choose to work with entrepreneurs with experience or considerable knowledge in the sector their startups belong to, regardless of what sector it is.
It means you have a strategy, presenting and selling skills. We look more for experience than university degrees.
No. LC investment partners offer 70K for 7%* of equity. The investment is done in two tranches: 15k for 2%* to all startups joining the program, and 55k for 5%* after the program for the startups that “rise up to the challenge”.
No. We don’t pay for any of your expenses and we do not help with the visa. You have to be eligible to stay in Portugal full time during the 10-week program. If you need any accommodation advising tips, ask us (in advance ;-)).
Yes. LC is a full-time program and requires at least 2 co-founders (one tech and one business) to attend the program. We encourage you to leave the building, but it is not OK for you not to show up for any 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 in Lisbon full time with us – being fully dedicated to the process, your personal development and your startup development.
With that being said, your startup is at stake, your dreams, your future, this is not a school project. You are responsible for your actions and deciding what is best for your startup, which you ALWAYS communicate with us (transparency).
The 15K is 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 for any start-up fund.
The reason we are funding € 15K 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 55K at the end. Our intention is to have a long-term investor relation with the most promising startups, by funding 15K for Lisbon Challenge, 55K at the end of the program, and become a lead investor or co-investor in a seed round.
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 and partnership agreement – to be signed before the start of the program. It is up to each team to find any legal support they may need for 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 the product development stage. Many teams never end up finishing an MVP because they run out of cash. We’re here to avoid instances of high potential teams never being able to launch their amazing products.
LC is an investment accelerator, which means that only start-ups that agree to the investment terms can be accepted and attend the program.
Yes, it does. It doesn’t have to be beforehand but in order to receive investments, you need to have your business incorporated in Portugal.
Note: You can’t be invested in before you are incorporated in Portugal.
“Attending the Lisbon Challenge gave us the opportunity to review our strategy and explore new ideas. Today, in addition to having a better product, we feel more prepared for the market. Thanks so much for all the learning, mentoring and the chance to meet so many amazing people!”