Nearly 3 months after we kicked off the 7th edition of the Lisbon Challenge, demo day has arrived. Less of an external celebration and fanfare, it is an important invite-only day for the 12 start-ups that have worked hard throughout the program. They pitched for 3 minutes in front of 25 investors and then followed up in the afternoon with one-on-ones.
This specific cohort was slightly different from other batches as it had start-ups at varying levels of matureness which created some challenges to the program – the balance between a standardized and personalized program. The decision to bring in more advanced start-ups worked well as it rubbed off on the remainder, pushing them to evolve quicker.
Typically, in acceleration programs with a duration of 3 months or more, the level of energy in the beginning, starts to dwindle as the program progresses. To deal with this, we creating forcing functions every week that required all founders to commit to their weekly goals every Monday morning, having to then access them on Friday in front of their peers. This gave us a complete overview of their progression whilst keeping each founder focused and energised for the week.
On a final note, there were two start-ups that pivoted with one of them creating a new product from scratch in time to deploy it before demo day. This is perhaps one of the areas where accelerators bring great value to the founders permitting them a safe environment to challenge their assumptions, regroup and change tact in time for investors.
A special mention goes to Moneytis, a money transfer start-up from France. When they applied to the Lisbon Challenge, they were very clear on their goals, one of which was that they were going to get into the next batch of Y Combinator. And no great surprise, they did. Not because it’s trivial, on the contrary, they are one of the most focused and decisive start-ups we have ever worked with. They demonstrated what you can do when you have talent and commitment. Congratulations.
As we wrap up another edition of the Lisbon Challenge, we leave you with the awards that were received in the end of the demo day:
30 hours of legal advice from Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva
25 hours of marketing & branding services from Ogilvy
2 months free Co-working space at Beta-i
Congratulations to all and we recommend you take some time to visit each start-up as they move to our alumni and take on the world. As for the next edition of Lisbon Challenge, stay tuned because we’ve got a big announcement.