Startup Next Lisbon, the Techstars pre-accelerator, kicked off yesterday at Beta-i, gathering 8 selected startup teams and over 25 mentors under the leadership of Stephan Morais, Executive Board Member of Caixa Capital and Program Director for Startup Next Lisbon, and Karina Costa, Global Director of Startup Next.
With over 100 candidates, the 8 chosen participants had the opportunity to present their companies and challenges to the selected mentors, who provided meaningful feedback drawing from their experiences leading some of the most successful and global Portuguese tech companies and VCs.
The session created visible motivation amongst the participants, particularly the startup founders, who realized that beyond having their businesses applauded by mentors, the event provided the opportunity to garner detailed feedback to turn existing roadblocks into opportunities.
The program will now move to the next sessions to be held at Caixa Capital and Startup Lisboa, and focus on specific typical key challenges that startups face, such as customer traction, product market fit, funding strategy and pitch training. The program will end with the participation of all teams at the Annual Caixa Empreender Award, to be held at Culturgest in Lisbon on the 3rd of February, where the best companies of all the major accelerators in the country will deliver their final pitch to compete for the Caixa Empreender Award. Last year over 600 people attended the event including major international investors from the Caixa Capital international network of co-investors.
Startup Next is a pre-acceleration program for a small group of high quality, early stage startups. By pairing startup founders with mentors, the program provides valuable connections to get teams prepared to join a top accelerator, raise a seed round or just continue their entrepreneurial journey. Startup Next is a non-resident program where startups come in once a week for three hour sessions broken down into — workshop, pitch practice and mentor breakout sessions. In the end of the 6 sessions startups present their companies in a local Demo Day event. Each season, the top teams by city are invited to a global Demo Day usually held in NYC or SF. Startup Next is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and program is free of charge and no equity is taken.
Startup Next Lisbon has also partnered with Beta-i as one of the most relevant accelerators in Europe with long time relationship both with Up Global through Startup Weekend in Portugal and Caixa Capital itself, and Startup Lisboa, the city incubator and one of Europe’s most active players.
Caixa Capital is the Private Equity and Venture Capital fund management company of Portugal´s largest banking group Caixa Geral de Depósitos, present in over 20 countries and with assets above 120 billion Euros. With a total of close to 700 million Euros under management, the largest and most relevant in the country, Caixa Capital invests in growth equity and venture capital opportunities and funds. The Venture Capital team partners with incubators, accelerators and business angels for seed and startup investments and with major international venture funds for opportunities above 1 million Euros. The team aims to support global expansion of Portugal related teams and companies and has dedicated team members to ICT, digital, health tech, engineering and clean tech investments.
Techstars is empowering the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey by providing them with a global ecosystem of founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners wherever they choose to build their business. With startup programs (Startup Week, Weekend and Next) added to the accelerators and venture capital funds, Techstars is now covering most of startup lifecycle and helping entrepreneurs from inspiration to IPO. As a pre-accelerator inside a global startup ecosystem such as Techstars, Startup Next is now even better positioned to deliver an even more meaningful experience during the program plus giving lifelong access to a large network of founders, mentors, investors and partners.