My return to the white city was filled up with good energy, plenty of optimism and great moments for which brave entrepreneurs are directly responsible for.
Earlier this year I had the pleasure to be invited by Antonio Lucena de Faria to be one of the mentors at Energia de Portugal one of a kind event that during six months involved hundreds of people across the country.
The final selection brought together fifty teams to learn, test ideas and prove why we should give them our money.
This type of events are critical to grab the attention of large masses of people with different impact waves in society, hats off to the team that for the second year puts such a show on the road.
Last week, the 15 finalists, did their investors pitch in order to grab the money left on the table, in this case 90.000 Euros to be distributed among the best five teams.
The winner, a truly inspiring idea, proved once again that we can challenge our world every day, and in this particular case, many times per day. Take a look at www.betapp.co and start challenging your friends or your boss to see how long it will take until your next salary raise or until you get fired. Make your bets.
I was very fortunate to have the chance to share my experience and advices with a very talented team, their name – outworks, their objective – to solve the lack of productivity inside corporations. The solution – smart outsourcing. Check them out at www.outworks.eu and who knows, you might be ordering some work from them soon.
Few days later another great entrepreneurial project based in Lisbon – Startup Lisboa – presented its demo day, a pleasant evening, 14 business ideas, 400 entrepreneurs and investors, proving why more than 5 million Euros have been invested already there.
Our host, Joao Vasconcelos, guided the event in such a way that remind me of any other similar event, from Y combinator to Techstarts, I am very happy to see that Lisboa is again on the map, and looking at the number of foreigners that choose to develop their business ideas here, for all the good reasons.
Later in that day, during dinner, while discussing the next steps with my partner João Alvim about a new company we will be launching in the last quarter of the year, I understood better few things and this is what can I see from here.
It seems that techniques and skills to create new business, shifting from a inspirational Eureka moment to a scientific process, are becoming more widespread and available in a matter of days or hours to the whole world.
It is also clear specially when looking at different investors presentations in different countries, there is consistency in the air, there are patterns to follow if you are looking to increase the odds of success.
The way to present an idea, the rhythm, the speaker skills, the data you want to show and the one you cannot show, the words and punchy taglines, all of this is visible in every single presentation.
Just try to beat this guy in less than 2 minutes
The knowledge that once was a competitive advantage is becoming either a lifestyle or a commodity, nothing good or bad with that, but a question still strikes me every time I hear a new idea.
What truly makes me excited about a product or service, why do I want to buy something, access more information or become willing to invest?
I know we don’t usually ask this to ourselves, but give it a try.
Next time you hear about a new business idea, ask yourself, despite you are a potential customer or not, what makes you excited about it?
The better we become at understanding the problems and needs of everyday people and companies, even when they are not aware of it, the higher the chances to develop solutions to fit that gap.
That’s what makes me excited. And you know what?
It does not really matter if it is technology based, hand crafted, high end or low cost, as far as your product or service bridges that gap, that’s it.
Time to start testing and see how good and how fast you can be.
Do you want to bet?
I bet that at least 50 people will log into www.betapp.co following this link. I will ask my friend Miguel Mira da Silva to be my referee (by the way, he was the mentor of the group in Energia de Portugal)
Back home for the week and looking into the fields, I can already smell the new cycle of nature in the horizon, and that also makes me excited.
If we manage to work well during the coming months, spring will show us great results, just like my neighbours do with their grapes, vegetables and fruits.
Make me a favour, have a great week!