The Portuguese Startup Scene in Review: Top 18 Highlights of 2016

The Portuguese Startup Scene in Review: Top 18 Highlights of 2016


I just wanted to wish you a happy 2024!

I know 2023 was a great year, one of those to be remembered in history. I mean, tele-transportation, first settlers in Mars, and the world’s first 3D printed chocolate cake… What’s not to love?

Well, , let’s step out of my crystal ball for a second. Before you start wondering if 2016 was a good year or not, pretty much like everybody else, and whether if 2017 will be better, I just wanted to tell you that we’ve been to the future, and it works.

At Beta-i, we look at the future like a kid looks at a swimming pool in a hot summer afternoon. We want to jump in with both feet. And that’s exactly what we’re doing for 2017.

But, before that happens we just want look back at 2016, which was a hell of year for the Portuguese startup scene. And here’s our list of the top highlights of the year to prove it:

1. Web Summit and its 50.000 attendees in Lisbon

2. First book on Lisbon’s startup scene: Startup Guide Lisbon and the first Lisbon Startup Tour

3. World known experts from Stanford University and Apple giving Masterclasses to entrepreneurs

4. First edition of Pixels Camp, Europe’s largest hackathon

5. First Smart Cities and Open Data program in Lisbon, Smart Open Lisboa

6. Portuguese startup Infraspeak joining 500 Startups in San Francisco

7. Moneytis, a startup from Lisbon Challenge, joining Y Combinator

8. Lisbon’s startup scene featured on Wired as a top startup hub

9. Beta-i considered the top incubator in Lisbon by Wired

10. Unbabel closing its Series A of 4.5 million

11. The Lisbon Investment Summit and the sunset cocktail on the yacht

12. Tradiio closing the largest Portuguese crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs

13. Caixa Capital investing on our alumni and EatTasty

14. Launching the first fintech accelerator in Portugal, SIBSPayForward

15. Line Health moving to Boston and raising 1 million euros in the US

16. First edition of Protechting by Fidelidade, an accelerator on insurance, and the launch of the second edition

17. Publishing the first Portuguese Startup Manifesto and presenting it to European Commission

18. Portugal winning the Euro 2016 against France


Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being part of it, .

Now, it’s time to jump into 2017 and look to the future. We wish you all the best for this upcoming year, including that 3D printed chocolate cake (yes, it already exists). Happy new year!

Rnters: Why renting is better than buying

Rnters: Why renting is better than buying

This is a guest blogpost by Guilherme Guerra, co-founder of Rnters, one of our Lisbon Challenge alumni. They have just launched their new platform and they want to tell the whole story behind it.

“It all began when I was travelling around Southeast Asia. I took my surfboard to Bali but had to ditch it before heading to Laos. It didn’t make any sense: why couldn’t I just have rented one?”

Guilherme Guerra, Founder

Rnters was born out of frustration with a problem that many of us face: we only need some goods for a small period of time, afterwards they become idle. In these circumstances, why buy when you can rent? And what about the stuff you’ve already bought that’s just laying around the house? Wouldn’t it be nice to put it to good use?

Now you can, is live and you can use it to make money from the things you own and save money by choosing to rent, rather than buy, the things you need. What sort of things you may ask? Almost anything. So far we’ve rented bikes, phones, household appliances, camping gear and items for catering and events. With the exception of motorised vehicles and real estate we welcome anything on our platform.

The Rnters team

The Rnters team

And what if you can’t find what you want?

Don’t worry, we’ll find it for you. Chat with us on, Facebook or email us at and we’ll help you.

What about safety? Will your things be ok?

Sure, we protect the owner! All payments require identification and the use of a credit card. We’ve got your back.

Renting is all about the upside: you can save money, make money, reduce futile consumption and be a friend to the environment. What else can you ask for?

How to Define Your Ideal Customer Profile and Go-To-Market Strategy

How to Define Your Ideal Customer Profile and Go-To-Market Strategy

Back in January 2016, Ricardo Marvão, Co-founder and Head of Global Resources at Beta-i, had an idea. He felt that startups in Lisbon needed advanced knowledge on crucial topics to better develop their businesses. But, at the same time, they were struggling to get it in Portugal, as the Portuguese startup ecosystem is still young and growing. It’s not like they could easily reach out to experienced entrepreneurs who had done it before.

So, Ricardo came to the office one day, to tell us that we would start doing a different kind of event called the Masterclass. We would invite a top international expert once a month to join us at Beta-i to give a hands-on workshop and help founders and their teams tackle relevant issues they were struggling with. And so, the Masterclasses came to see the light of day.

During this past year, we’ve had great speakers coming to the Masterclasses.

Bill Burnett from Stanford University, who taught us all about Design Thinking and how to solve real problems. Rob Fitzpatrick, author of the best-selling book ‘The Mom Test’, who explained us how to talk to customers and get real feedback. David Alston, one of the top CMOs in the world, to tell us that marketing is all about being personal. In the end, I truly believe we learned more than expected with these incredible people.

Join us for our next Masterclass on October 28th. Register here.

However, right when summer began, we knew that if we really want to provide value for founders and their teams, we needed to talk to them first. And so we did. We took a step back and asked the founders from our community what their challenges were facing, how we could help them and who could we bring to a future Masterclass.

In one of these conversations, Vasco Pedro, CEO of Unbabel, said that his team recently had a hands-on workshop that changed the course of Unbabel’s history. This workshop was on defining the Ideal Customer Profile and Go-To-Market strategy with Bryan Richter, from Notion Capital in London.

And the thing is, we all knew that every single startup struggles with their Go-To-Market Strategy, and just too often they get their Ideal Customer Profile totally wrong. Some go for the “I want it all” kind of strategy, ignoring the fact that if you focus you’re much better off. While others, look at it as if it was Age of Empires.

Truth is, you really need to think it through. This is actually a make it or break it kind of decision. Not only you need to define your ideal customer but also need to make sure you’re doing it right. Getting it wrong is a recipe for disaster, that we can guarantee.

So, for this reason, we took on Vasco Pedro’s suggestion and invited Bryan Richter to come to Lisbon on October 28th for a Masterclass. With over 25 years of sales experience in the software industry, Bryan has advised many startups and companies on this issue. This will definitely be a unique opportunity for those who want to use their resources efficiently and get the best possible results from marketing and sales.

“For a company, defining their ideal customer profile (ICP) is a crucial step in the go to market strategy. Bryan Richter is one of the world’s experts in helping companies discover and understand their ICP. What he brings is fundamental to the growth of any company”. 

Vasco Pedro, founder and CEO of Unbabel


During this Masterclass you will learn how to:

  • Define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and its unique characteristics
  • Leverage on the unique strengths of your solution and lessons learned from your best and worst customers
  • Build a scalable and repeatable customer acquisition process
  • Shorten the sales cycle and increase total annual sales volume
  • Develop a foolproof Go-to-market strategy around the unique characteristics of your ICP
  • Access your total addressable market

Who is this Masterclass for?

This Masterclass is especially useful for startups and companies with customers already (including founders, CEOs, CMOs, sales and product managers). However, if you’re just getting started with your startup this workshop can put you on the right track.

You will also take more value from this masterclass if you bring more than one person from your team, as it adds different perspectives to the problem.

Ready to join us? Click here to register!


Web Summit Bootcamp in Lisbon for Portuguese Startups

Web Summit Bootcamp in Lisbon for Portuguese Startups

Yesterday was a great day for the Portuguese startup scene. The Road 2 Web Summit event took place in the new hub Criativo do Beato and 66 Portuguese startups were selected to attend the Web Summit in Lisbon this November.

We couldn’t be happier for all those entrepreneurs who worked so hard during all this time, and who have shared with us at Beta-i their challenges and doubts. Today, all that hard work, all those pitch practices and long nights at the office have paid off. Congrats, especially to those who are part of our community, such as Clickly, doDOC, Doinn, GetSocial,, HeartGenetics, Heptasense, Infraspeak, Kinetikos, Knok Health, Magnifinance, Noxidity,, Sensefinity and Tripaya.

However, now, is the time to work even harder to prepare for the world’s largest tech event that will bring 50.000 people to Lisbon, including top investors, executives and well-known entrepreneurs.

For this reason, and knowing that you’ll have to get ready for Web Summit, we’re excited to announce that Beta-i will be running an exclusive bootcamp for the selected startups, as well as Startup Braga, in partnership with Startup Portugal.

We’ll be bringing top experts to Beta-i to help you with all the challenges that Web Summit represents, allowing you to convert the Web Summit into a source of growth for your startup.

We’ll cover topics such as ‘How to Talk to Investors’, ‘How to Hack the Media’, ‘How to Get the Most Out of Networking’ and much more. It will be hands-on and action-driven. For example, we’ll carefully analyse the lists of attendees, including investors, potential clients and media, to help you figure out who you should contact and how.

After this intensive 2 day bootcamp, you’ll be able to set your strategic objectives, define your roadmap, understand the event dynamics and its secret opportunities.

Just like Paddy Cosgrave, CEO at Web Summit, said yesterday at Hub Criativo do Beato:

“You are playing in house, you have all the cards in your hands, you should lead the game! Everyone is going to be wondering what to do in Lisbon and you know the answer, so go and make the most out of it”

See you on the 14th and 15th of October at Beta-i!

Why Pixels Camp is Such a Big Deal

Why Pixels Camp is Such a Big Deal

I first heard of Pixels Camp about a month ago, when Celso Martinho invited us to Bright Pixel for a meeting. I knew very little about the event, just that it was supposedly Europe’s biggest hackathon, from what Ricardo Marvão, co-founder of Beta-i, had told me. That was pretty much it.

However, for over an hour, Celso Martinho and Nuno Loureiro from Bright Pixel, laid down the cards and briefed us on the whole thing, and I suddenly understood why Pixels Camp was such a big deal.

Many people say the word ‘hackathon’ with their mouths full of… well, I’m not gonna say it, but feel free to take a wild guess. It just happens to be cool, nowadays, to create a ‘coding frenzy’ or a ‘programming fest’, and to obviously assume that developers love Star Wars, Mr Robot and Big Bang Theory (well, I skipped GoT on purpose here). It’s not that these TV shows and these so called ‘hackathons’ aren’t good, it’s just that it’s embarrassing when they call for ‘rockstar developers’, ‘coding ninjas’ or ‘hacking jedis’ to join them in a ‘24 hour marathon’, where they’ll code until their eyes fall out of focus.

So, what can you expect from Pixels Camp? Few spoilers and no clichés.This is an event for the tech community, hosted in one of Lisbon’s most creative spots, Lx Factory.

For 3 days will have cool talks on emerging technologies, approved by the community, insightful workshops with top creative speakers, and a 48 hour programming competition.

This is not just a hackathon, this is a challenge, that you’re either willing to take, or not, it’s entirely up to you.

You can apply to participate and secure your free entrance, but only the most talented will be accepted. You can also apply to give a talk, through Github, if you feel like covering an interesting topic.

Or if you want to be part of the team behind Pixels Camp, apply here as a volunteer.

We have great partners on board, such as NOS, Feedzai, Talkdesk, Github, Microsoft, Outsystems, Cisco, and many others, as well as plenty of surprises ahead.

Check out our website right here and subscribe to the newsletter to get our exclusive updates.

This is just the beginning. You have no idea, what’s coming your way…

This blogpost was initially published on the Pixels Camp Medium.