We Start Lisbon was a fun, interactive student entrepreneur event held at Universidade Nova in Lisbon, organized by Startup Europe projects MY-WAY and Digistart for SEC2U.
On 21st October 2016, students interested in entrepreneurship gathered at Universidade Nova in Lisbon for a day of inspiring talks, and a fun interactive treasure hunt & pitching game with prizes.
We Start Lisbon was organized as part of the first ever SEC2U (Startup Europe Comes to Universities) week, a cross-border initiative that aims to showcase the commitment of European universities to create a culture of entrepreneurship.
In the same week as 35 universities across 17 countries held events on entrepreneurship, We Start Lisbon was held at Universidade Nova in Lisbon on 21st October.
The event opened with high energy and some inspiration from the organizers, MY-WAY and Digitart. Everyone was excited abut using the day to share fresh ideas, break the ice and make meaningful connections (even if the students didn’t yet have a startup idea!).
The very exciting treasure hunt and pitching game was also explained to the students by Hugin & Munin, the communications agency that manages the communications for Startup Europe.
Over 100 multi-coloured triangle shaped boxes were hidden all over the auditorium and event space, from which the students had to collect minutes to pitch their idea live online on Periscope and twitter, as well as find a special number to maybe win a prize!
The winners of the pitches would then get the chance to go on stage to pitch at the end of the event, giving them loads of visibility!
The morning: local advice, product development, facing failure and treasure hunts!
The first panel was made up of a group of young speakers from organizations NACUE, AEGEE, MIT/MBA, Barlan Ent Club and YES. Holly Knower, Pablo Hernandez, Manuel Countiho, Julia Tshuva, and Maria Logotheti discussed the startup activities available in their local ecosystems: UK, Greece, Spain , Portugal and Israel.
Next up was a workshop on Product Development with Matt Kuppers from Startup Manufactory, in which the audience shared their ideas with Matt on their potential products, as well as asking questions on problems that they had encountered during development.
At the coffee break the students started looking for their boxes around the room, and the first team presented themselves at the Startup Europe stand to do their pitch! This group were a team of 4 studying at the Universidade Nova, who had an idea to solve traffic accidents!
After everyone had enjoyed their coffee boost, the next workshop was very inspiring. Miha Matilevski talked about his experience of failing and how to beat the depression and anxiety that comes with it. He explained that we should reconceptualise failure as a learning experience. If we are failing, we are learning.
Next up was a panel with on how universities can promote startups, with Matt Kuppers (Startup Manufactory), Prof Andres Iborra (UPCT), Prof Diego Caceres (UPCT), Prof Mariana Pita (Aveiro Uni), Prof Manuel Laranja (ISEG) and Prof João Paulo Crespo (Vice-Rector NOVA).
At lunch the treasure hunt game continued, with students looking for triangle boxes in their lunch packs!
There were also more pitches: on slow fashion and travel, a drinks delivery service and new technologies!
The afternoon: workshops, PR, internationalisation and prizes!
After lunch the students were then wowed with a workshop by the highly energetic David Trayford (Founder-thehub.hu, team Project Coach at Singularity University), on how to pitch to investors. There was no time for a lull after lunch, as he snapped everyone into focus and put everyone into groups to come up with some pitching ideas on the spot!
Promotion for startups was discussed next by Thomas Ohr, who gave pointers on how to contact journalists with a press release, and then spoke to Miguel Alpoim Ruas (Doctor Spin PR/ Special Projects Startup Lisboa) on how to work with PR agencies.
Internationalisation was the next topic presented by Micael Gustaffson, who spoke about his experiences of going to Asia and the US, and talked with two very different startups, Mark Bastiaanssen (Pakketmail) and Lourenço Jardim de Oliveira (Linehealth)!
Finally, we had the panel ‘how to go from idea to business: help from ecosystem actors’, with Edite Cruz (Beta-i), Davis Gouveia (Start up Lisbon/ Uniarea) and Diana Pati (Startups.be), rounding off the event nicely!
At the end of the event, the final winners of the pitches were announced! Everybody did so well to pitch their idea and the judges were very impressed with the go-getter attitude of the students.
The winning students had ideas to solve traffic accidents, on slow fashion and travel, a drinks delivery service, and technology services for companies. Within the prizes were 3 copies of the book Startup Guide Lisbon, a book full of case-studies and tips on the Lisbon startup scene. Congratulations!
Overall the event was an inspiring homage to the student entrepreneur and startup scene in Lisbon. Not only did it give the students the opportunity to connect with new people and listen to the advice of startup leaders, but it also gave them the opportunity to try their hand at their first pitch!