Gabriel Dimas and Marlon Blummer have been extremely dedicated to work. So much that they were 'stuck' due to their effort. In the other day they forgot us here at the Fábrica de Startups", the Brazilien of EstoqueUP told us joyfully. "One of these days we have been working until nine pm and suddenly we realized everyone else had left! We waited one and a half hours. On Friday everyone leaves earlier, isn't it?", they ask, smiling. It is actually obvious the enthusiasm of the teams participating in the third of the four bootcamps of Energia de Portugal 2014, The project that has, in the past weeks put together all the teams to fulfill practical points of their business acceleration plan. Nobody said that developing an idea was not going to mean hard work in this entrepreneurship competition of Expresso and EDP.
After three weeks, more than half the way is covered towards the investment pitch to take place on the 14th of November (one more bootcamp to go) and the teams have already tuned the engines towards the decisive session. The best teams will then present their projects before a group of investors and not only who will win the 20 thousand euro prize will be decided but also the team with the best project in the field of energy, which will receive six incubation months in EDP Starter.
The team composed by the two childhood friends that presents a solution of purchase and inventory management for SME, has appreciated the "intense weeks" in our country. Currently they live in very distant points in Brazil and have now the opportunity of being together to develop the idea, give some decisive touches in their business model and experience another kind of pressure. Both developers had some difficulties in dealing with the economic aspects inherent to setting up a business, but the work sessions "both the practical exercises and lectures" have been an antidote to reduce this handicap.
Lost in Reality team also hope to see their project bear fruit. There are obviously working towards that purpose, going from door to door trying to find evidence of the chances of the business model they have designed, according to teachings and notions acquired along the three past weeks of the initiative. "Hard and tiring exercises, especially if we want to have a representative sample of our clients' segment, and that can ran up to 100 street interviews", José Rodrigues and Francisco Campelo, the team representatives, tell us.
History towards Urban
The concept of promoting tourist tours in an app making use of fictional stories had an interesting test on Thursday, when the team promoted the narrative of a student who goes out at night in Lisbon and cannot find his friends. Thus he went through several places where he made friends and met people before finally arriving to the Lisbon discotheque Urban Beach. The purpose was "trying to understand the public acceptance of this kind of stories" and "see how traders dealt with the hypothesis of making part of this concept at the financial level offering gifts and discounts". They also wish to know the best way of attracting artists, journalists and storytellers to produce "original and creative contents" and build a platform that gathers a set of quality stories to serve as a basis to the digital application.
All this because one of the main challenges in this phase is to understand to what extent the hypothesis suggested in the business model can be proven. The teams have already accomplished six of the nine stages of this initiative (model development, choosing the client, creating value, managing relationships, raising revenues and produce value, planning finances. Planning achievement and accomplish the pitch still remain to be done) that represent the several theoretical steps toward forming the enterprise. We are talking about the FastStart method, which enables the development of the idea fundamentals in a structured way and carried out in stages, with lots of practical examples. The purpose is that the business has less risk, once it is exhaustively tested since the very beginning. So, along the days of each bootcamp lots of exercises have to be done.
Walks in Sintra
Lectures like the one of Luís Roquette Geraldes of the law firm Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados, coordinator of Team Genesis, who gives legal counseling in the innovation and entrepreneurship field. Guest in this session, he tried to explain the teams how the venture capital world works. He showed the different stages and explained the strategy risks and constraints. In the initial stage, where there are still many projects it might seem premature but it is part of the acceleration process that intends to prepare people for all eventualities.
Tripalocal elements are also trying everything to the smallest detail. Coming from China to give consistency to the platform of touristic tours based on unusual local experiences, they have put together work and Portuguese cultural experiences. YiYi Wang already visited "galleries and museums", while Jemma Xu did not let the opportunity pass "to go for walks in Sintra". Halloween's night at the Electricity Museum still gives them "shivers" and "discovering the details of the murder they have staged" does not go out of their heads. The party also served to learn lessons to their business idea which they say is quickly growing through the weeks.
There was no more time for confessions. The bootcamp was coming to an end and everyone was picking their stuff preparing to leave or to talk with the mentors. Marlon Blummer told us he was going with other teams to the hotel to "have a beer". All the teams work goes on intense but always deserve some moments of relaxation.