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More than 200 international investors attentive to startups accelerated by Techstars and Semapa NEXT

The 10 startups selected to integrate the second edition of the Techstars Lisbon acceleration program in partnership with Semapa NEXT will show today to investors from all over the world why it is worth investing in their projects.

  • 10 startups from Portugal, the United States, Australia, Israel and France will present themselves to international investors and obtain financing for their projects;
  • These startups came to Lisbon for recognizing that the local ecosystem is an excellent talent hub, success cases and mentors to grow their companies;
  • Semapa NEXT has already supported each of the accelerated startups with a budget of 120 thousand dollars. 
Techstars Lisbon’s Virtual Demo Day allows access to start-up pitches videos that will present their technology-based solutions to more than 200 international investors. This year the program brings together startups from Portugal, the United States, Australia, Israel and France. Semapa NEXT has already supported with a budget of 120 thousand dollars each of the young companies accelerated from Portugal.
This is the last day of the startup acceleration program developed by Techstars in partnership with Semapa NEXT, the venture capital arm of the Semapa Group, in which 10 startups will pitch to global investors. In addition to access to Europe, these startups came to Lisbon for recognizing that the local ecosystem is an excellent hub for talent, success stories and mentors and, therefore, very conducive to growth in the first years of activity.
The results of the second edition of this program are extremely positive. We selected 10 startups from hundreds of applications, and intense work has developed in the last few months to which we are proud to have contributed. Today is a day of celebration and an opportunity for all these startups and their founders to show the extraordinary work they have done in front of an audience, even if virtual, of national and international investors ”, says Ricardo Pires, CEO of Semapa NEXT. “The global ambition that drives these teams to develop solutions that have a positive impact on society in the most diverse sectors of activity makes us proud and motivated to continue to support and promote their growth”, he adds.

“Accelerating the growth of their startups from Portugal was a strategic decision for these entrepreneurs. In the United States alone, where there are very mature tech hubs, we had 4 participating startups, which demonstrates the quality of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Portugal, and in particular, in Lisbon. Participation in this acceleration program allows startups to benefit from the experience of the mentors of the Semapa Group, to have access to the international network of Techstars that has 10,000 mentors, and to benefit from the entrepreneurship community in Portugal that allows access to world-class talent, mentors with experience in the rapid growth of startups and companies paying to test new technologies ”, says Hugo Augusto, Managing Director of Techstars Lisbon in partnership with Semapa NEXT.


COVID forced the program to be adapted. Portuguese Rnters, EmotAI and Secret City Trails in the batch of accelerated startups

The second edition of this program started in March and had to adapt to the pandemic context and the mandatory social confinement. For 12 weeks, the acceleration program ran virtually, a model that Techstars has had for many years.

The program has a face-to-face format, but suddenly, we were“ forced ”to change the program to a virtual format. Techstars’ multi-year experience (through its Techstars Anywhere virtual program) allowed it to adjust the schedule quickly with minimal disruption. In addition, and more importantly, we took the opportunity to explore the opportunity of the virtual format to reinforce the program with additional content on crisis management, strategy adaptation and treasury management during economic crises. We also added sessions with mentors who experienced the Internet crises in 2000, the September 11th attack in 2001 and the financial crisis of 2008 to share the critical factors for successfully surviving in similar situations. Finally, we invited entrepreneurs, with companies in more mature stages, to share their strategies for dealing with the current context. The impact of these measures was very positive, as demonstrated by the progress that companies have made in their Demo Day pitches ”, says Hugo Augusto, Managing Director of Techstars Lisbon in partnership with Semapa NEXT.

This year’s program supported startups in the areas of Industrial Technology, Transport, Travel, Sustainability and projects that create solutions adapted to several of these industries. In addition to the Portuguese Rnters, EmotAi and Secret City Trails, young companies from the United States, Australia, Israel and France participated in the acceleration program.

From the United States came Apres, whose founder moved permanently from San Francisco to Lisbon, Labby, Left and VueBox. From Australia came ParaSpace, Israel from QSEE and France from TicTacTrip.
Semapa NEXT intends to be the reference partner for founders of startups as well as venture capital funds. The entrepreneurship ecosystem is very much alive in Portugal and we hope to continue to contribute to the development of its potential and to support and promote Portugal’s image in the international market ”, concludes Ricardo Pires, CEO of Semapa NEXT.

The Techstars Lisbon startup acceleration program in partnership with Semapa NEXT invests annually in 10 startups in the areas of Industrial Tech, Environmental Tech, Smart Transportation and Travel & Leisure. In addition to the investment, startups benefit from an intensive 12-week acceleration program that seeks to condense two years of work in a short period of time. The program allows access to more than 10,000 mentors, including entrepreneurs, executives, investors and organizations leading the Techstars global network, as well as mentors from the Semapa Group and its partners, while also offering the possibility to conduct pilots of the technologies that startups are developing with the companies of the Semapa Group.

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