A decommissioned power station, a 15th century convent and former bread and pasta factories are part of the 20-building complex in the east Lisbon neighbourhood of Beato that’s currently being converted into the biggest startup campus in the world. When finalised, the Beato Creative Hub — a joint project between Lisbon City Hall and Startup Lisboa — will include co-working spaces, event venues, rooftop terraces and, of course, craft beer bars over an area of approximately 100,000 square meters.
“The Beato Creative Hub is Lisbon showing the world that the city is serious about becoming one of the most important innovative hubs,” says Inês Santos Silva, a managing partner at innovation consultancy firm Aliados. “It will be the new epicentre of the Lisbon entrepreneurship scene, creating positive collisions between people and companies from different industries and cultures.” The hub, which is expected to open at the end of 2019, is another display of ambition and dynamism from a country that has already created unicorns like OutSystems, Talkdesk and Farfetch.
Sound Particles is doing for sound what CGI has done for visual special effects. Founded in 2016, CEO Nuno Fonseca uses a particle system — a CGI technique that uses a large number of graphical 3D objects to simulate effects like fire, rain, smoke, dust or explosions — to create sound effects.
“Imagine that you want to create the sound of a battlefield,” says Fonseca. “Using the traditional approach, you would add sound by sound: an explosion here, one scream here, another scream there. After two days of work, you have 50 or 60 sounds playing at the same time.” With Sound Particles, he explains, the user can instead select just a few clips from a sound library and simulate tens of thousands of sounds in just a few minutes. Sound Particles’ software has been used in blockbusters like Game of Thrones, Alita, Wonder Woman, and Ready Player One. Soundparticles.com
Attentive was born out of Daniel Araújo’s frustration when he worked as a sale analyst at Google. “My sales team was spending way too much time doing admin work, such as logging calls and meetings, or registering opportunities that weren’t in the CRM [customer relationship management system] yet,” says the Attentive CEO. “I’ve asked hundreds of sales reps what they dislike the most about their job, and the most common answer is daily CRM maintenance.”
His solution was Attentive, a personal assistant app for sales teams, that integrates with CRM tools such as Salesforce and HubSpot, connects with Slack and Calendar, and sends alerts about clients and competitors. ”Great sales reps deserve a tool that guides them, suggests next steps, warns them of potential risks, without the admin burden,” Araújo says. The startup has raised €1.9 million (£1.7 million). attentive.us
Barkyn caters to humankind’s best friend. For a subscription fee of €45 a month, clients receive a box with food tailored to their dog’s nutritional needs, personalised snacks and toys. The package also includes remote access to a vet. “The pet market is huge and shifting to the online world but still, everyone was doing the same,” says André Jordão, the Barkyn CEO “We knew the space well and how our customer thinks. We wanted to create the service we wanted as customers.” The startup, founded in 2017 by Jordão and Ricardo Macedo, has raised €1.7 million and is available in Portugal, Spain and Italy. Barkyn.com
“Twenty years ago my brother was badly injured in a car accident,” says Virgilio Bento, CEO of SWORD Health. “It was a very tough moment for my family and, on top of everything else, we had to struggle with the logistic conundrum that daily physical therapy sessions imposed on all of us. We spent hours going back and forth to the centre for months.”
In 2015 Bento, André Santos and Márcio Colunas founded SWORD Health, a digital therapist service that brings physiotherapy to patients’ homes. Using AI to track and digitise human motion, it gives patients real-time feedback during physical rehabilitation at their home. According to Bento, with this technology patients can recover at home faster and at half the cost. In April 2019, the startup has raised a $8m funding round led by Khosla Ventures. swordhealth.com
Ricardo Santos and Mauro Peixe had the idea for Heptasense when they realised how inefficient video surveillance systems were. Traditionally, surveillance relies on on people monitoring multiple screens for hours on end, and research shows that after 20 minutes, 95 per cent of incidents are missed for reasons like fatigue or lack of focus. Heptasense’s video analytics software is able to recognise a wide range of behaviours, like people carrying dangerous objects, to predicting vehicle collisions. “Our mission is to have a platform that is able to detect and predict threats without relying on facial recognition or other privacy concern to the citizens,” Santos says. “We want to bring more security without compromising privacy.” Heptasense’s costumers, which include Vodafone, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, straddle eight countries. Heptasense.com
In May 2019, AI startup DefinedCrowd launched the Neevo app, which pays users to to complete easy jobs such as tagging images or annotating speeches. This human input enables DefinedCrowd, a startup founded in 2015 by speech science expert Daniela Braga and Amy Du, to offer accurate labelled data to train AI algorithms, with a fast turnaround time. Customers include BWM, Mastercard, Accenture, Jibo, Nuance and Voicebox. “With the increasing demand for high-quality training data, it’s crucial to ensure our human-in-the-loop community has fast and efficient access to the AI-related tasks,” says director of product Sara Oliveira. DefinedCrowd.com
A startup guide to Dublin
- Where to workt
- [b]LACS, Rocha Conde de Óbidos, 1350-352
This creative hub near the river Tagus, is not only a coworking space but also offers its members a daily programme of cultural events and a rooftop with a 360 degree view of the Portuguese capital
- Where to eat
- Peixola, Rua do Alecrim, 351200-014
Fish is one of the distinctive features of Portuguese gastronomy and that’s all you will get at Peixola, where patrons enjoy dishes like tuna steak or fish tacos at a 10-metre long counter.
- Where to drink
- A Tabacaria, Rua de São Paulo 75/77, 1200-426
For excellent cocktails, head to former this former tobacco-shop in the cool Cais do Sodre district, suggests Hugo Oliveira, communications manager at Beta-i.
Undandy has an original premise: design your own shoes. “Knowing the heritage of Portuguese shoemaking meant that the concept intuitively made sense, both emotionally and practically,” says Rafic Daud, co-founder and CEO of Undandy. Using Undandy’s website, clients can deploy an online 3D customiser to design their shoes from scratch. Undandy’s shoes, handcrafted in Portugal, have been shipped to over 50,000 clients in over 140 countries. Since launching in 2015, Undandy has been growing steadily in revenue: in 2016 it reached €300k, and in 2018 €4.3m. Their projection for 2019 is about €10m. Undandy.com
Mattress startup Koala Rest offers more than 6,000 sizes. “We started Koala with six standard size mattress options and a simple ’email us’ option for other sizes,” recalls João Ramos, who co-founded Koala Rest with Bruno Madeira in March 2017. “A few months later, we were getting emails for custom-size mattresses every day, so we quickly evolved into a ‘custom size mattress offer’ as our proposition. We made the necessary adjustments to the production and forecasting process but we are now the only company in the world to do this.” They have recently expanded to Spain and will soon launch a Koala Pillow. Koalarest.com
The idea for EatTasty came up, of course, during a dinner. “On a weekday’s evening, we were in a restaurant and realized that everyone there wasn’t socialising,” recalls Rui Costa. “Instead, they were there just to eat a good meal at a reasonable cost without having the need to cook.” In 2015, Costa founded EatTasty – a food delivery startup that currently delivers around 700 home-made meals every day – with fellow entrepreneur Orlando Lopes. The menu was designed by a chef with experience in Michelin-starred restaurants, who has also trained EatTasty’s team of local cooks. “EatTasty is going to be the biggest food service provider to companies in the world,” says Costa. The startup has raised €370K so far. Eattasty.com
Using a network of cameras and machine vision algorithms, Sensei turns brick-and-mortar shops into autonomous, checkout-free stores. “This is a frustration I have had for years,” says Sensei COO Joana Rafael. “I often go to the supermarket but the waiting time in line always baffled me. Also, when I tried shopping online, I just get lost in the thousands of different websites and the zillions of hours deciding what to have for dinner based on images.“ Sensei’s AI system can track products on the shelf and analyse customers’ behaviour in-store. The startup – founded by Rafael, Vasco Portugal and Paulo Carreira in 2017 – is currently working with retailers to launch Europe’s first autonomous stores in 2019. Sensei.tech
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