Currently, American investors are the primary source of financing in Portuguese startups. According to Portugal Startup Outlook 2020, between 2015 and 2020, 92% of the Portuguese startups' financing came from international sources, and the United States accounted for 60% of the total amount. A closer look only into later-stage funding rounds indicates that almost 100% of it came from the United States.
The report also found that during 2015-2020 were 488 investors in Portuguese startups, out of which 111 were American outnumbering the 104 Portuguese investors.
AICEP invites your company to participate in the "Portugal Tech NYC" program to support, connect, and boost Portuguese startups in the most challenging and demanding market worldwide.
Portugal Tech NYC is an online 4 month accelerator program for Portuguese startups looking to enter the US market or American funding. This 1st edition will be exclusively dedicated to the Fintech and Insurtech segments, and participation is limited to 5 companies. Additionally, AI solutions that serve the financial and insurance sectors may also be considered. This online program includes workshops, business sessions, roundtables with local stakeholders, and B2B meetings with potential partners. The program closes in June with an in-person "Demo Day (pitch night)" where the selected companies will have the opportunity to introduce their products to local investors. The demo day will occur in the evening and includes a networking session. Also, all participant companies will be invited to attend the 6th edition of the Portugal Economic Forum, which focuses entirely on high-tech this year.
AICEP developed this program in partnership with SOSA. During the demo day week in New York City, each company will have access to working space for 2 people at 130 Madison Avenue.
Although this program is free of charge for the participating companies, the participants will be responsible for all their costs of traveling to the US market for the Demo Day week, such as airfare, accommodation, meals, etc.
There are a few eligibility requirements to participate in this program:
a) The applicants must operate within the fintech and/or insurtech segments. AI solutions designed for the financial and insurance sectors are also eligible.
b) The applicants must have a functioning technological product/solution
c) The applicants must have in their track record at least one investment round.
d) The applicants' current annual revenues must be at least €200k.
Since participation in this program is limited, the companies interested in participating must go through a selection process. More details can be consulted in the terms and conditions of this program. The local partner of AICEP in this Program, SOSA, will select the participant companies.
If your company fulfills all the requirements, you have a product with a strong track record, and you are interested in approaching the American market, please submit your application until 8th October 2021 at PORTUGAL TECH NYC.
HOW IT WORKS
AICEP has partnered with SOSA that will work and prepare a short and robust program according to the schedule below:
Applications Open: 15th July 2021
Applications Close: Midnight (GMT) 8th October 2021
Interviews: 18th-22nd of October 2021
Announcement of the successful applicants: 26th October 2021
Virtual Program: 15th November 2021 to June 2022
The companies will be selected based on their fit to the US market and commitment to entering the market and building a solid presence.
What types of companies are we looking for?
We are looking to support tech-enabled companies that operate in the segments of fintech and/or insurtech with customers in Portugal or Europe. We are also willing to consider companies with AI solutions designed for the financial and insurance sectors. We are open to working with either B2B or B2C companies with a solid track record and a suitable product-market fit for the US market.
How are the final participant companies chosen? What are the criteria?
AICEP partner, SOSA, will select five companies with a differentiated product that could be interesting for the US market. Experience with other overseas markets would be a plus. The executive team should have a market strategy and budget to create a significant impact in the market.
SOSA will set dedicated meetings with its analysts to select the cohort. The key indicators SOSA will use to score companies touches on the following:
Team - experience, technical background, diversity & inclusion
Tech - IP, key differentiators, product-market fit
Business - TAM, existing customers, sales channels, traction in Portugal and Europe.
How does the application process work?
The application process begins online by filling an application form that can be found here. After reviewing the information, we will ask the applicants who meet the criteria to answer a questionnaire with some more information about their companies. The questions are geared towards understanding both your business needs and the commitment to enter the market. In the final selection process, we will invite the shortlisted candidates for a video conference interview to be conducted in English.
What can you expect from the program?
The whole program is in English.
Altogether the online and the in-person Demo Day of the Program takes 4 months. This program intends to be robust with highly qualified business matchmaking and to provide your company all the means for a successful US market entry. During the program, you will attend workshops, business and educational sessions focused on your company and the US market, roundtable discussions, 1vs1 meetings with potential partners or investors, and a Demo Day ("pitch night") with a room filled with local investors and partners. To close the Demo Day, we have a networking session. Also, all participant companies will be invited to attend the 6th edition of the Portugal Economic Forum, which focuses entirely on high-tech this year.
SOSA will give you feedback on your go-to-market strategy and assist you in preparing the commercial presentation. Additionally, AICEP will follow up with the participant companies after the program to facilitate access to potential customers, partners and investors.
Although every effort will be made to keep the proposed calendar, AICEP will closely be monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation evolves, we may take some contingency scenarios that may imply delaying, postponing, or change to an online format the in-person activities, which will not in itself make AICEP liable.
What if the travel ban to and from the US goes beyond June 2022?
Most of the program is online. The in-person activities that involve flying to the US will occur only in June 2022. We will try to make the most out of the program, so we may have to adapt the program, depending on the circumstances, implying delaying the travel to New York or even doing the Demo Day virtually.
Does AICEP provide accommodation in New York for participants?
No, AICEP does not provide accommodation in New York but can recommend where to stay. You are expected to participate in the in-person activities of the program. You will need to cover all travel and accommodation expenses, and you will be responsible for obtaining any visas or other travel authorizations required.
How much does the program cost? Does SOSA take an equity stake in my company?
The program is entirely free of charge, and SOSA will not take any equity stake in the participant companies. Nevertheless, don't forget, you will have to pay your travel and subsistence expenses, namely airfare and lodging, local transportation, meals, etc. Additionally, you must be prepared to develop a market approach and participate in the program's activities, mainly workshops, business sessions, roundtable discussions, one-on-one meetings, and the demo day.
Together, we share a common goal: to support and accelerate the growth of Portuguese companies in the United States. For further information, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
TERMS AND CONDITIONS