These regulations serve to define the conditions of access, rights and obligations for the participation of potential entrepreneurs in ASA – ANJE Startup Accelerator. This accelerator programme is under the scope of the Restartup project, co-sponsored by ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs, the University Company Development Association – TecMinho and the University of Porto and is co-financed under the scope of Notice NORTH-51-2015-04- COLLECTIVE ACTION SUPPORT SYSTEM – PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
ASA's main objective is the acceleration of startups, placing innovative products and services on the local and international market and facilitating contacts between high-potential companies and global markets, partners and trends. This acceleration programme gives entrepreneurs access to knowledge, senior specialists and sources of funding. In this way, it makes it possible for entrepreneurs to develop their startups through tried and tested analysis processes and methodologies, validation and implementation of business models. All of which happens in a short time, thus avoiding the most frequent errors and enhancing pre-existing resources.
The main objectives of ASA can be boiled down to nine strategic intervention aims:
- Testing and fine-tuning the business model (fine-tuning the model, pitching and continuous interaction with the team);
- Participation in and access to the most advanced entrepreneurship support ecosystems;
- Access to cutting-edge knowledge (competitors and experts);
- Accelerated learning on repositioning the company on the global market;
- Forging contact networks (potentials clients, partners, suppliers, etc.) all around the world;
- Increasing motivation levels and strengthening entrepreneurial spirit;
- Cultural impact (changing mentalities: ambition, risk, networks of trust, disruptive innovation);
- Access to investors for rapid growth or for Exit (for Startups, Spin-offs and high-potential Startups that are already attractive to investors and that have this interest);
- Fund-raising and partners.
Target public and participation conditions
- Candidates can apply individually or in teams of up to three people, aged over 18, who want to set up a company in Portugal, in the eligible territorial area defined by Notice NORTH-51-2015-04, i.e. in the North NUTS II region, by 31 March 2017.
- The following are not eligible for ASA:
- Promoters of projects that are already formalised as companies;
- The immediate family of the Panel of Judges.
- Candidates are accepted to ASA through the submission of an application following the call opening. However, throughout the programme, there will be specific periods for the assessment and selection of candidates to move on to the subsequent phases. Applications should be submitted at www.anje.pt. Electronic submission of applications is through filling in all the required fields in the form. Applications are only deemed complete when the CVs of the promoters are attached;
- Applications submitted to ASA must also be accompanied by a statement of acceptance of the following principles, from each promoter or team of promoters:
- The promoter or team has read and accepts, without reservation, each one of the rules provided for in these Regulations of ASA – ANJE Startup Accelerator;
- The ideas and concepts presented in the application are original and belong to the promoters or are derived from technology licensing. Business ideas dependent of the licensing of technology developed in public or private universities must not have been subject to prior marketing and, to safeguard the intellectual property rights that may be protected, should respect any applicable regulations under the scope of Intellectual Property Rights.
- The Team of Promoters is solely responsible for assuring that third parties do not hold intellectual property or rights on the business idea that could prevent its development, under penalty of the team being excluded from ASA;
- The Team of Promoters agrees to the monitoring of the business project by ASA's Management Team throughout the various phases provided for in the Programme;
- The selected Promoters must set up a legal company in a municipality in one of the geographic areas of influence of the programme, by 31 March 2017.
- Contact information:
ANJE – Associação Nacional de Jovens Empresários
Casa do Farol, Rua Paulo da Gama, 4169-006 – Porto
t. +351 220 108 020
Thematic Areas of Intervention
The ideas presented must be technologically based and should lead to the creation of startups of high technological intensity which thus operate in areas that, in addition to having vast development potential due to technological incorporation, are strategic to Portugal from a socioeconomic point of view.
Programme Phases (company startup process) and duration
ASA – ANJE Startup Accelerator will last for approximately six months (March to September 2017), at varying degrees of intensity. The programme covers the following four phases, corresponding to the process of evolution of a business idea, to the creation of a startup and its subsequent globalisation:
Phase 1: Launching the Call through the online form available at 20 February:
- Call period (20 February to 7 March 2017);
- Announcement of results, selection of 30 applicants (8 to 10 March 2017).
Phase 2: Six workshops to introduce the Lean Startup methodology and selection of 10 teams/projects to move on to Phase 3.
- Workshop (14 March to 5 April 2017);
- Announcement of results – 10 teams/projects (7 April 2017).
Phase 3: Six-week national acceleration programme at the ANJE head office in Porto – for selection of 10 teams/startups, maximum of 30 participants.
- Startup acceleration period (10 April to 12 May 2017);
- Place: ANJE, Rua Paulo Gama, 4169-006 Porto.
Phase 4: International acceleration – for a selection of 10 startups created in the previous phase (one promoter per startup).
- Workshops to prepare for the three international missions (June/July 2017);
- Missions – Berlin, Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley (September 2017).
- OPEN DAY – At OPEN DAY, participants will work with Design Thinking tools to generate the ideas that best respond to the challenges proposed.
The topics to be covered include:
- Presentation of the ASA2 Programme;
- Idea generation and prototyping using Design Thinking tools;
- Pitch and selection of the best product/service ideas;
- Development of the 1st version of the Business Model (BMC – Business Model Canvas);
- Environment Analysis (BME – Business Model Environment);
- Sizing the market and the value of opportunity;
- Pitch and selection of the best business ideas;
- Uploading ideas to the Entrepreneur Roadmap platform, so that the work can be further developed before the next workshop.
- PROTOTYPE DAY – Once all the Design Thinking work has been done, the time comes to validate the assumptions behind each one of the ideas selected and uploaded to the platform. Its use will support the participants in the idea validation process, according to the following methodology:
- Validation of the value proposition, through interviews with potential clients;
- Lean Startup methodology and the development of minimum viable products and allow the market interest to be validated. The effort involved in the development of the MVP should be minimal, with the aim of testing market interest, even if the product or service behind the ideas does not exist yet;
- Developing the Product Lifecycle.
- How will the market learn about the product?
- How do you attract clients and turn opportunities into revenue?
- How can you make clients continue to buy from you (and keep coming back)?
- Testing methods for taking advantage of new channels and relationships with clients, using startup metrics and Analytics tools for measuring the conversion and engagement of clients and providing fundamental growth indicators to mitigate the risk of the project not gaining a foothold.
The Lean Startup methodology used in the acceleration programme is clearly set out in the philosophy of the Entrepreneur Roadmap platform. Thus, the cooperation tool between mentors and startups promotes the validation of ideas through developing and testing the MVPs (Minimum Viable Product), reducing the risk normally associated with the development of new business models.
- VALIDATION DAY – At this stage, the topics to be covered include:
- Validation of the pricing policy for the new solutions, as well as the revenue model;
- Validation of implementation costs and potential partnerships.
- REFLECTION DAY – On Reflection Day, the entrepreneurs will present their projects, arguing their validity.
- Pitch for project business models.
The presentation of the innovative projects and their business models and the progress made in their validation will allow the panel of judges to select the best projects, which will also be those that show the best investment potential.
The soundness and sustainability of the assumptions presented by the teams reaching this phase are the best guarantee of value creation and maturity, i.e. they will be their passport to inclusion in the portfolio of finalist projects on the ASA programme.
- FINE-TUNING – After the 20 finalists have been selected, it will be time for the Born Global acceleration to begin. At this stage, the Business Model and Plan of the best projects will be fine-tuned in order to assure that they will be able to yield profits. The entrepreneurs who have reached this phase developed a proposition that creates value for clients and a business model that creates value for the organisation.
During the Acceleration Programme, the entrepreneurs will make use of the Entrepreneur Roadmap platform to consolidate the Business Model and Economic and Financial Plan and to build a dossier for national and international investors.
- DEMO DAY – On Demo Day, the finalists will defend the viability and sustainability of their projects.
- Pitch for project business models;
- Can I prove that a project's business model is sustainable and can be repeated?
- Project Assessment;
- Defining the next steps;
- Programme close.
On DEMO DAY, the finalists will be able to clearly present their innovative projects and their business models to a panel of national and international investors. This will be the time to reveal the arguments to justify the equity investment requested, as well as the volume of funding need for the project to grow6,-5 explaining in detail where the money will be invested, what the aim of the investment is and how much return is offered to investors.
The 10 startups created during the ASA programme should have developed an enterprising culture and a business model that can be repeated, where revenue grows at a speed substantially faster than the overheads and variable costs behind the project.
The finalist projects, although it is not easy to be original in a world that is constantly online, should identify new niche opportunities for needs common to a large number of international markets.
Phase 1 – After the acceleration period, the 10 companies created will have access to three workshops for preparation for the three international missions they will be going on;
Phase 2 – During September, the 10 companies created under the scope of ASA will take part in three international missions (Berlin, Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley). The aim of these missions is to give them privileged access to three skilled entrepreneurship ecosystems where, according to the mission plan, the companies will have access to a vast network of potential investors, partners and clients, which will allow them to take the first steps towards globalising their startups.
The projects accepted to ASA must comply with all of the following requirements:
- Provide for the development of technologically based products and services aimed at real market needs;
- Preferably include a clearly defined technological innovation or a different field of application for existing technology;
- Reveal high commercial exploitation and internationalisation potential;
- Ability to be developed within the budget provided by ASA and with the resources assured by the Teams of Promoters (participants) and by the Programme;
- Legally set up their head office in the geographic area defined by ASA, i.e. in the eligible territorial scope, as defined by Notice NORTH-51-2015-04, namely the North NUTS II region, by 31 March 2017;
- Assure the motivation and capacity of the leader and the team to create and develop the company;
- Assure the quality and skills of the members of the team of promoters, as well as the suitability of their experience to the project and their involvement;
- Provide all the information regarding the registration of the patents or intellectual property rights indispensable to the business;
- Have a positive impact for Portugal.
Promoter Monitoring and Assessment Phases
The candidates accepted to ASA – ANJE Startup Accelerator will be monitored and assessed at various stages, in addition to those corresponding to the move from the company creation process to the next phase:
- Phase 1 – ASA call:
- Analysis of the registration forms by the ASA coordination team and the Panel of Judges, including analysis of the Promoters' CVs and the required answers submitted on registration. At this stage, the Panel will assess the Promoters' CVs based on an identification code allocated to each Promoter, in order to assure maximum impartiality through anonymity;
- Selection to be made by the Panel of Judges and subsequent announcement on Restartup platform of the 30 Teams of Promoters to move on to Phase 2.
- Phase 2 – Workshops:
- Assessment of the Business Models produced in the workshop with the 30 teams and selection of the ten Teams of Promoters to move on to Phase 3;
- Presentation and defence of the Business Models before the Panel of Judges;
- Announcement of the ten Teams of Promoters moving on to the third phase of ASA.
- Phase 3 – Acceleration:
- The ten best teams will go on a six-week acceleration programme, which will include interventions and connection with international mentors;
- Place: ANJE, Casa do Farol, Rua Paulo Gama, 4169-006 Porto;
- Language: Portuguese and English.
- Phase 4 – Scale-up:
- The companies created under the scope of ASA will take part in three international missions (Berlin, Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley). The aim of these missions is to give them privileged access to three skilled entrepreneurship ecosystems where, according to the acceleration plan outlined, the companies will have access to a vast network of potential investors, partners and clients, which will allow them to take the first steps towards globalising their startups.
ASA will award prizes worth a total of 180K, which means that each one of the 10 startups created and accelerated will benefit from a prize of 18K, divided up as follows:
- 5K – Prize Money (set-up prize);
- 3K – Support prize (this prize comes in the form of coaching and mentoring in preparation for the three international missions – Berlin, Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley);
- 10K – Scale-up prize (this prize comes in the form of participation in the three international globalisation support missions for the ten startups created).
- Direct access to the semi-finals of the 19th Young Entrepreneur Award – The 10 projects created under the scope of ASA will have direct access to the semi-finals of the 19th Young Entrepreneur Award organised by ANJE, which means they could go on to the final of the competition and win an extra prize with a total value of 80K. The winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award also has access to a round of investment from Caixa Capital Award, where a restricted group of startups compete for additional investment of 100K;
- Access to free services from the ANJE partner network (including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Bizspark).
Programme Implementation Timeline
The programme will last for a maximum period of six months. It is scheduled to begin in March 2017 and to end in September 2017.
Rights of the Participants Accepted on the Programme
- While they remain in the programme, the applicants accepted to ASA – ANJE Startup Accelerator will enjoy privileged and timely access to material and human resources, as well as support services, training, assistance, advice and information provided for in each one of the phases in the company set-up process.
- The applications will have free access to all the activities provided for in ASA.
- The applicants will be assured of the set-up of a programme management team, committed to and highly responsible for the implementation and execution of ASA, as well as regular monitoring.
- The applications will be assured of the maximum rigour and transparency in the entire project analysis and assessment process.
Acceptance of Regulations
Participation in ASA – ANJE Startup Accelerator implies that the participants have fully accepted the rules set out in these Regulations and waive the right to claims or legal or other appeals with regard to how any programme phase or procedure is carried out, as well as any decisions of the organising team.
Interpretation and Integration
- The interpretation and integration of these Regulations, in particular in the event of omission, shall be governed by the general principles of law with regard to the applicable legislation, in particular the Industrial Property Code and the Copyright and Related Rights Code.
- Any cases not provided for in these ASA – ANJE Startup Accelerator Regulations will be put before the Management Team set up to implement and manage the programme.
To settle any disputes arising from the ASA – ANJE Startup Accelerator programme, its content, methodologies or any other related issues, the competent jurisdiction shall be Porto District.
- The ASA Management Team guarantees the confidentiality of the projects during the entire assessment process and the information contained therein will be used only for the purposes defined in these Regulations.
- The Management Team may, for pressing reasons, change these regulations.