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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Portugal Ventures Invests In New Tech-Based Start-Ups

boomApp, Easy Easy Apps, eSolidar and Possible Answer are the new Portuguese start-ups selected for investment by Portugal Ventures as a result of their submissions to the Call For Entrepreneurship. Through the various editions of the Call For Entrepreneurship, Portugal Ventures has already invested in more than 50 start-ups with the ambition to become global businesses of excellence. The 12th edition of the Call opens 27th July.

boomApp is a mobile App based on a unique video and image recognition technology. It can be described as the “Shazam for videos and images”. Anything that’s in your database is detectable, enabling it to go from offline to online with a simple photograph. CTO of boomApp Nuno Moutinho says that “developing this technology has been an exhilarating and challenging experience”. The short-term objective is to “develop new features for the boomApp and we hope to launch in the USA by the end of the 3rd Quarter”, states CEO of boomApp, João da Maia Jorge.

Easy Easy Apps’ mission is to facilitate the development of new mobile apps. Easy Easy Apps is a do-it-yourself platform that allows anyone to develop apps for Android, iOS and Web without programming, or even needing to install any kind of software. The project started in 2013 focused on Brazil because of its market potential and growth in the online and mobile worlds. Currently, Easy Easy Apps is helping thousands of SMEs, digital agencies, brands and entrepreneurs to establish themselves in the mobile world, and aims to be the platform of reference in Latin America in the coming year. “Easy Easy Apps was created to allow anyone to develop an App, facilitating access to the mobile market which is in accelerated growth” says Vasco Andrade e Silva, co-founder of Easy Easy Apps.

eSolidar is a start-up with social impact, based in Braga, that aims to empower the community in order to bolster the visibility and sustainability of charitable institutions, through technology. It was recently awarded as “One of the most outstanding digital initiatives for social good of the year!” and “Best Business Potential” by the European Youth Award 2014. eSolidar is an ecosystem of solidarity which takes the form of an online market for charitable institutions and their communities, bringing together consumers and the online stores of the institutions, and special auctions with celebrities and brands. This allows even the small charitable institutions to have access to a large consumer base. Marco Barbosa, CEO, states “The investment by Portugal Ventures will allow us to develop new features, improve the support we give to the charitable institutions and start our expansion to London. In addition, this investment shows that venture capital and social impact can, in fact, mutually advance and grow hand in hand. I believe that we are beginning to see a disruption in the mind-set of this market”.

Possible Answer founded in June 2014, has developed a fluid and biomaterial technology for the production of a non-Newtonian fluid with high absorption capacity / impact dissipation, which can be applied to a wide range of products, namely in the production of protective equipment (ballistics; sports and personal) and road safety equipment. The material developed by Possible Answer is light and flexible and is also more efficient in the absorption and dissipation of impact energy, making it an innovative product with great commercial potential with advantages over more traditional products. “Our aim is to make Possible Answer a global reference on the impact protection and shock absorption market”, states CEO Miguel Pimentel.

Submission of projects to the Twelfth Call will run from 27th July to 3rd September 2015. Projects in the sectors of Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and WEB, Life Sciences, Tourism, Endogenous Resources, Nanotechnologies and Materials are eligible for investment through the Call For Entrepreneurship. The projects selected by Portugal Ventures will benefit from an investment of up to 750 thousand Euros, until a maximum of 85% of each project’s total funding needs.

In the preparation and qualification of their projects, entrepreneurs may benefit from the support and guidance of one of the entities from the Ignition Partners Network, making their project investment ready. All submissions are to be made through the Portugal Ventures website.

The projects submitted to the Call will be evaluated by assessment panels, divided by industry, and made up of business experts, both national and international, as well as investors from the Ignition Capital Network, business angels and other venture capital investors, who may come to co-invest in the projects with Portugal Ventures. Portugal Ventures will select those projects which show the greatest potential for growth and which have the ability to become global start-ups of excellence.

The projects invested in will benefit from the advice of experts, preferably international experts, with accumulated experience and a vast network of contacts. The projects will also be given the opportunity to be incubated and accelerated at the centres for the Portuguese entrepreneurship ecosystem in San Francisco, Boston, Austin and Berlin.

During the previous eleven editions of the Call, 2,421 entrepreneurs registered on Portugal Ventures’ website, resulting in the submission of 789 projects. The support and involvement of the Ignition Partners Network, made up of 49 national entities from the scientific and technology-based entrepreneurship ecosystem, in this initiative has been crucial to its success.

The Call For Entrepreneurship is the entry point to the Ignition Programme, an initiative spearheaded by Portugal Ventures and which is an integral part of the +e+i Programme (more entrepreneurship, more innovation). The objective of this programme is to bolster the Portuguese technology-based entrepreneurship ecosystem, thus contributing to the development of a more modern and competitive economy, open to the world, based on knowledge, innovation and highly qualified human capital, with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Through this initiative, Portugal Ventures aims to invest around 20 million Euros, per year. Some of the venture capital funds managed by Portugal Ventures are co-financed by the European Union through FINOVA, managed by PME Investimentos, COMPETE and POR LISBOA.

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