Porto Challenges – collaboration at the city level

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The roaring Porto startup scene just got more exciting with the entry of a new player, none less than Porto Challenges (Desafios Porto), a City Hall promoted program. More than 300 people applied to the program launched in June by Porto Innovation Council with “challenges” in four different areas: Health & Well-being, Energy, Digital City and Mobility & Environment.

The jury representing enterprises, namely EDP (energy), EY (consulting), NOS (telecommunications), and a non-profit, CEIIA (automotive), chose 16 of the most relevant problems, that include information integration in the areas of energy or leisure, citizen participation in the areas of city maintenance or health and new products and services in retail or sports.

The next phase will be a competition to present “solutions” to the problems, coming from entrepreneurs or startups in any stage, competing for up to €62,500 to support the implementation of a single solution in Porto, out of a total pot of €250,000.

Porto City Hall expects the solutions to be showcased in the city’s ecosystem and in partnering Smart Cities, thus helping entrepreneurs and startups reach the market, far beyond the prizes. In the words of Mayor Rui Moreira: “we hope to be up to the entrepreneurs”.

Not only collaboration shows in the program structure itself but also the challenges taken promise a deep interaction between the city and the citizens, both from building context and providing feedback. What do you think about working in a lab the size of a full city?

Disclaimer: Yours truly had a challenge selected in this contest and is proud to trigger the coming challenge to find a solution.