In the lively European Startup scene, Porto is looking for a full-time position. In case you don’t know, OPO is the airport code for Porto International Airport, a one to three hour flight from anywhere in the European Union, pretty well covered by Ryanair, among many others. And it was the inspiration of a group of Entrepreneurs to just another venture. Its name: OPO Startup Week. We went to meet them and understand what will happen from May 24 to 31.
EU-Startups.com: When did you have the idea of starting OPO Startup Week and why?
OPO Startup Week: The idea for OPO Startup Week came up in a meeting between some of the organizers. We were talking about the startup scene in Porto and Braga and the lack of national and international promotion these ecosystems face. Then, we realized that it would be very interesting to create an 8-day event in the North of Portugal that would celebrate our startup community. A place where people could find meetups, hackathons, workshops, conferences, debates, parties, drinks and good people. From this original idea, OPO Startup Week evolved to more than 30 events in 5 cities that are only possible with the help of more than 60 people and organizations.
EU-Startups.com: What are the main goals you have for this event of events?
OPO Startup Week: Above all, we want to bring the community together, strengthen the ties in the OPO startup community and foster its growth by inviting new people and ideas to join. As a by-product, we want people to hear about the best startups in the region, both nationally and internationally.
EU-Startups.com: What events would you like to stress for our readers?
OPO Startup Week: We have events to all tastes and targets. Some examples:
- Usability Fix Lunch: An event to get immediate honest feedback on how user-friendly your products are. There is a free lunch afterwards, but just for testers…
- Braga Startup Tour: Students from the University of Minho will visit startups in order to know and to experience their reality. The founders will share their experiences, successes and difficulties and present their business.
- Padawan Capital – A founders’ guide to fundraising: an evening of talks, panels, and personal conversations about fundraising strategies with Portuguese investors and entrepreneurs. Speakers will share genuine stories about successful (and less than successful) capital raises, industry best practices, common misconceptions, evolving trends, and other essential learnings from the field.
- Pitch Fix Night: Test your pitch and get peer-to-peer feedback.
- PUB Summit: Join Porto’s leading startups, investors, community builders and more for an evening of drinks, chat and networking.
EU-Startups.com: On top of the many excellent English speakers here, what makes Porto different or better than other cities to develop a Startup community?
OPO Startup Week: Porto is a cheap place to live, with good weather, a great university that is very involved in the startup scene and a community that is growing and becoming more and more supportive.
EU-Startups.com: What do you think Porto is missing to become an European level Startup community?
OPO Startup Week: Porto still lacks a strong investment culture. While Porto has the biggest Business Angels Association in the country, it’s very difficult to find a match between what investors are looking for and entrepreneurs are able to offer. This situation is improving but is still far from ideal.
Sounds like a lot of work is still needed. Just last week someone was telling me “Porto is a place where you can buy a Startup with a product on beta for the price of hiring a team back home for a month”. I guess we’ll have to check that at OPO Startup Week, either by showing up or by helping crowdfund the promotion.