20 global startups joined 20-day speed acceleration in Menorca – and they loved it!

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Menorca Millennials (MM) –  a 20-day focus program for selected startups on the Island of Menorca (Spain), led by a group of international serial entrepreneurs  – helped the teams develop, build, and scale global ideas. MM startups presented to a group of investors and journalists last weekend. A few of them jumped into sea for a deep dive right after presentations from the cool stage.

MM startups were selected from over 300 applicants from around the world and represent UK, Chile, Spain, USA, Denmark, Taiwan, Brazil, and Argentina. MM is a new take on startup programs, giving second-time entrepreneurs the chance to escape their day-to-day and focus on their next big idea. “We don’t pretend to be another accelerator program, we are a deaccelerator”, says Ricard Garriga, co-founder of Menorca Millennials.

MM founding partners include include Di-Ann Eisnor (VP at Waze, and Co-Founder at Menorca Millennials), Jerome Engel (Berkeley, Entrepreneurship), Martin Varasavsky (Fon,Jazztel), or Sam O’Keefe (TechCrunch).Menorca-Millennials-2015

“As a professor at Berkeley who established and lead our entrepreneurship programs at the Haas School of Business [top 10 ranked globally for many years], and personally as a venture investor in Silicon Valley where I am a GP at Monitor Ventures, I have seem all flavors of accelerators. What is DIFFERENT about MM is not just the location, but the combination of work, play, relaxation and cultural exchange that is BUILT INTO the program. It is integral to the value proposition for the entrepreneurs and the great ‘’faculty” we have attracted from around the world,” Jerome Engel told me. “We don’t pretend to be another accelerator program, we are a deaccelerator”, said Ricard Garriga, co-founder of Menorca Millennials.

“MM is an invaluable life experience, where we serial entrepreneurs are not the crazy exception, but rather the accepted rule,” Colby Self, Managing Director of Carbon Checkout, one of the participants told me. Carbon Checkout is addressing climate change through collective action — your Crowdfund for Climate Change. The company pools micro-contributions from the likes of many, and invest in renewable energy infrastructure to accelerate our transition to a low carbon economy.

“MM has been really worth it since you have access to many brilliant people, not only investors and speakers, but the other startups’ teams as well. Being 20 days together with them is very inspiring and worth any minute,” Julio Izquierdo, CEO & co-founder of Packagepeer, that is solving problem of people who are not at home to take delivery of online purchase.

Watly is built by combining hybrid technologies: thermal solar and photovoltaic. Watly purifies water from any source of pollution, bacteriological, physical or chemical. It also desalinates ocean water by converting it, into perfect drinkable water. It does all that without the need of filters or membranes. This is the reason why, Watly requires a low level of maintenance and it is very easy to use. “We generate electricity “off the grid” that means simply said “everywhere”. Watly can recharge external devises such as mobile phones, computers, portable batteries or LED lamps.

Combined, the MM companies have an overall valuation of $136 million and are seeking to raise $27 million. To apply, startups have to have received funding for a previous venture and demonstrated that their current company is working on a product capable of reaching a billion people.

This was the first MM, and organizers expect to hold the same programme in June 2016. Participating startups paid €4,000 fee for food, lodging, and activities, in return for top quality mentoring. MM did not take any equity from participants. “MM now has the right to invest in startups with a discount,” MM spokesperson Andrea Rodes told me.

Here is the full list of this year’s MM participants.