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Portugal is looking for startups and ideas around the world to bring new solutions for the tourism industry

Global collaborative innovation consultants Beta-i, and Turismo de Portugal create business ideation and acceleration programs for startups with new solutions for the tourism sector.

LISBON – At a time when the tourism sector needs new business models, services, and digitalization more than ever, the collaborative innovation consultancy Beta-i launches Shift to Start – Tourism Edition, a project created with the support of Turismo de Portugal to accelerate new projects in the industry. Aimed at entrepreneurs with startups already in the
market, the program will give access to specialized mentors who will accompany the participants, from the development phase of the idea to the validation of the solution, until the expansion of the business plan.

Shift to Start – Tourism Edition has applications open for one of its acceleration programs: Beta-Start is a three-month pre-acceleration program that aims to support pre-seed or seed startups in the improvement and growth of their businesses. Whether for planned projects or prototypes, participants will deep-dive in the learning process on how to validate their solutions in the marketplace, defining MVPs, designing a customer-oriented business model, testing and structuring revenue and cost models, and also building sales pitch presentations for customers and investors. After a pack of workshops and individual training sessions, the program ends with a Demo Day, where participants will present their business and receive feedback from potential customers and investors. The best solution will receive a monetary award of 5,000 euros.

Applications for Beta-Start can be made through the website until October 25th.

This bottom-up framework is supported by the Portuguese Tourism Board for obvious reasons: Portugal is a global benchmark for tourism innovation and strategy, being this sector the largest economic export activity in the country – accounting in 2019 for 52.3% of services exports and 19.7% of the total exports, and tourism revenues contributing 8.7% to the Portuguese GDP.

According to Pedro Rocha Vieira, Beta-i’s Co-Founder and CEO, "despite the challenges that tourism faces today, the pandemic context has also brought unique opportunities to improve what already exists in terms of travel experiences and create new answers to tourists’ increasing requirements towards safer, greener and circular-economy related services. As such, what we seek in this program are new, digital-oriented proposals on sustainable tourism projects, able to support tourism recovery."

Shift to Start – Tourism Edition draws on Beta-i's 10-year history and accumulated experience in mentoring, business development, ecosystem acceleration, and collaborative innovation. Responsible for the design and management of Lisbon Challenge (considered one of the Top 10 acceleration programs in Europe for several years), the consultancy also has a strong experience in the tourism sector, with programs and events such as The Journey, Lisbon Tourism Summit and SOL Mobility.

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