Here I am, telling a story about two guys in Lisbon for the first time at Web Summit.
But before we start I want to tell you why you should read this article. Well, inside you’ll find the story of us who attended the biggest tech conference in the world and we want you to feel some experiences we had through this article.
You will find tips and tricks too, restaurants, nightlife, and a few amazing Startups (of course).
Chapter one – Meet me in Lisbon Nick
I want to start from the very beginning and you’ll understand why.
8.30 pm: time to synchronize your watches (or maybe not). Anyway, that was the fixed time for my meetup with Niccolò (from now Nick) our UX/UI expert, and my fellow companion for the trip and here it comes the first tip as 8.45 something happened.
We got scammed at the airport so do not fall for it: check if taxis have a taximeter and if by any chance you go through ask for the receipt or tell them you’ll call the police. In anycase, Uber is quite efficient in Lisbon and if it is not too late, the Red Line of the metro will give you a lift straight to the city centre. Apart from this, let’s go the following day.
Chapter two – Where the mining began
You know, I’m loving telling this story because it has all been random and perfect that you’d say it’s a planet alignment kind of thing.
Anyway, after walking around that MAGNIFICENT city of Lisbon we decide to stop for lunch and here, totally randomly we meet Alex and Lorenzo. Now, have you been there? It’s literally impossible to meet people just randomly in the middle of the city upon a staircase (yes, the restaurant was in a house) but we just did it!
Now, Lorenzo and Alex have a special place in this story and you’ll see why later on. By the way, Lorenzo is Co-founder and COO and Alex is co-founder and CEO of Klondike, a startup that was attending Web Summit as well!
Lisboa Tu e Eu is a wonderful restaurant (cod is unreal). Just be sure to get there early enough otherwise you could find some queue waiting to sit.
Chapter three – First day in the big league
After the last night which was dense with beers and startup chats with old and new friends (special mention to Alessandro, a real legend) in Musa which is perfect for craft beers (so it was good we forgot the opening party).
Time for the third tip: do the badge at the airport so you don’t need to go early in the morning.
On Monday Niccolò and I had to go in the morning (openings at 5.00 pm approx), but we were open for networking and also we had some work to do. You know the feeling, right? You can’t really miss both.
Be sure to queue early because, considering the security checks and all the people attending this huge event, it will take literally ages to get in.
Despite that, getting into a theatre, the biggest one in Portugal, all along with 43.000 friends after 18 months it’s just a different feeling. Something clicked in my mind. Maybe that’s why it’s so special to me, but it’s something that will click in everybody’s mind and we’ll be back in business as usual.
The next two hours are pitches from a few startups, some entertainment, and a few interesting speeches, fireworks first, you know? It was just good to be there.
Then the night? It’s all about parties!! I mean… networking!
So, here’s the FOURTH TIP: before you go there ask around if there’s any WhatsApp or Telegram group.
We got access to a sheet with parties and events and also with the chats we were able to communicate with each other quickly.
Chapter four – Get, Set, Start-up!
I mean wow! WOW! W-O-W! Is there a more effective one?
All right, here’s ‘fortunate son’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Stick that on and read this next part.
Do you know the feeling you have when you are riding a Harley-Davidson in Colorado? Everything is beautiful, just you and what you love doing.
1500 Startups in front of us…
Do you know what this means for a Growth Agency like us? Now you have an explanation about the song and the feeling.
Nick and I felt challenged because we got the chance to measure ourselves at an international level, but also we felt at our ease. It was really good to be there, it felt right.
Time to rock, we figured the set-up already, which roughly is: Alpha pre-seed startup, Beta seed startup, Growth series A.
The whole day, as the following ones, was full of meetings with extremely interesting people from all over the world, pitching, selling, or networking, meeting people from the biggest tech companies to the smallest ones. So be open-minded and chat chat chat, you’ll love the vibes.
In the next chapter I’m going to tell you about my top X Startups:
Chapter five – Top of the pops
We met Rodolfo, their CMO, with whom we had a lovely conversation about Growth and obviously Consumer Trust.
All right, you are going to love this because the idea is extremely simple and well worth listening to.
Basically, it’s a review system (just like Google my business to give you an idea) where you don’t review the company, you review their performance and you can make complaints.
It can be summed up with: “You can’t control what they [your customers] say about your brand.
But you should know what they say. And you should respond to them.”
And here is where the magic happens: if you complain about anything the Company can get in touch with you and help you fix the problem.
Simple but extremely effective on both sides. Do I need to add anything else?
On the customer side, you’ll be delighted because you can effectively manage an unpleasant situation. On the business side, you can better manage your brand: win-win.
That’s easy for me, they do craft tailor shirts and part of my background is in the fashion industry, so it was an easy game.
Never easy with startups, though. These two guys here: Alessandro and Giampiero are doing it right IMHO.
They are well set and they know what they want and how to get it. Check the Tresarti if you get the chance.
Anyway, I love handmade stuff and it’s really easy for me to get it (where I’m originally from is the biggest fashion hub in Europe) but what for the other people who want Italian crafted shirts?
Now you have an answer: either you are a consumer, or a shop.
They developed an app with a patented Algorithm that can perfectly scan your body for measurements and which allows you to customize the shirt in each aspect, then it’s a done deal, it’ll be shipped home wherever that will be.
Business side? A dedicated app to turn your shop into a tailor, what are you waiting for?
This Web Summit edition was focused on the environment, sustainability, and how the digital world can help move in this direction. There were many startups and ideas all around this concept but this one caught Nick’s attention for some aspects and the potential that can be applied to many other businesses and not only them…
Peggada is a Portuguese startup that aggregates, in its e-commerce based concept, different green-based products suppliers (eco-shops) where they can provide a specific product and Peggada takes care of connecting suppliers and customers.
They also work with second-hand shops, hotels and many other realities to increase the awareness of the importance of benign local, bio and green.
Why did this catch Nick’s attention then?
As you may know, he’s not only a designer, but he is a musician too and he was looking for some specific places where to print some eco-friendly merchandise for promoting his music (and if you hear his music you understand why he would prefer to give these type of products) but it’s quite hard, sometimes, to find the right place.
Peggada, by including under one roof different products, people, and suppliers, is basically answering this need but also, looking at a bigger scale, this can be the main partner for some green events (or not) where sustainability is a core of the exhibition, meeting or anything else… I am naming a few, but the sky’s the limit, right?
And the founders are really young, open-minded and they already have a great response in Portugal even though this is an “alpha” stage start-up… But the idea is scaling and moving toward Europe and the US: we wish all the best to Hugo and all the guys of Peggada.
Klondike has a special place in our hearth.
They are an AI algorithms marketplace Startup that helps you automate repetitive tasks. Basically, if you have 1.000 requests for customer support per day with their algorithm you’ll be able to classify and allocate them to the right CS agent instantly (all within your CRM). Also, they do that for sales, chatbots, and many other things you can check here.
Now, you should know why they have a special place in this Top of the Pops chart: Klondike has been working with us for a few months now, and seeing them on the stage of the biggest tech event in the world was really exciting for us.
First of all, it was telling us that we were working in the right direction with the right people, secondly, if you work hard you’ll get there.
I know how hard Alex and Lorenzo worked for being there, how long the preparation took and how much effort they are making to achieve their targets.
So I want to especially thank them for the wonderful week full of extremely stimulating chats.
Let’s go and see a few extra tips and a conclusion.
Chapter six – Another tip to dust it
Ok, it’s going to be intense, it has been great so keep this in mind: work hard, party hard (because at the parties you might meet the person you need).
Eat Pastel De Nata, especially at the Pastelaria Santo António or Manteigaria
SuperMario is just an iconic restaurant you wouldn’t walk in, but you’ll walk out with the biggest smile of your life (thank me later) and also Fernandinho next door in Rua do Duque 9.
The market is always safe and sound for food and meetups (Timeout Market).
Chapter Seven – Conclusion
I’m not going to tell you about all the following days (unless you share so maaaany times this article to ask me).
As I mentioned before, the following days were still as much exciting as the first one because you never had the idea of who you could be meeting in a minute. And the thrill of it it’s all you really need.
Nick is excited, he said that he brought his work to a different level so rock n’ roll. He pitched 300 startups approx and he did great. I couldn’t have imagined a better companion.
I got the chance to measure myself and understand that, not to be pretentious, we aren’t too bad and we are heading towards the right market because there aren’t many Growth Agencies.
We both, I shall say, became friends with Alex and Lorenzo and we met so many beautiful people we just hope we could see you again.
So, if you are in tech and you want to do innovation at a top-level just meet me there next year, I’d be glad to have a coffee or a beer with you.
See you soon,