startNOW was an innovation accelerator program in Madeira Island. Entrepreneurs developed their business idea, while having tools to structure and implement it.
Throughout this acceleration programme, entrepreneurs had an opportunity to start or restructure an innovative idea, design the solution and build their business model.The program was organized in 4 stages:
1: Flash Pitching: (June 28th 2018)
2: Mentoring & Coaching (July 2nd – 13th 2018)
3: Final Pitching (July 18th, 2018)
4: startNOW Incubation (September 2018 > February 2019)
After 36 applications, the jury selected 12 teams to move on to 2 weeks mentoring and coaching session. After working on their business model and pitch, the startNOW’s jury selected 6 teams:: digiPOINTS, Indy, NipeMedia, OmniArtisan, Smart Water Network and 4U2Do. These projects developed services and/or products on the illustrative design, augmented reality, digital marketing, biological agriculture, sustainability and creative industry.
During the Incubation period (from September ‘18 – February ’19), the teams received a development incentive (up to 15.000€), an incubator space at Startup Madeira; a telecommunications Kit Startup (offer for 1 year of the PT Cloud service, by Altice); and specialized consultancy.
The teams had the support of 2 local consultants, that oriented and stimulated the idea development.
Two external mentors also spent 3 days with them, heading workshop about Entrepreneurship, Sales, Marketing, Lean Development and How to Pitch.
startNOW was promoted by Startup Madeira and the Vice-Presidential of the Regional Government of Madeira. With the support of Altice and

Resources needed

Cowork space for the teams.Total: 36.500€ development incentive grant: 27.133,89€;mentoring team: 2.400€;support & management team: 2.400 € coworking spaces: 2.260€ (280€ x 4 months + 380€ x 3 months) design + Image; 1231,15€;event space (phase 2 mentoring/coaching): 245,90€(2 weeks)Other costs:1000

Evidence of success

Received 36 applications; gathered around 20 participants between 21 & 45 years. 5 out of 6 the winners teams are still up and running.
NipeMedia: Over 5 paying clients; over 800k views (
DigiPOINTS: App is currently online. (
Nutricionalmente Bem: Received an unemployment financial aid (PEED)

Potential for learning or transfer

startNOW is a program that allows everyone that has one innovative business idea to explore it, considering that each team must be multidisciplinary, so the idea can be produced and executable during the program.
It was opportunity to young madeirian with talent and motivation to take a chance on their own future; while testing and developing their business idea. It allowed a progressive interaction not only with the consultants, mentors, and other participants, but also with the local enterprises and entrepreneurs, that daily worked at both Startup Madeira’s Incubators.
startNOW opens a chance to young entrepreneurs to build their own business idea, create their prototypes, having the chance to do a proof of concept, while being surrounded by specialized mentors and consultants, adds value and guidance to local community.

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Main institution
Startup Madeira
Região Autónoma da Madeira, Portugal
Start Date
June 2018
End Date


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