Lisbon Challenge – The (almost) End.

It’s crazy to think that it’s over, but most of it is and it’s only 10 teams left.

I just browsed through a few photos on my iPhone and still try to understand the impact the past 10 weeks had. On others, on the company I work for, on myself.

And yes, it has been a challenge.
I was surrounded by the kind of entrepreneurs you can only wish for.
The startups attending Lisbon Challenge came from 74 different countries and the ideas started with urban farming, over a recommendation comment system, to a closet app, to new ways of finding the perfect employee or designing your own furniture. And not to forget the Event Apps (Eventyard and Eventya).

Some were bootstrapping, other just made it into seedcamp, some were talking to investors, my team got funding, others got an interview at the Y Combinator in San Francisco next week.

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 07.14.10

That makes it on the one hand really difficult to compare and to figure out who is having what kind of impact and development, but as an attendant, that made the crowd really interesting.

Not only did we sit together every day, discussing problems, solutions, ideas, or simply plans for the evening, we also saw how smaller or bigger steps were made: launching an app, opening a website for beta, renaming a company, redoing a logo,…

Also, of course, the mentors and the workshops did their part. It was super interesting to hear some other people’s story – about success and failure.Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 07.14.38

Though it was a competition and it got tricky when a lot of people were looking for a slot at one monitor, I want to thank the teams who realized it was a challenge for one personally and not a challenge between the groups. Except for one time, where two teams got nasty to each other, I never had the feeling people were elbowing around, trying to hurt each other or go for their own advantage only.

Even when it came to the pitches, people honestly helped each other to improve their slides and presentations.

And I will miss that. A strong group, with everybody believing in his product to be the best, but therefore talking to others about it and to get feedback to keep improving. During the day.

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 07.16.38And during the night, while some teams had to be work because their home based company just woke up, others did what likeminded people often do: Hang out, party together, movie nights, what not.

A special thanks should go out to “The French Guys”, who opened their home to everyone on a weekendly basis and welcomed each and everyone with open arms. Their apartment “The Petit Paris” – as we called it – was like a group room or so. Thanks guys! For putting up with us, with confetti and the empty bottles we left, with all the chaos and us showing up at pretty much any given time! IMG_1200

Thank you so much to all the people around me, you know who I mean, but also to the Team behind Lisbon Challenge. From all the great people you got us to meet, to the trips we made, to all the organizational stuff, that we never saw – it’s been great! And even though there are complains in the end about unfairness or what not, it is clear that everyone did by heart what they thought was best for the teams.

I admire each and everyone from the program, because you taught me different things. Especially not to give up. I hated these “Believe in your dream bla bla bla” talks and was sure that a business idea needs to make perfect sense in the very first minute, but what I saw was a bunch of highly motivated “I won’t give up! My products rock, YOU just don’t get it!” people who I hope to be like at some point of my life too.

Especially those in their early twenties, having the courage and the power to do so, while others spend years and years and years studying to get the corporate jobs parents will be proud of: You guys rock!

Thank you Lisbon, each of your 7 hills is worth walking up and down, thank you to all the people who make my life so wonderful and keep being such an inspiration to me, and thank you Lisbon Challenge Team for giving me the chance, and as said, for everything you did for us!

Hands up for the Hashtag Group (Inside Joke, sorry)!

And as part of the Lisbon Challenge Top Ten: New York next!

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