Enabling corporates and startups to innovate together


From September 2015 to April 2016 I worked with Beta-i, the leading organisation for entrepreneurship and innovation in Portugal, managing a corporate acceleration programme called Protechting for Portugal’s largest insurance company, Fidelidade, and their Chinese parent company, Fosun. The acceleration programme focussed on developing innovative solutions for the insurance sector around 4 strategic challenges:

  1. Protection / Prevention of life
  2. Customer service
  3. Health
  4. Savings

As Programme Director, I was responsible for the end to end delivery of the programme: this included the startup recruitment and selection process, curriculum design, scouting of mentors and jury panellists, client management and, of course, the collaboration between the startups and the business units and companies within the corporate group. I was also the “Startup Champion”, i.e. the go-to person for the 15 startups, their mentor and instructor.

Programme outcomes:

  • At the time of writing, 8 out of 15 projects are either being run as pilot/field test or are in advanced partnership conversations post programme delivery
  • Fidelidade and Fosun committed to a 2nd edition of the Protechting programme for 2016/2017

Program specifics:

Protechting was an intense 9-week programme, delivered in 2 phases:

Phase 1: 1-week Bootcamp for 25 teams focussed on defining the business opportunity for both the startups and the Fidelidade/Fosun businesses
Phase 2: 8-week acceleration for the best 15 teams, including:

  • Training in entrepreneurship and insurance business
  • Mentoring
  • Business modelling
  • Experiment design
  • Pitch preparation
  • Pitch day
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