Find and engage great mentors by David Cohen
I usually talk about how finding good mentors is hard, specially in a place without a big startup background. We’re already have some important companies created in Coimbra, but I haven’t seen their founders giving back to the community and making a difference. Probably, is still too soon for that, but it’s an important step on building a startup ecossystem.
I helped organize a weekend workathon called Improve Coimbra. The goal was to come up with concrete solutions for some of the city problems in just two days.
You can see here the results: Improve Coimbra #1 (in Portuguese).
I teamed up with Tiago Serra to build UrbanFlow, a simple Android app and server to spot the city buses position. The goal is to crowdsource the data gathering, release more accurate timetables and distribute the data openly. If you live in Coimbra, give us an hand ;)
Me and couple of friends are bringing the Beta Talks to Coimbra. They’re informal conversations with two guests and a moderator, happening on the 16th of each month, on several cities across the country. Each time, we’ll pair someone who started their own company with an investor.
The first one is already this Tuesday. Know more about it and join us
Before, in Portugal, everybody complained no one wanted to startup their own company. Now everybody complains entrepreneurship is being oversold.
I agree that there are people taking advantage of the recent wave to make a quick buck. But that happens all the time with any sort of hype. And everywhere, not just in Portugal.
I do believe that in order to have a couple of great startups, we will need to have a lot of startups. And the same goes for mentors, investors incubators, accelerator programs…
What I do notice is a subtle but important difference. I regularly speak with graduate students about my experience of starting Bundlr. Before, they wouldn’t even consider opening a company as a possibility after finishing their degree. It would just be research or working for a bigger company.
Now, they consider turning an idea into a company a possible career path. They’re not all running to start their own companies, like some overstate. Just a small percentage, but bigger than before.
So, the next time you feel like bashing another entrepreneurship event, try helping the ones you believe are doing a good job at helping improve the ecosystem. Help them rise above the noise. I know I will.
If you follow this blog, you probably know that I organize a monthly meetup for the Coimbra Startup Scene. It’s been almost two years since I started doing it (since February 2010) and I finally made a website for it:
We’re also going to try out a new format that will include:
The next meetup is already on January 4th, at Connect Coimbra. Fred Oliveira will discuss the intersection between code and design together with Paulo Pereira, Levi Figueira and everyone else who shows up. Join us
For this year’s Codebits, I decided to do a solo project I had on my shelf for a while: a simple app to share the books I’m reading, and find out what everyone else is reading. It was the first time in 5 years I ended up with something publicly launched and working properly \o/
I know there are a lot of website around books. A lot of people told me about Goodreads. But I wanted to create something minimal: a stream of books that a person read. Take a look at my profile: http://reading.io/sdsantos
I used Twitter’s social graph to save everyone the trouble of yet again follow/friend people. And Twitter is where I’m already following the people I find interesting.
Go on, give it a try ;)
A curated list of the web and mobile startup scene, working on end-user products, in Coimbra.
The result of a summer coding sprint of the Bundlr team: Matching Bags & Shoes