What projects do you accept?

We accept design-driven ideas and startups (less than two years of establishment). We are looking for great projects in the fields of New Products for Urban Infra-structure, Furniture, Fashion, Metal, Production Technologies, Moulds, Automotive, Aerospatiale, Cork, Ceramics, Traditional Materials and New Emerging Products.

How do you choose which companies are accepted into the program?

We will choose great founders who are working on early stage ideas that solve real problems or create a meaningful change to our current technological state. It’s all about the team and the market opportunity.

The best ways to strengthen your application are: round out your team with business, technical, and other necessary skills, make progress on your prototype or product and reference it in the application, and show us that you are passionate and that you’ve really thought about your business.

Do you accept single founders?

We are mainly looking for teams and we prioritise that; however, if you are able to show that you can take your startup to the next level on your own and find co-founders in the process, then we’re happy to consider you.

We already have funding. Can we still apply?

If you have angel, seed or first round funding, then yes! If you already went beyond this, Porto Design Accelerator might not be the best place for you.

Do you accept applications from the whole world?

Yes. Global startups from all around the world are welcome to apply.

Do you accept teams who have been through an accelerator program before?

Yes, we do. Recently many startups decide to go through more than just one accelerator since different accelerators work with startups in different phases. As long as you feel that our programme is what you need – go for it!

Will I have to be in Porto for the whole duration of the acceleration programme?

Yes. At least part of the team is required to be present and work in Porto during the programme. Short occasional trips outside Portugal are fine.

Can I do just one stage of the acceleration program?

No, you can’t. We are looking for projects that wish to go all the way. Of course, 2nd stage is much more connected to the world, so that might mean more traveling and less office hours. But our two-step model is one single program, so you have to take it all.

Do I need a prototype to apply?

No. However, there is a better chance to get selected if you have some (even little) traction and/or prototype.

When and how do I know if my application was selected?

We take in and consider all applications. Selecting the final teams will take us 2 weeks from application deadline closing.

Do you offer accommodation?

No, but we help you with finding a place.

Do we have to open a company in Portugal?

Yes. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep your currently registered company in your country. We will help you with registration and legal settlements.

Am I expected to work in the office all the time?

We are not your babysitters, so it’s you run your time. Sessions, meetings and workshops organised under the Tailor-Made Education program are mandatory.

How much equity do you take?

None. And we also don’t invest. We support, train, inspire and connect. You do the magic.

Will my intellectual property be safe with you?

Yes. We also have mentors specialised in IP protection to help you.

What about free or discounted perks?

You can get various perks, from software to prototyping hours. However, we will tell you about it after you are selected. That should not be your main motivation.

Do you help with legal advice?

We provide you basic legal docs, such as NDA, employment contract, convertible note agreement, sample term-sheet. We also connect you with lawyers. We partner with PRA, a great law firm with offices in Porto and Lisbon.