The Madeira Startup Retreat aims to bring together 10 startups focused on Tourism & Travel.

For 6 weeks the executive team of each startup will relocate, work and share business & knowledge experience here in Madeira Island, as well as, interact with specialized mentors in Global Tourism & Travel from NOVA SBE and the local ecosystem.

This program not only facilitates and improves company culture but also promotes relaxation opportunities. By joining us, you will be able to partake in intensive networking events, training, and workshops.

To make your retreat an unforgettable experience, a complimentary local host will also be assigned to help you truly experience and enjoy the uniqueness of the island.

Since 2018, Madeira Startup Retreat welcomed in Madeira Island 50 international startups, 25 countries, 155 entrepreneurs, 37 nationalities, 20 local-hosts and over 50 mentors.


Who is it for?

The Madeira Startup Retreat welcomes and is looking forward to selecting 10 Tourism and Travel startups. If you aim to:

>find new ideas
>look for inspiration
>boost your startup
>increase your network

then this retreat is for you! Startups that are interested in this program can apply with 2 to 4 collaborators.

Which startups can participate?

Already established Travel and Tourism startups.

In this edition, the jury will preferably select the finalists, considering those who offer:
> Sustainable and innovative solutions at the environmental, economic, and social levels, based on the principles of the circular economy.
> Better data and insights, collected and processed by solutions, that optimize existing data and insights to improve tourism management, by private agents and public entities.
> Seamless experience throughout the tourist's travel cycle.
> Territorial and seasonal dispersion of demand
> Development of digital solutions for companies, especially SMEs, in order to increase their profitability and competitiveness.
> Tools of knowledge, know-how, and economic, social, and cultural growth of/to local partners (eg hotels, local accommodation, rent-a-car, travel agencies, sporting events, wellness, and business solutions, companies/associations in the areas of sea, gastronomy, and wines,…)
> Solutions development in the areas of digital technologies (eg biometrics, blockchain, cybersecurity, fintech, reservation and payment solutions, immersive technologies, cleantech, etc.).
> Innovative solutions that place companies at the forefront of technological adoption to ensure their competitive advantage, customer loyalty and strengthening their engagement with brands, and new additional revenue streams for tourism economic agents.

What stage do we need to be at, in order to apply? Is it possible to be too far ahead or too far behind?
Even if you are already in the market and/or raised a significant amount of money we can still leverage everything you accomplished and help you.
Do we need to have a legally established company before we apply?
Yes! Your startup needs to be up and running, i.e, previously established, functioning, and scalable.  It must have an updated website/platform and social media.
Does an NDA need to be signed before our application?
No. We don’t ask for anything that could compromise your product innovations in the application process.
Who is involved @ Madeira Startup Retreat?
This educational program, which is totally tailored, is designed by one of the leading business schools in Europe - the NOVA, School of Business and Economics, Startup Madeira, and Turismo de Portugal. In order to assist participants, during the venue, local hosts will be available.
What will I be learning and doing during this retreat?

During the program you will be learning (more) about:
> Startup Team Status
> Strategy & Business Diagnosis
> Value Creation
> Brand & Communication
> Product Strategy Review
> Sales Improvement
> Business Model Review
> Growth Hacking & Digital Marketing
> Soft & Hard Skills
> Leadership for Impact
> Business Measurement
> The Art of Pitching

Participating startups will be studied and new ideas or suggestions will be applied to their companies, products, and markets. Besides the mentoring and workshops you will be attending /participating in, you will also have networking events and leisure activities at your disposal.

We want you to experience this beautiful island like a local, so as the beautiful walks along the famous water canals (Levadas) up in the mountains, diving and sea trips, hiking and mountain biking, tasting the traditional food and drinks, relaxing yoga sessions and so much more have been planned, especially for you.

What can we expect by the end of the retreat?
At the end of this retreat, you'll have the opportunity to refine your objectives, business model, improve your product/ service, and focus on strategic aspects of your startup. There'll be a Demo-Day, where you will have the opportunity to pitch to a crowd representing different local and national tourism & travel enterprises and organizations.
How we should use the grant?
Each startup receives a grant to be spent on expenses while in Madeira: 2.500€. These may include: travel expenses, accommodation, meals, etc.). By aiding you in this way, we hope to keep you 100% focused and relaxed during this 6-week-program, so that you can truly make the most of your stay in Madeira.
Do you take equity for the grant?
When do we need to be in Madeira?

From the 1st day of the event, January 15th 2024. We recommend you to arrive during the weekend before, so you can have a safe arrival and time to settle.

Can startups from outside the EU and distant locations apply?
If you're located in the EU, you can travel to Madeira without a VISA. If you're from outside the EU, you may need to get a Schengen VISA. It is relatively easy to apply for a 90-day-visa.
So, when can we apply?

The application is open from the 1st - 30th of November 2023. Read the the 6th Edition' regulation for more information here.