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Indico Founders Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of companies should apply to the founders program?
Companies developing Tech or Ocean Sustainability based products and businesses, with a huge potential in new or existing markets, particularly given the current market environment. The companies can be in the pre-seed stage, which includes startups that are assessing its feasibility concept, developing initial business concepts, testing product-market fit or a potential product/business pivoting or already established and operating as an SME (Small Medium Enterprise). The companies applying should be legally based in Portugal.
How long is the program?
The Indico Founders Program will have a duration of up to 12 months. Yet, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic situation part of the program has been online. In any case we expect participants to be resident at our offices when safe. If not possible, and while not possible, the program will be virtual. We want to be close to the companies and have plenty of time to dedicate to a small number of companies that participate. The closer you are the more you benefit.
Do you invest in the companies that go through the Pre-Seed Program?
Yes! We invest in all companies that take part in the Indico Founders Program. The investment can be realized through a SAFE (simple agreement for future equity), an equity round or other forms of investment to be decided on a deal by deal case. After an initial pre-seed investment, we have the capacity to keep investing in our portfolio companies, up to €5M per company. As pre-seed investors we won’t have any special controlling rights. You will be largely responsible for your own company, as it should be. Yet, the participation in the program will imply the acceptance of a standard term-sheet with the conditions and terms of the investment to be realized by Indico Capital - to be decided on a deal by deal basis. You will for sure work very close to us and have dedicated space in our office so we can be close and assist. In our experience, teams that work from our office, have much higher probably of raising more capital (with us and others) and of hitting business and product milestones and metrics.
I need more capital! This sounds too little for my stage, why would I join the program?
Getting into the program is just the beginning! Companies participating in the program often quickly raise capital the following weeks or months because they have our investment and are participants in our founders program. Additionally, Indico can invest in rounds up to 5M Euros per company so its up to the company to perform (with our close support) and reach the necessary stage that allows it to unlock investment from Indico and our local and global investment partners. We are almost always the first capital in and have a catalytic effect.
What are the benefits of participating in the Indico Founders Program?

The startups participating in the founders Program will have access to the best of Indico and its partners - to help them to build great products and businesses. The program, amongst other features, will include:

  • - Working daily with the Indico Partners, who have founded or backed most of the successful tech companies and unicorns originating from Portugal during the last decade.
  • - Mentorship: access to a wide network of senior global mentors, from the Indico networks, with different areas of expertise;
  • - Incubation: up to 12 months at Indico’s offices in Lisbon (COVID-19 permitting);
  • - Resources and partnerships: access to Indico´s corporate partners, training and experts, among others;

- Investment: terms and conditions to be determined on a case by case;

What is the program structure?
Teams will work on their companies and will have access to continuous Indico Partners´ support in terms of strategy, product roadmap, sales and marketing development and fundraising support. There are multiple workshops from global and local partners and entrepreneur talks with founders at different stages of company development - both local and international founders. Access to worldwide experts in topics such as customer validation, technical foundation, hiring, marketing, funding, among others, are also part of the rich program structure. We will host a demo day event at the end of the program and other regular events.
When should I apply?
Typically the Indico Founders Program starts in July, but we process applications on an ongoing basis based on the team's availability and we have had companies joining from January to October. We encourage companies to apply if and when they are ready. We have limited slots for the program so the earlier you apply the better!
When should I expect to hear from you after applying? How does the interview and selection process look like?
After we review your application, and should you pass our initial screening committee, we will invite you to do a quick screening call as a first step. This will happen no later than 4 weeks after the submission of the application.
Is there a cost to participate in the program?
There will be a charge of €20,000 (plus VAT) participation fee at the beginning of the program (invoiced after our investment so you don´t have to pay out of pocket). Program fees help to cover the basic costs of running the program including office space, support staff and are standard in all major global accelerators/incubators.
What type of companies does Indico invest in?
Indico is often the first investor in startups, and almost always leads or co-leads any fundraising rounds until Series A. Indico’s focus is to support the best tech and ocean / sustainability companies going from local to global. We look for potentially unique global winners with amazing products, solving a big problem and a clear business model. We have a geographic focus on Portugal and Spain, so we invest almost entirely in companies based in these two countries. You can find our current portfolio of pre-seed to series D companies here. All these companies have been co-invested by other major global VCs, sovereign wealth funds, major corporates, hedge funds, business angels and high net worth individuals from all over the world. If you become a portfolio company by participating in our founders program, you will be in fine company and will meet many of our top founders, many of which could be your mentors. Indico´s portfolio has raised over 1.1 Billion Euros over the last years - the next member of the Indico family could be you!