← Techstars Blog

Rio is one of the most famous destinations around the world – even for Brazilians. Beyond the tourism, Rio is famous for being one of the most active entrepreneurial scenes in Brazil, with consolidated acceleration programs and cool startup stories.

I had no hesitation when I was invited to attend Startup Weekend Rio as a mentor last weekend.

Mentors walking in narrow streets of downtown Rio

Startup Weekend took place in Rio’s Stock Exchange building, Bolsa do Rio. This cool venue is located downtown Rio, close to port region with narrow streets, samba groups and feijoada (#swrio meal for the weekend).

Rio Stock Exchange – #swrio venue

It’s funny to think that with Startup Weekends happening all over the world, the similar event format can still lead to many different startup stories…as those seen in Rio.

The first story comes from “pandeiro” and “portal”. Those were the two words a random group picked for the warm up/ice breaker game, half baked, that was conducted by the #swrio organizing team. The game Half baked is played by splitting the audience into smaller groups, choosing two random words and pitching those words as a startup. It can be serious or very silly.

Attendee, Daniela Vianna, was in charge of pitching for this half baked team. She did great by pitching a portal to take Rio’s street artists to an online platform where they could ask for tips and make personalized live shows. Her team liked the idea so much that they decided to pitch it again during the official pitch session where startups are chosen that will be created during the weekend.

Guess what? “Portal do Pandeiro” made it as one of the 14 final #swrio startups!


The half-baked two words

It was only Friday night and a long weekend of hard word was just beginning. Mentorships, pivots and many post-its later, “Portal do Pandeiro” became “Tip It” and was presented on stage Sunday evening. The “Tip It” team succeeded in turning hypothesis into facts!

The team did a live demo with a local artist and gained tips form her. They gathered tons of artists and performers wanting to be part of the platform. Because of all their hard work, the judges made “Tip It” the winning team of Startup Weekend Rio!

Final pitch for Tip It…

… and their team!

Startup Weekend really represented ‘Women Power’. The top 3 pitches were all made by women! In second place, roomers.co – AirBnB for office spaces. In third place, Speazy- Lulu for men.

The female vibration is something that has been missing in the startup scene. Seeing females embrace pitching and living an intense startup experience like a Startup Weekend, makes me happy about what’s to come.

Lastly, I would like to say thank you to the #swrio organizing team. They did a fabulous job gathering the brazilian startup community. They invited mentors and judges from all over the country with large experience in Startup Weekends and startups in general. This turned the event into a community gathering summit as well as a business creation workshop.

UP Global is about to open its office in Brazil and #swrio seemed to be the craziest launch party ever. 

Organizing team and mentors for #swrio in the event…

… and after the event, in party mode


Roberto Mascarenhas Braga