On Demoday, there is always a general feeling of excitement and nervousness. We’re all there to celebrate Impact Entrepreneurship and how it reinvents itself with new ideas with each passing edition. Getting caught up in the excitement of being one step closer to the change we want to see in the world is easy. And there are at least ten more changes gaining ground.

It’s not hard to imagine the tension throughout the day. The moment just before they call your name to present the most important pitch of your life (there will be more) and the one just before they announce the names that go through to the next stage when you want to hear yours are very intense.

Anticipation always filled the room, even for those who already knew the solutions to the puzzle of choosing the finalists.

And whose job was it to sort it out? As always, we brought together various personalities from the Ecosystem to ensure the rigor, transparency, and integrity of the whole process. The pertinence of each question and comment during the pitch session added much value. It helped to unblock some critical issues so that the evaluation was as authentic as possible. The panel was composed of Inês Sequeira, Founder and Director of Casa do Impacto; Rita Trabulo – Director of Innovation and Knowledge at CCA Law Firm; João Duarte – Alumni of Casa do Impacto (Impulso) and Global Shapers Lisbon Hub; Filipa Pinto Coelho – Executive President Associação VilacomVida and CEO Café Joyeux Portugal and Luís Vieira – Project Manager at Bicicultura (CicloExpresso and Sempre a Rodar) and RISE for Impact Alumni.

Behind closed doors, the judges debated who deserved to go to the final and who would end their journey in Casa do Impacto’s accelerator program focused on focused on social and health solutions. It wasn’t hard for outsiders to see that the decision wasn’t being taken lightly. The competition was fierce; anyone watching the ten pitches that day could see that. The ten teams that had worked over the last few months to get to this day kept their word and presented projects with great maturity. The growth curve was remarkable for us at Casa do Impacto, who got to know them even before we saw the faces behind them.

What was unexpected was that more than three projects emerged from the jury table. They announced four names: three finalists and an honorable mention:

  • > Nulla is a digital application that seeks to respond to the growing food waste problem by promoting food literacy and awareness. The app offers personalized support to the consumer through detailed information on the best cooking techniques, preservation methods, ideal combinations with ingredients other than the one chosen, and suggestions for recipes, workshops, and courses;
  • > TAIP presents a line of underwear for people with urinary incontinence. Through their functional but also aesthetic characteristics, the products aim to respond to the need to improve lifestyle and dignify people suffering from this condition, but also to educate society about it;
  • > UNE.IDADES offers a home-sharing service that connects seniors living alone with university students looking for affordable accommodation. This proposal ensures that both parties live in a safe environment in which they help each other with daily tasks and expenses and create deep bonds. Delaying illnesses such as dementia is also one of the benefits of the companionship they want to promote.

The Equivalence was the startup that deserved the honorable mention that guaranteed a year of Incubation at Casa do Impacto and access to everything a resident of the house is entitled to! The platform it proposes collects all the personal and professional experiences an emigrant user wants to share. It uses that information and generates an “equivalent profile” in the country where they have emigrated or are interested in relocating. The decision to award an honorable mention to a fourth project is not unprecedented but rare. In previous editions, the choice has been so complex that no one wanted to let A Hug-a-Group and Mypolis go home empty-handed. If the exception to the rule in this fifth edition (there’s always one, according to the paradox) follows the example of its predecessors, then success is guaranteed. The Equivalence isn’t a finalist, but it sure feels like one.

As for the three finalists who remain in the running, we’re very excited about what they still have to show during this program’s last phase. There are still a few months to go, and the jury will be even more ruthless and rigorous in choosing the places to fill. The task is challenging because, besides the projects’ quality, the proposed solutions focus on pertinent problems.

The podium is guaranteed, but it’s yet to be decided who will take the top spot.

P.S.: Find out more about the ten projects that made it through the Capacity Building phase and made this edition worthy. Keep an eye on them; we’ll do the same!

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