Startup Next

Startup Next is a pre-acceleration program for a small group of high quality, early stage startups. By pairing startup founders with mentors, the program provides valuable connections to get teams prepared to join a top accelerator, raise a seed round or just continue their entrepreneurial journey.

Next is a non-resident program where startups come in once a week for three hour sessions broken down into – workshop, pitch practice and mentor breakout sessions. In the end of the 6 sessions startups present their companies in a local Demo Day event. Each season, the top teams by city are invited to a global Demo Day usually held in NYC or SF. Startup Next is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs.


The program was founded in 2012 in the Up Global community with the help of Steve Blank who brought a strong customer development curriculum. As participant startups became more mature, founders needed more than and just educational approach so in 2014 the program evolved to a mentorship structure which has proven to be a success.

Startup Next runs twice a year in about 25 cities in North America, Europe, Asia and Latam and has helped +40 companies to raise more than 40 million dollars in funding.



Techstars  is empowering the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey by providing them with a global ecosystem of founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners wherever they choose to build their business. With startup programs (Startup Week, Weekend and Next) added to the accelerators and venture capital funds, Techstars is now covering most of startup lifecycle and helping entrepreneurs from inspiration to IPO.

As a pre-accelerator inside a global startup ecosystem such as Techstars, Startup Next is now even better positioned to deliver an even more meaningful experience during the program plus giving lifelong access to a large network of founders, mentors, investors and partners.

For the startups who want to apply to Techstars or other accelerators but struggle to demonstrate their product market fit, Startup Next increases their chances of succeeding.

However, being part of Techstars doesn’t make Startup Next exclusive for Techstars accelerators. Startup Next is growing and strengthening its partnerships with the top accelerators worldwide while also being an active strategic partner of GAN (Global Accelerator Network).

Future of Startup Next

“We will strongly increase the quality of our programs by leveraging the opportunities within Techstars while also continuing to grow and scale our global operation.

We are bringing in serial entrepreneurs and/or seed investors to lead the programs in order to provide first-hand experience to the startups while attracting the collaboration of the best mentor class within it’s community.

Additionally we are working on performing as better bridge to the recent graduate teams and providing a life-long post program support to alumni.

In 2015 Startup Next will close with 36 accelerator programs across 27 cities and in 2016 we are planning to roll out 58 programs in across 29 cities.” – Karina Costa, Global Director Startup Next

Startup Next Lisbon

Lisbon is an emerging startup hub that has been raising international attention due to its strong and dynamic ecosystem.

Startup Next will open in Lisbon this Fall lead by one of the most active venture capital investors Stephan Morais and co-lead by Karina Martins da Costa, the program’s Global Director.

Startup Next Lisbon will also be partnering with Beta-i as one of the most relevant accelerators in Europe with long time relationship with Up Global through Startup Weekend in Portugal.

“As part of our new strategy, Startup Next programs will be lead by serial entrepreneurs or investors who can provide meaningful feedback based on their own experience while also being able to attract a strong class of mentors to the program.

In Lisbon we invited Stephan due to his strong entrepreneurial experience and active track record in venture capital as executive director and board member of Caixa Capital.   

Beta-i on the other hand was not only been a long time partner of Up Global through Startup Weekend but has also tried to bring Startup Next to Portugal before.

I’m happy to see that this is the time to bring the program to Lisbon. Here, Startup Next will serve as a bridge to Techstars accelerators and the US market and therefore play a strong role in the Portuguese Startup Ecosystem.” – Karina Costa, Global Director Startup Next

The Lisbon program will have close to 25 mentors with strong entrepreneurial or investment background such as Pedro Rocha Vieira and Ricardo Marvão (Beta-i), Walter Palma (Caixa Capital), Cristina Fonseca (Talk Desk), Luís Roquette Geraldes (MLGTA), Jaime Jorge (Codacy), Miguel Amaro (Uniplaces) plus several others high caliber entrepreneurs.

Startup Next Lisbon will start on December 10th with it’s Demo Day on February 4th and will take place at Caixa Capital and Beta-i.

Applications are already open applications at

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