André Jordão, Barkyn’s executive director, is the winner of the João Vasconcelos Prize edition, which aims to distinguish the Portuguese entrepreneur who most distinguished himself in the last year. The € 10,000 prize, which is organized by Startup Lisboa, was awarded during an event that took place this Friday night in Lisbon.
Barkyn has been gaining customers with the development of personalized food and telemedicine tools for pets. Today, the startup has already secured seven million euros of investment and has 52,000 customers in Portugal, Spain and Italy.
André Jordão, who, by the way, was the first finalist to take the stage to publicize the business he created, started by recalling his debut in the business world when he was just seven years old and the sale of silkworms and, more afternoon, of yo-yos.
As an adult he created Foodzai, for the sale of food made by chefs, which only lasted a year. “A hard story, but one of great learning,” he says. Failure did not have time to gain dimension. André left shortly thereafter for Germany to found Wunder, a platform competing with Uber, which in the meantime expanded to Asia, hitching a 70 million euro investment.
Despite the success of Wunder, André Jordão returned to Portugal to create Barkyn, which started in a garage but serves customers scattered across Portugal, Spain and Italy. The deal works by subscription, “with great convenience and (an unbeatable) price-quality ratio”, said the young businessman, without revealing the invoicing.
In addition to being selected for Google’s acceleration programs and having been named on promising startups lists by Wired magazine, Barkyn has already participated in the Web Summit innovation competition. André Jordão prefers to position the startup beyond the animal feed segment – to describe it as an e-commerce company.
“What is happening today in electronic commerce is the amazonification of experience. Electronic commerce is only imposing speed and only transports products from one place to another ”, recalled André Jordão, in an allusion to the Internet commerce giant that goes by the name Amazon.
“We want to transform the e-commerce experience into something much more human, personalized – starting with pets”, underlines the businessman.
In addition to a strategy with multiple channels, personalization and human service for more specialized issues, Barkyn intends to stand out for its innovation. The startup is currently developing an electronic food dispenser that can be controlled remotely by the pet owner through a mobile phone application.
The winner was chosen by a jury composed of entrepreneurship and technology specialists, out of a total of 10 finalists. The finalists list include André Jordão, from Barkyn; António Trincão, from YouCanEvent; Fabiana Clemente and Gonçalo Ribeiro da Ydata; Hélder Silva, from Newton Labs; Hugo Venâncio, from Reatia; Marcelo Lebre, from Remote; Nuno Brito Jorge, from GoParity; Nuno Fonseca, from SoundParticles; Ricardo Costa, from Loqr; Sebastião Queiroz e Mello, from The Code Venture.
Finalists were chosen for their commercial performance and leadership skills, but also for managing statups with innovative and scalable business models.
The João Vasconcelos award was created in honor of the unsuccessful founder of the incubator Startup Lisboa and former Secretary of State for Industry – who, despite his premature death, is appointed as one of the mentors of the new wave of entrepreneurship that paved the way for several national startups.
In the 2019 edition, the award was given to Daniela Braga, leader and founder of DefinedCrowd.
At the opening of the event, Miguel Fontes, executive director of Startup Lisboa, recalled that the 2020 edition is distinguished for expanding the award to entrepreneurs from all over the country, abandoning the previous year’s model, which restricted the final choice to entrepreneurs based in Lisbon.
Miguel Fontes also recalled that the João Vasconcelos Award does not reward the career but the business performance of the last year. Which means that a winner of one year may in the following year no longer be on the list of the most promising businesses, but it does not prevent “an entrepreneur from winning the prize again in future editions”.
Source: Expresso by expresso.pt.
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