Meet the Portuguese impact entrepreneurs

  November 15, 2021     15:50 -  16:00     Porto, Portugal

Portuguese Impact Entrepreneurs will showcase their projects with Casa do Impacto – Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Lisboa.

DiVERGE, represented by João Esteves

DiVERGE’s purpose is to promote social inclusion and environmental responsibility, using sneakers as an instrument of change. We empower every individual through a co-creation platform where everyone can be who they are and tell their story to the world through their customized sneakers, so they can be better understood, respected and represented. This right to dignity (and opportunity) is especially rare in underserved and underprivileged communities so we use sneakers as a lever of transformation among young people between 16-24 years old, boosting employability skills and social inclusion in the process.

We promote responsible production as we think the industry can thrive without harming the environment or exploiting workers. That is why all our sneakers are made to order – we only make what we sell, avoiding unnecessary waste and significant ecological footprints – and why our sneakers are handcrafted in Portugal in family owned workshops with a commitment to creating an ethical working culture.

How are they doing it?

DiVERGE is currently selling its sneakers in almost 60 countries leveraging its made to order supply chain, crafting unique sneakers for unique people. The educational program for young people between 16-24 years old at risk of social exclusion and poverty is rolling out successfully: each participant goes through an educational program in entrepreneurship to gain employability skills, has the opportunity to tell their story to the world by creating their own sneakers and launch a micro-business with DiVERGE to practice the new earned skills, getting all the proceeds that result from the sales.

Short bio of the founder and team

João Esteves is a manager with 20+ years of experience in senior roles of the marketing value chain across multiple industries from toys (LEGO) to beer (Super Bock Group). Co-founded DiVERGE in 2018, offering premium customisable sneakers that aim to promote social change, based on an ethical supply chain that only makes to order.

The team behind DiVERGE is equally experienced and multi disciplinary: Maria Neves leads operations, Inês Pinto de Almeida is the Design and Creative Director and Ivo Conde is the CTO. Between the four of them, the team has more than 80 years of experience in their several areas of expertise.



NEVARO, represented by Rita Maçorano

Nevaro is a university spin-off that is changing the paradigm of mental health prevention and care through a unique technology of digital biomarkers. HOLI is a digital health tool to manage mental health, namely burnout, based on gamified management and therapeutic content and on data-driven actionable insights, available everywhere and anytime in this safe space. The solution is targeted at companies, in order to manage burnout and increase productivity, and includes the employee and employers profiles.

How are they doing it?

We are entering the workplace wellbeing market, with our HOLI app, in a B2B model where large companies buy HOLI and offer it to their employees. We are also fundraising (550K€ for 1.5 years) in order to expand our team and our sales – we already have the leading investors onboard and we are looking to close the round.

Short bio of the founder and team

Francisca Canais and Rita Maçorano (COO and CEO, respectively) are the founders of Nevaro – two biomedical engineers with expertise in business development and project management, and with a strong passion for the human brain.

Our team is composed by Francisca Canais and Rita Maçorano (COO and CEO, respectively) – biomedical engineers with expertise in business development and project management, Hugo Ferreira (Clinical and Scientific Lead) – a medical doctor and neuroscientist with a strong business background and over 10 years of experience in the field of mental healthcare and digital health innovation and research, André Manso (CTO) – a data analyst with technical expertise in physiological computing, and Miguel Lopes (CPO) – a product engineer with a strong background in big data, artificial intelligence, and databases.


MAD PANDA, represented by Liliana Castro

MAD PANDA is an Animal Defence Association focused on combating animal food waste. Our circular economy process involves the use of animal feed that would go to destroy and that can still be consumed, being collected and given to animal associations that have this need. In this way, we have an environmental and social impact, reducing waste and increasing impact. In 14 months, we re-allocated 10 tons of animal feed in more than 50 associations and movements with monthly support, from North to South.

How are they doing it?

Every month we collect food from brands and retailers. These collections are processed in our warehouse in order to identify the status of the product and indicate the associations that may need these food items. The next step is to distribute this food. So far we have been able to support more than 50 animal and movement associations, with around 10 tonnes of dry food – for dogs and cats – in addition to wet food, medication, hygiene products, among others. Our process is focused on reducing animal food waste, generating environmental and social impact.

Short bio of the founder and team

Liliana Castro, co-Founder of MAD PANDA, is a communication specialist and created her own agency – FES Agency – working for 10 years with various entities – from large companies and entities to small businesses – in the development of communication campaigns and events . In recent years, she has been working more and more with international companies, taking advantage of the opportunity to learn about new cultures and concepts and applying new ideas in Portugal. She is an activist for gender equality and founded a movement in Portugal to support women in technology, the Portuguese Women in Tech community. She has been in love with animals from an early age. Liliana has always had dogs and now she has Happy and Marvel, one big and one small, with the perfect balance for lots of 4-legged fun.

Joana Moreira, co-Founder of MAD PANDA, is concerned about the problems of the world, an impact entrepreneur who has been working for 14 years in the social entrepreneurship sector. Since national and international volunteering experiences, she has crossed social districts, juvenile prisons, shelters, disability support centers and met many people who want to change the world. Clinical and Health Psychologist by FPCEUP, with PG in Marketing Management and executive training in social entrepreneurship (ISEP Portugal – Insead Social Entrepreneurship Program) is currently Operations Director at Movimento Transformers, an impact organization focused on civic and social participation, Project Manager at IES – Social Business School and mentor at Portuguese Women in Tech. She grew up among animals of all sizes and is currently in love with Bolota and Sal, her two dogs.



<Code For All_> | <Academia de Código_>, represented by João Magalhães

Code For All is the most talent-centric company in the world. We identify, train, hire and place amazing untapped Talent in the tech stacks where the skills GAP between supply and demand is larger. On our Corporate Training we create remote and in-person upskilling bootcamps for worldwide clients. We also help our clients to retain talent through innovative training models. Code For All’s consulting services focus on providing ready to market top talent and technical advisory to IT teams. We also partner with government and IT companies to build tech hubs through talent scouting and training.


ubbu, represented by Bernardo Afonso

ubbu is all about making young minds ready for the future  by turning them into logical thinkers, problem solvers and  skilful conscious citizens. All using a unique year by year  curriculum. Our platform has been meticulously designed with the help of educators to both enable and empower all teachers, with no prior experience, to kick off  your school’s innovation journey. It’s a turnkey solution that seamlessly brings  computer science into any classroom. Teaching with ubbu means transforming students from users into creators of technology. Trials by an independent entity showed students improved their  performance in other subjects, such as 17% in math and 5% in logical  reasoning.


GoParity, represented by Nuno Brito Jorge

GoParity s an impact finance platform that allows any person or company to invest with an interest in projects that contribute for the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.

Founder’s bio:

Nuno is an environmental engineer and an innovation and sustainability enthusiast.  He has worked in the European Parliament (Belgium) as an advisor for energy and environmental policy, in innovation consulting in Spain and as a project manager for large renewable energy projects in Portugal before becoming a dedicated entrepreneur. He is the CEO and co-founder of GoParity (his fourth company). He’s also a co-founder and President of Coopérnico, Portugal’s first renewable energy cooperative and a board member at ANJE (Portugal’s Young Entrepreneurs Association), RESCOOP (European Feederation of Renewable energy cooperatives and Eurocrowd (European Crowdfunding Network.”


My Polis, represented by Bernardo Branco Gonçalves

MyPolis is an app that aims to connect politicians with citizens, bringing the sphere of civic participation to the 21st century. Politicians and citizens are rewarded for their participation, in a gamification logic. Citizens vote on political proposals, expressing their wishes while politicians find MyPolis a tool for social listening and civic engagement. MyPolis believes that the policy can be simple, interesting and above all, for everyone.


The Agência Manicómio, represented by Sandro Resende

The right name is timeless, tireless,easy to say and remember, it stands for something and facilitates brand recognition, its sounds has rhythm. It looks great in the text of an emailand in a logo. A well-chosen name is and essential brand asset. The right name captures the imagination and connects with the people you want to reach and work with.

Our name… Manicómio. We are a design agency specialising in visual communication, delivering a complete client experience through a multidisciplinary approach. When we first started this project two years ago, we had to follow our instincts and take a leap of faith. That gut feeling led us to specialise in all forms of communication, which has been key to everything we have done along the way—from choosing the elements that make up each project, to the people that bring them to life.

Making these decisions takes plenty of conversation, a discerning approach, intuition and integrity. This combined with the tastes and talents of everyone involved have contributed to creating the voice of our brand. Our agency should represent something unique to each and every client. Hopefully different aspects will resonate with different people, because in the end, we want the conclusion you desire, as our client, to be entirely your own. This is based on a true story.


The Equal Food Co., represented by Alberto Mojtar

The Equal Food Co. is a digital platform digitizing the fresh produce market with a focus on second class produce. Our platform addresses food waste by making it easier for Hotels, Restaurants, and Caterers to order second class produce, manage their orders and inventory and optimize their bottom line through substantial cost savings. Farmers gain an additional revenue stream for their second category produce and we ultimately build a more sustainable and more transparent food supply chain.



Meet the speaker

Inês Sequeira

Director and Founder, “Casa do Impacto” - Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa