Going through the whole acceleration process, and getting to the market on time “has been a challenge that they have grabbed. They did it! And now they are looking forward to the next one”- That’s how Nuno Varandas –EU Project Manager of SOUL-FI– sums up his experience, meeting the entrepreneurs and managing the start-ups and their projects.

Part of the network of 16 accelerators within the FIWARE Accelerator Programme, SOUL-FI has been the one with more SMEs at its charge, being a driving force in different fields around the Smart City focus.
Intelligent mobility and parking, open government and citizen participation, connected healthcare and security, city management and urban smart grids, shopping and tourism, as well as cross-sector solutions, are different areas that belong to the Smart City vertical.

It is time to meet some of the SOUL-FI startups, the products and solutions, and their own experiences as part of the FIWARE Community and within the European network of accelerators. Launched on September 2014, last Open Calls and recent closing events are now marking the timing around the FIWARE Accelerator Programme. For more than a year now, the Programme has been playing a pivotal role in the growth of the FIWARE ecosystem.

Varandas explains the whole process from their side: how they started and how they have been supporting the SMEs through tutoring, mentoring and providing them with funding opportunities, easing both the technical and business side of their projects. And how proud they feel, seeing to what degree the passion and hard work of a team can develop a simple and innovative idea into a product ready to succeed commercially.

“Not only startups benefit from FIWARE. Personally I started a new career path” –Nuno candidly told us, expanding more recently on his personal experience– “Working with and supporting entrepreneurs and startups is my life today. It feels good when you see the first products from "our" companies entering in the market, getting further funding… growing! It has been a long but enjoyable journey for them… and for me!

This is our story, which is yours?