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Xhockware – youbeep: Learning the Startup Culture and Challenges in the U.S. Market

Xhockware – youbeep
Learning the Startup Culture and Challenges in the U.S. Market
“The first four weeks of engagement within the 2014 edition of inRes, through the CMU Portugal Program, have provided the right tools to put us on the same page as American entrepreneurs in crucial areas, such as investment, credibility, innovative culture, and English terminologies which are really important when talking about our businesses.” This is how João Paulo Rodrigues and David Sobrinho, from the Xhockware – youbeep team, describe the immersion period.

2014 inRes Immersion in the US shockware october
[l-r] João Paulo Rodrigues and David Sobrinho at the Carnegie Mellon University campus.
CMU Portugal Program: How would you comment on the last three weeks?

João Paulo Rodrigues and David Sobrinho [JPR and DS]: After three intensive weeks of workshops, events and meetings at CMU and around Pittsburgh, we began understanding more deeply the startup culture and the challenges of the U.S. market. Every Monday we have a workshop with a different person from the Pittsburgh area who shares his or her experience in startups, and highlights the main causes for their success and the biggest challenges they have faced. These lessons are important for us to understand how each person thinks and acts at each business phase, depending on the product, industry or role in the company. In particular we highlight the Monday workshop we had with Babs Carryer, an Angel investor. During this workshop we had the chance to learn more about the different types of investors in the U.S., and also to do our pitch, and get her feedback on our company.

CMU Portugal Program: What have been your main challenges and achievements so far?
JPR and DS: The two biggest challenges have to do with contacting people with decision power in our industry, and managing our time between the program, and the work we need to do in Portugal. In terms of achievements, we are happy with the valuable market information we are collecting, and the important feedback from people from different areas of expertise, regarding our overall strategy.

CMU Portugal Program: We know that you have also been participating in some cultural and social events in Pittsburgh, including visits to the Steelers stadium, the Andy Warhol Museum and the Fallingwaters. What do you have to say about these moments?

JPR and DS: We believe that when attending a program like inRes, offered by the CMU Portugal Program, it is important to balance the work during the week and pleasure during the weekend. This makes even more sense when we have the chance to stay long enough in an area where it is possible to visit cultural places that are known worldwide like the Andy Warhol Museum and the Fallingwaters. The Andy Warhol Museum allowed us to get to know the history of the most famous pop art artist and see some unique pieces. During the trip to the Fallingwaters we got to know the rural areas and the beautiful nature surrounding the city. We were really impressed with the beauty of the region and the architecture of the houses, so we recommend it to anyone visiting the city.

CMU Portugal Program: Have you been invited to participate in other events, different from the ones that were scheduled at the beginning of the immersion period?

JPR and DS: We were invited to the Tech 50 Awards, an amazing event attended by over 700 people from the Pennsylvania area working in technology. There, we had the opportunity to talk with interesting people and schedule some meetings. We were also present in a networking event organized by a consultancy firm, where we contacted with a lot of well-connected people and entrepreneurs in the region.

October, 2014


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inRes, short for “in Residence,” is a very early stage acceleration program for entrepreneurial teams working in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in Portugal, offered by the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program.