Nuno Loureiro and Pedro Agostinho both left their careers in consulting and joined Lisbon’s winter cohort with the ambition to start putting their entrepreneurial ideas into motion. They were tired of depending on programmers to build prototypes. They wanted to take control. Six months and four projects later, they’re investing all their efforts into launching the application Pedro built “for fun” for Le Wagon’s Demo Day. He never imagined it would be the app that everyone would be asking for.
Le Wagon: Ok, before we get into the interesting bits, let’s start from the beginning… What were you doing before you got the crazy idea to quit everything and join Le Wagon?
Nuno Loureiro: I have always had the dream of launching my own company and building my own products, which is why I studied Management and Business Strategy at university. After graduating, I worked for Santander as a product manager for banking cards. Wanting a wider range of experiences, I went to consulting - three years with PwC then another two years with BearingPoint - the entire time focused mainly on financial services. Long-term, I understood that I was drifting away from my initial professional goals and, by this point, Le Wagon had been popping up on my newsfeed for a few years already. I decided it was time I learned how to build my own MVP and I felt Le Wagon was the best option. I just never imagined the outcome to be as good as it was.
Pedro Agostinho: Actually my story is very similar to Nuno’s since we worked together at both PwC and BearingPoint. The main difference being I studied Management and Industrial Engineering and did a two-year degree in London in International Business and Finance. Throughout my consulting career, I was also full of ideas and kept on hitting roadblocks when working with developers on my early-stage ventures. So my key driver in doing Le Wagon wasn’t to actually learn how to code, but to really be autonomous in building prototypes which is exactly what I am able to do now and it’s awesome.
I decided it was time I learned how to build my own MVP and I felt Le Wagon was the best option. I just never imagined the outcome to be as good as it was.
Le Wagon: Was the bootcamp what you expected?
Nuno: I am not going to lie, I was skeptical when I saw the Demo Day videos on YouTube. I thought, “Is this for real or are they just dummy apps with a cool looking front-end?”. I didn’t believe it was possible to gain the skills to build an end-to-end working prototype to the extent that was being demonstrated. Then I did Le Wagon and my best expectations were not only matched in terms of technical learning but also exceeded in terms of the social experience, collaborative mindset and teaching quality. I had very good teachers at university but they were often too theoretical. And even in professional practical training, the teaching quality was often not that high. The teaching team at Le Wagon was the best I have ever had.
Pedro: My expectations were also exceeded in every aspect. I never imagined that we would be able to build the platform we are working on directly after the bootcamp. Namely given the degree of complexity that the FootInvest app already has in its algorithms.
My expectations were also exceeded in every aspect. I never imagined that we would be able to build the platform we are working on directly after the bootcamp. Namely given the degree of complexity that the FootInvest app already has in its algorithms
Le Wagon: Speaking of product, do tell us what you have been up to since finishing Le Wagon in March.
Pedro: So we left Le Wagon not really sure what we wanted to build, we just knew we wanted to put in practice what we’ve just learned. Between the two of us, we probably had 50 product ideas to explore. For practice, I started building a closet organization app and Nuno worked on a social network polling system.
Nuno: In the end, we built the app Pedro actually developed during Le Wagon’s group project weeks. FootInvest was pitched at Le Wagon as an engaging and interesting concept to build as it was related to football, finance and had a gamification aspect. Nevertheless, the regulatory barriers are significant so I don’t think Pedro ever really thought of it as taking off in the short-run.
Yeah, I didn’t think of FootInvest as a project we would continue right after Le Wagon, but then we showcased the app during Demo Day and people started watching the YouTube video and reaching out to see when we were launching the app (see FootInvest's demo at Le Wagon here
). It was hard to ignore. Plus, I also saw the potential and thought the idea was really fun, so with the external interest we started to take it more seriously and decided to study more about the topic and build an initial prototype.
I didn’t think of FootInvest as a project we would continue right after Le Wagon, but then we showcased the app during Demo Day and people started watching the YouTube video and reaching out to see when we were launching the app.
Le Wagon: So what exactly is FootInvest?
Pedro: We saw an opportunity with sports lovers wanting to capitalize on their knowledge and at the same time not being served with investment products that they could understand. To answer that demand, FootInvest intends to democratize investment in sports assets, mainly athlete-based, while fostering increased transparency and continuous fan engagement.
Nuno: Being passionate about sports but definitely not a fan of the high risk and low commitment of betting, I have been searching for a while for alternative investment and crowdfunding solutions where I am able to monetize my football know-how. Even though football intermediaries, investment funds and other companies are already able to do so privately, I still haven’t found an open solution, thus deciding to create one for regular investors like us.
Le Wagon: Where are you at with the FootInvest?
There’s a lot of red tape when it comes to reaching our final target product but our goal is to evolve from an investment game to an actual crowdfunding and crowdinvesting platform where users are able to buy and trade football players’ “shares” representing a real potential profit, for instance through financial interests or a percentage of a future transfer fee.
Nuno: On the product side, we started rebuilding from scratch. We are now finishing our beta version as an investment game with virtual currency, where users buy and trade football players’ “shares" with each other, play fantasy leagues and receive rewards based on the player’s sports performance.
Pedro: At the same time, we are currently in promising talks with regulators, football agents, and clubs to design a viable roadmap. There’s a lot of red tape when it comes to reaching our final target product but our goal is to evolve from an investment game to an actual crowdfunding and crowdinvesting platform where users are able to buy and trade football players’ “shares” representing a real potential profit, for instance through financial interests or a percentage of a future transfer fee.
Le Wagon: What’s next?
Nuno: While we wrap-up our target product’s roadmap and raise investment, we are launching the beta version in November. The goal of this version is to stress our platform in a controlled environment where no money is at stake for our beta-users, whilst collecting quantitative and qualitative feedback about their experience and preferences for the target product.
For anyone interested, they can sign up to participate in our beta launch here
. If you have any questions or would like to collaborate, you can also contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, we will be in touch with next steps and would love to have your support in our mission of making sports investing available to everyone.