Maze X startup accelerator – Week 5 - MAZE - Decoding Impact

Maze X startup accelerator – Week 5

Bernardo Gonçalves, founder of MyPolis, André Figueiredo, partner of PLMJ and Maria Pignatelli, Business Developer at MyPolis

Goals: kick-off corporate pilot with MyPolis and PLMJ and three tips for a successful subscription-based business model

At MAZE, we believe that corporate pilot testing with impact startups is one of the most effective ways to push the impact revolution forward. At MAZE, we know that the movement of social and environmental change cannot afford to exist away from mainstream capital. Having the corporates on board is an essential step towards solving the most pressing social and environmental challenges.

Corporate Pilot Testing with MyPolis and PLMJ

On week 5, MyPolis met with our corporate partner, PLMJ, to kick off the pilot that will allow the corporate’s employees to submit, vote and implement impactful proposals to benefit the community around the PLMJ’s new headquarters in Lisbon. PLMJ is one of the leading law firms in Portugal and has always focused on impact by supporting non-profits, culture and the arts. Today, impact is at the core of their strategy and the investment in Maze X is one example of their commitment. MyPolis is a digital mobile and web app that brings civic engagement to the 21st century by connecting communities. Users submit and vote proposals, making their voices heard while decision-makers are provided with social listening.

This past spring, PLMJ moved its Lisbon headquarters to a new building in another parish which had a significant impact on the existing community and local businesses. The new building employs +1000 people. On average, we spend more time in the place where we work than the place where we live. And yet, our vote is circumscript to our area of residency. PLMJ sees the corporate pilot with MyPolis and the relocation as an opportunity to allow its lawyers to actively contribute to the community where they work. MyPolis understands that companies can play a significant role in increasing the civic participation of their employees and are eager to test a new approach to citizenship. ‘Maze-x showed us that companies are fertile ground for citizenship and can actually be an accelerator of impact creation on a city. PLMJ is the innovator paving the way for a future where workers are more engaged with social and environmental causes at their workplaces, with MyPolis.’ said Bernardo Gonçalves, founder of MyPolis.

On the 6-month after the acceleration period at Maze X, MyPolis will develop the platform that will allow PLMJ employees to engage with the local community following the lean service design methodology. For MyPolis, the corporate pilot with PLMJ is a great opportunity to test a new model that will effectively impact more citizens that will be empowered to take responsibility and action on the public spaces they occupy.

Insider tips for a successful subscription-based business model by Chargebee

Eric Chan is the Director of Partnerships and Growth of Chargebee, a recurring billing and subscription management product used by 10000+ customers across 53 countries. As a former co-founder and entrepreneur, Eric has been a startup founder 3x, with one failure, one exit and one still thriving. Before Chargebee, Eric worked in numerous innovation roles in the automotive and financial service sector, including Mercedes-Benz R&D and Wells Fargo.

Such as Maze X, Eric is a GAN member and reached out to us through them. On week 5, Eric visited Lisbon and stopped by Maze X to share with our founders his experience with subscription-based models and how they influence pricing strategies, market positioning and service development. It was an intimate and insightful conversation where Eric provided customised feedback to the specific ventures’ models present in the room.

A few learning lessons:

  • The value in subscription models have to be perceived by customers to be increasing with time
  • Use the concept of scarcity to obtain clients in a subscription model quickly
  • Better to increase pricing than to decrease (as long as an increased perception of value accompanies it)

If you are an entrepreneur, know that new business owners and entrepreneurs can leverage Chargebee’s plug and play solution to create a frictionless subscription experience, without writing a single line of code. Chargebee integrates with payment gateways such as Stripe, Braintree, and Paypal; and business applications such as Xero, Quickbooks, and Salesforce. Chargebee is backed by Accel Partners, Tiger Global and Insight Venture Partners.


The impact revolution will require the support of corporates and startups that are fully dedicated to developing innovative and impactful solutions. This requires managing teams that are open to bring innovation inside its organisations and nurture this impact mindset. We are thrilled to see so many people on this journey with us.


Featured photo, from left to right: Bernardo Gonçalves, founder of MyPolis, André Figueiredo, partner at PLMJ and Maria Pignatelli, Business Developer at MyPolis.

Maze X was conceived and initiated by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations and MAZE, with the law firm PLMJ joining as a founding corporate member and BNP Paribas and Casa do Impacto as partners.

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