Stéphanie Lengelé moved to Lisbon just over a year ago, following spells in Dubai, Holland and France. “I decided to let it all go, leave my job and start an adventure in business, which is something I had wanted to do for a long time, that was my dream”, says the Belgian.
Following a little research she concluded that Lisbon was the ideal city in which to launch and nurture her own start-up, not only “because of the resident community from the start-up world, but also because of the quality of life, the sun, the great food, the wine and the people, who are so friendly”.
Launching a start-up in Lisbon
Stéphanie is one of the co-founders of Miap, a mobile app for the restaurant sector, originally from France, but active in Portugal since the beginning of 2020.
“Our app is for restaurants. It allows guests to go out for a meal or a glass of wine and to sit at a table without having to wait for a waiter”, she explains, adding: “All you need is a phone to read a QR code, order and pay over your phone in no time.”
The app was launched two years ago in France and in early 2020 in Portugal. “With the pandemic it was tough at first, but then it grew very quickly”, she says, explaining that partnerships were key to development, such as the one with Chef Chakall and other “important actors in the Portuguese restaurant sector”.
Welcomed in Lisbon
Ever since she arrived, Stéphanie Lengelé has felt at home. “I was warmly welcomed, even though I didn’t speak good Portuguese”, she explains, adding that “I still don’t speak good Portuguese, but everybody speaks very good English or French”.
The community that revolves around Startup Lisboa, an incubator, is also very energetic and welcoming. “Through the Startup Lisboa community I was able to make friends very easily”, she stresses.
Besides working in Lisbon, she ended up falling for the city. “I love just walking in the streets. I find the city very beautiful and colourful, and the weather is great. We get almost 300 days of sunshine a year, so I love to go for walks and discover new places”, she says.