WalkMe is a personal story in the field of Sustainable Tourism and Business Innovation.
Everything started in 2012 with the passion of Lígia Gonçalves, Marco Batista and Pedro Gomes for hikes along the water channels of Madeira Island, one of the biggest touristic attractions due to the landscape and biodiversity of the local endemic forest (UNESCO and Natura 2000).
The team joined their passion with their technical skills in software engineering and made their first app to discover the natural wonders of the Island, by foot.
The idea emerged in the last year of their master’s degree in software engineering at the University of Madeira, in the scope of a free theme project. They worked the theory during the course and after finishing their master’s degree, they made it real and developed the app with the support of Startup Madeira.
Nowadays, the company works with national and international companies making custom apps in several fields of which we highlight a guestbook of the mountain peaks in Norway. The competitiveness of the company is now based in the creation of mobile games. They develop quiz and word games for the world, where they have already reached more than 30 million users, exporting about 95% of their products.
The globalization of their activities supports the economic growth of the company, creating new qualified jobs with 100% regional talent, proving that local talent is as good as international talent.
2012 – Logistic support from Startup Madeira in co-work environment.
2013 – Top 15 finalists of the Lisbon Big Apps (among 206 national and international applications).
2013 – Creation of the company in regime of physical incubation in Startup Madeira installations, with the support of the financial programme PEED – Support System of the Employment Institute that supports entrepreneurs to create their own business. Creation of the first digital game.
2014 – Winner of the award “Best Entrepreneur Pitch” at the EBN Congress in Lleida, Spain.
2015 – The company hired 3 more collaborators duplicating the number of employees.
2016 – WALKME MOBILE SOLUTIONS – winner of the Startup Madeira Innovation Awards, in the category of TECH, WEB & MOBILE.
2018 – WALKME MOBILE SOLUTIONS winner of the SME Star Awards, in the category of SME Star Micro-Business Award.
2018 – They hired two more collaborators, having now 5 job positions. The company also welcomes students from professional education institutions and universities to participate and develop projects through internships.
WalkMe app is the only app with all the updated information about water channels and walking trails of Madeira Island and it’s a reference for tourists and locals, holding first place in the main communication channels and a reference for sustainable tourism.
Entrepreneurship, innovation, resilience, hard work, teamwork, risk-taking, self-motivation and having passion in their work are key skills for WalkMe’s growth and success.
The bureaucracy involved in the creation of the company and application for financial support were the main difficulties encountered. Also, because WalkMe was the first regional company developing mobile apps, they had difficulties in the business model, namely the tax framework and respective bureaucracy. Nowadays, the main constraint is to keep up with the fast-technological developments.
WalkMe can serve as an inspiration to students, to prevent them becoming NEETs by creating their own business. It is an example of entrepreneurship where teamwork, self-motivation, hard work, having passion in their work and risk-taking are key factors to create job-positions. This story also proves that it is possible to create a company, based in a remote island, that provides globalized services with qualified job positions with 100% regional talent.
The financial programme PEED – Support system of the Employment Institute of Madeira, to stimulate the unemployed entrepreneurs to create their own business, is an important tool to tackle youth unemployment in the Autonomous Region of Madeira.