The Founders

Bernardo d’Eça Leal

Leaves the Salesianos School in Estoril to St. Clare´s International School, Oxford, where he finishes the International Baccalaureate and continues his studies in Management Sciences at Warwick Business School (UK) and Finance at ISCTE/INDEG (POR). His work experience is defined by passages by different leisure and hospitality industries – Tivoli Hostels & Resorts, Holmes Place, José Maria da Fonseca Wines (INOV Contacto – Stockholm), Costaterra (Grupo Queiroz Pereira). The turning point as an entrepreneur happens when he co-funds a Boutique Guesthouse in the Sintra region, which in 2010 was nominated as one of the best new private tourism ventures in Portugal. At the end of 2010 he goes on to co-fund a new company of creative hospitality, The Independente Collective, since then, he has focused in developing a network of out-of-the-box hospitality concepts such as Luxury Hostels and Guesthouses, Boutique Hotels and also successful restaurants and bars. The Group currently has hotels under development in Lisbon, Porto, Comporta, Tavira and Évora. In the last five years he has also focused on developing co-living, student-living and unique residential projects in Lisbon and Porto.

Duarte d’Eça Leal

Duarte lived for a decade in the United Kingdom spending his time both in academic and professional development. He completed his studies at St. Clare’s International College in Oxford and then at CASS Business School – City University London – where he graduated with a Masters in European Business. He would then go on to take his first steps in Real Estate with one of the UK’s largest Real Estate Consultants and Agents.

Duarte returned to Portugal in 2009 to embark on an entrepreneurial journey. Together with his three brothers he focused on developing a small network of out-of-the-box hospitality operations under the brand of The Independente Collective. The group includes hotels, hostels and guesthouses as well as innovative and successful restaurants and bars. The group currently has four hotels under development in Lisbon, Comporta, Tavira and Évora and is expected to turnover 10ME in sales by 2020 – growing to 15ME by 2022.

In 2016 he became a co-founder of REBEL which is currently developing a 160 bedroom Hotel with Co-Living and Co-Work facilities which represents an 18ME investment raised through local investors. The property is due to open in May 2022.

Simultaneously to a career in Hospitality and Real Estate, Duarte has focused on supporting the local startup ecosystem through mentorships at Startup Lisboa, Startup Pirates and Start-to-Table, as well as being a juror for Portugal Ventures (a Government-sponsored VC).