Luís Calado & Marelin

Founders Madeira Friends

Session: Madeira Friends is the answer

Meet Luis and Marelin, The Duo Behind Madeira Friends

Luis has spent over a decade at SurveyMonkey, where it’s likely you’ve encountered one of their surveys. With a background in international business and a drive that’s seen him excel across various roles—from operations to sales and internationalization strategies—Luis is a proven leader and high-achiever. But his passions don’t stop at business and tech; fitness plays a major role in his life, reflecting his dedication to personal as well as professional growth.

Marelin and Luis co-founded Madeira Friends, a vibrant non-profit aimed at enriching Madeira’s ecosystem by integrating internationals into the local community. As part of this initiative they are also the first point of contact for digital nomads in partnership with Startup Madeira, helping them find their way in Madeira’s dynamic environment.

Marelin, known for her generous spirit and deep love for Madeira, is truly a big heart in the project. Her dedication to the community is unparalleled. Luis, a social entrepreneur in the making, has been instrumental in driving the mission of Madeira Friends. Inspired by the digital nomads movement and armed with the right values and very ambitious goals, they have turned Madeira Friends into a fast-growing community. With an organic reach of 50k accounts per month on average on social media, last year alone, they organized over 270 in-person events which drew in more than 10,000 attendees—ranging from networking meets to fitness, giving-back, tech, arts and so much more.

Together, Luis and Marelin are not just living in Madeira; they are actively shaping it to be the ultimate destination to work and live. Madeira is the place to be, and with Madeira Friends, they add the cherry on top—ensuring everyone, locals and internationals alike, can all call this island their home.