The Importance of Startups Ecosystems
It is recognized, even internationally, that Portugal is experiencing an exciting moment in everything related to entrepreneurship and the startup movement. The government has elected the theme as a national priority. The theme has sex appeal and the media amplifies success stories with more than 10 existing unicorns, twice as many as our neighbors.
Web Summit brought visibility to our ecosystem. So much that there is a before Web Summit and a post-Web Summit. Portugal, driven by the Web Summit, is quickly becoming a “Startup Nation” with all the necessary requirements: talent, funding, high quality education (with top universities worldwide), legislation to test advanced technologies (autonomous cars, fintech, blockchain, etc.), a national network of incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces spread all over the country. With all this, Portugal is being watched closely and as a model.
Portugal has managed to become in recent years a country that, given its relatively small size, concentrates a lot of technology-related value. In the last seven years about 10 unicorns have been born in Portugal. This sets the precedent for new success stories as more entrepreneurs successfully grow out of their businesses and further the ecosystem in creating new ventures that will change the world.
Besides these domestic “stories”, we see many foreign entrepreneurs coming to Portugal to set up their startup. My theory is that in Portugal they found an ecosystem to thrive, with several right ingredients, namely: climate, beautiful landscapes, good food, “hospitality”, innovation, business friendly environment with tax and financial incentives, and last but not the least, talent!
With the Startup Vouchers, startups legally-incorporated in Portugal, including those located outside of Portugal, will tap resources to develop their business model in the European market.