Portugal’s Startup Scene: Why it’s hot

portugal startup
portugal startup

A hotbed for tech startups

Today, when you look at the Portuguese Startup Scene you wouldn’t guess that just a few years ago, there was nothing there. The growth was meteoric. From almost nothing in 2010, today the Portuguese Startup Scene is a hotbed for tech startups and Lisbon is one of the hottest startup hubs in Europe. And the cherry on top: The WebSummit is coming to Lisbon just in a few months.

How did this happen?! As always, it was the private sector that took the lead. In 2010, we started seeing the first conferences about technology and entrepreneurship like the SWITCH Conference; TEDx events started being organized everywhere; the first Startup Weekend happened in Lisbon; and Beta-i, the leading startup organization in Portugal, was born.

Everything was still very new and you could find the same people in most events and initiatives. But then, in 2011 things started shaping up. Startup Pirates, a one-week pre-acceleration program, was born. Startup Lisboa, the incubator from Lisbon was launched and then things caught on fire. Suddenly entrepreneurship became sexy and more and more players started to join the ecosystem in 4 main cities: Braga, Porto, Coimbra and Lisboa.

Today we are in a very different place. After the initial craziness, startups, entrepreneurs and the different players became more mature. Now, startups like Uniplaces, Feedzai, Unbabel, Talkdesk, Veniam and Seedrs are leading the way. Entrepreneurs like Miguel Amaro, Cristina Fonseca, Nuno Sebastião, João Barros, Vasco Pedro and Carlos Silva are showing how it’s done and are inspiring a new breed of entrepreneurs to build companies with an international mindset. Today, international VC firms, like Index Ventures, Balderton or Accel Partners are looking at Portugal as a place where great startups can be found.

To accelerate even more the growth of the Portuguese Startup Scene, the Portuguese Government launched, a few weeks ago, Startup Portugal. The goal of this initiative is to promote and accelerate Portuguese startups but it also wants to attract international ones.

Promising startups

Attentive.us – Connects to your CRM to give you timely alerts about your prospects, so that you’ll know when they’re ready to buy.
doDOC – Streamline Pharma Documentation. Make your documents secure, collaborative and audit-ready.
Loqr – Simple to use Authentication Solution, using state-of-the-art cryptographic and supported in smartphone.
Infraspeak – Efficient software to excel at the overall process of facility and asset management.
Prodsmart – Factory real-time information system.

Interesting Events

GoYouth Conference – April 30 & May 1
ScaleUp for Europe – May 25/26/27
Lisbon Investment Summit – June 7-8
Web Summit 2016 – November 7 – 10
Porto Startup Coffee – monthly event
BREAK – monthly event

About the author

Inês Silva is currently leading the growth team at TOPDOX, a Portugal-based mobile startup. She previously cofounded Startup Pirates, a one-week pre-acceleration program for aspiring entrepreneurs with a presence in more than 20 countries around the world.