The Big Bang. Portugal’s miraculous tech boom. Everyone is talking about it. In Lisbon, you can feel the excitement in the air from LX Factory to Beato. Tech is so hot right now that we’ll soon be able to crypto-rent a surfboard on Caparica.
“The California of Europe”. Wait, what?
Lisbon has been granted a honorary title as “The California of Europe”. Let’s face it, there isn’t much competition. Sun, surf, ocean waves. No wonder there is a franco-german invasion taking place. They are all craving for Vitamin D and pastéis de nata.
The buzzing landscape of new infrastructure and property investments is also adding weight to the equation. Builders on both sides of the Tejo river are redefining the look and feel of the city. At the same time rents and cost of living stay affordable.
Plenty of exciting new tech projects are now in the pipeline such as The Hub Creative do Beato — a 35,000-square-meter record-breaking incubator about to open doors in Lisbon. The former food factory is going to be transformed in a huge startup campus, competing with Station F in Paris.
Volkswagen and Google are also making some big moves on the market. Volkswagen is about to set up a software development center in Lisbon, which will employ 300 software engineers. Tech giant Google will open a new support center for Europe, Middle East and Africa in Oeiras on the outskirts of Lisbon, which would create 500 tech jobs for highly-skilled workers.
Aside from foreign investment they are plenty of hot local startups, which are kicking it such as Attentive, Fenzai, Landing.jobs, Uniplaces, Outsystems, Feedzai, Unbabel, Codacy, James, DefinedCrowd. The list can go on and on 🙂The main investors in town at the moment are Caixa Capital, Faber Ventures and Portugal Ventures, while the top incubators and accelerators are Beta-I’s Lisbon Challenge, Startup Lisboa and Fábrica de Startups.
Lisbon is emerging as a fresh European tech ecosystem, with Berlin-levels of living costs but with Southern European weather and culinary excellence. But Lisbon isn’t the only Portuguese jewel. The tech scene in Porto and Braga is also growing.
Porto is currently hosting a number of promising startups including Farfetch, Blip, Mindera, Euronext, AdClick, Byside, Yieldify. It’s also home to several incubators and accelerators amongst Porto Design Factory, Founders Founders, Escola de Startups, Beta Sound System and Porto Design Accelerator. Startup Braga is currently hosting 13 international startups, based in several European countries, such as the United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain.
How did this happen?
Web Summit’s move from Dublin to Lisbon in 2015 was definitely a game-changer and a clear signal that Portugal is the next hot tech hub. More than 70K attendees from 170+ countries are expected to arrive in town this year.
The first conferences around technology in Lisbon actually started way back in 2010. Events such as Startup Weekend, Explorers Festival and TedX started happening and Beta-I, the leading startup entity in Portugal was born.
Then in 2011, Startup Pirates and Startup Lisboa were launched, alongside with Startup Braga, an incubator and accelerator with a focus on medtech and nanotech startups.
In 2016, Portugal launched Startup Portugal — a public strategy to boost the development of the Portuguese entrepreneurial ecosystem and attract foreign entrepreneurs.
Another key factor in making the Portuguese tech ecosystem boom is of course the talent. Portugal has competitive talent from top management, technical and design universities. English is widely spoken; a lot of graduates also speak French and Spanish. Coding bootcamps such as Academia de Código and Le Wagon are also popping and killing it.
Tech companies find themselves unable to resist the highly qualified tech talent, the favorable business climate, funding opportunities, low rents and tax base.
Where are you in the big picture?
Well, that is up to you to decide. All we can show you is the magnificent landscape you are surrounded with. You’ve got everything it takes to rock’n’roll and D-Day is approaching.