"Portugal really fits with the brand of Web Summit. It’s a startup nation, in my view. Hopefully in 50 years’ time we’ll still be in Portugal." - Paddy Cosgrave
Yesterday marked the beginning of the Web Summit in Lisbon, a 4 day annual conference that is the largest tech event in the world, and which Forbes has named as “the best technology conference on the planet”. The official count for this year is over 70.000 attendees, with over a thousand speakers, many of who will be from some of the most influential companies worldwide, such as Google, Amazon, Airbnb, Microsoft, Uber and Samsung.
The event provides a great platform for many founders and start-ups to display and talk about their mission and goals, in hopes of attaining funds and contacts, as there are a great number of established venture capital firms and private equity investors attending the event.
The founder and CEO of Web Summit, Paddy Cosgrave, chose to host this huge yearly event in Lisbon, despite receiving large sums of money from other cities in Europe, because he believes that the country “really fits in with the brand of Web Summit. It’s a startup nation.”
Not only is Portugal a big attraction for tourists, but Lisbon is also looking to gather talent and events for the world. Hence, the summit has been hosted in Lisbon since 2016, and every year there is an increasing number of Portuguese startups that are selected to take part in it, and receive further recognition and investment. This is emblematic of the growing startup culture in the major metropolitan cities like Lisbon and Porto. Lisbon, in particular also attracts many entrepreneurs that may have funded companies in other countries, but look to expand further into Portugal because:
there is a higher value-for-money for developments in Lisbon than other major cities;
there are an increasing number of native engineers available, along with other key jobs, but also foreign workers have decided to emigrate to Portugal;
office and house prices are cheaper compared to other European cities - see the price per square meter in Portugal here;
there is an increasing number of state-of-the-art facilities for shared office space developments and governmental agencies aim to aid companies based in Portugal;
English is widely spoken by natives, highly qualified workers as well valuable emigrants.
A couple of the Portuguese initiatives that are aiming to increase the ease in which startups develop in Portugal, in tandem with the Web Summit, are Startup Portugal and Startup Lisbon. But beyond startups, there are also well-known and influential companies that have chosen to invest, and create offices in Portugal, such as Google, BP, Nike, PepsiCo, LG and Samsung.
There have been a number of large business and innovation parks that have been developed in recent years - Taguspark, Lagoaspark, Parque Suécia, Quinta da Fonte, amongst others - which include state-of-the-art facilities; and these just make it even more inviting for upcoming, or already established companies to set up in Portugal. In fact, there is an area in Lisbon called Oeiras that has been nicknamed as the “Silicon Valley of Europe”, due to its great pool of talent, the large amount of startups and companies set up there, and the structure and facilities that allow great innovation and work to stem from there.
With its wonderful weather year-round, amazing food and plenty of nature and culture, it’s obvious to see why Portugal is so popular amongst tourists and holiday makers. But now Portugal is also developing into becoming an influential technology hub, spurred on by helpful governmental policy, a very talented and ever-growing workforce, and most importantly, many national and international companies wanting to make the most of what the country has to offer in order to successfully grow.
The Web Summit has a contract with the government to be in Lisbon for a further 10 years, but with the founder seeing great potential here, stating recently that “hopefully in 50 years’ time we’ll still be in Portugal” – there hasn’t been a better time to invest in this country, that will only keep growing in terms of development and stature.
Portugal Homes provides a great service for investment houses in Portugal, helping buyers find the right property overseas, whether it be for Golden Visa, NHR, Investment or simply a place in the sun. Check out what we have around the Silicon Valley of Europe here.
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