The biggest technology conference in Europe, Web Summit 2021, is back in Lisbon between 1st and 4th November and is getting ready for a face-to-face event.
After the 2020 virtual event due to the covid-19 pandemic, this year's Web Summit 2021 edition will be marked by a return to normality and will feature renowned speakers, such as the European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, Microsoft’s president Brad Smith, FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué and Tom Taylor, responsible for Alexa at Amazon.
More than 1000 speakers and 700 investors are expected to attend the event, with about 1450 startups and partners exhibiting, including global brands like Siemens, H&M, Cisco, eToro and KPMG to name a few. Organizers are staying in contact with the health authorities to set up a safe event in terms of public health, and attendees will be requested to show a vaccination certificate or a negative test so that social aloofness during the event can be maintained.
A great platform for new ventures and investors
Web Summit 2021 provides a great platform for many founders and startups to showcase their mission and goals, in hopes of raising money and networking as a large number of established venture capital companies and private equity investors attend the event.
The founder of Web Summit, Paddy Cosgrave, picked the capital as the stage for the next ten years, as he believes that the country “really fits in with the brand of Web Summit. It’s a startup nation.”. It becomes important to mention that the city was also recognized as a must-live aspirational tech innovator. Not only is the Portuguese startup ecosystem seeing a breaming growth, transforming the capital into one of the biggest European startup hubs, it is also quite easy to access private capital in the country, which is an important factor for investors and entrepreneurs. Portugal is hence seeing a surge in investments having conquered 10th place of the ranking of the most attractive countries for foreign direct investments.
What’s more, Portuguese business technology companies collected records in 2020 with a maximum of €510 million in just over half a year. Five Portuguese unicorns reached high investment values as the steady growth in technology and innovative platforms brought by them has been attracting European and global attention since early 2015.
Attracting new talents and initiatives
Even with a worldwide pandemic issue still at large, multiple events, both online and offline, have been programmed to continue pushing the idea that Portugal, specifically Lisbon, is the European Silicon Valley thanks to its great pool of talent, and the great innovation, business and work that stem from it.
The country is constantly looking to invest and partner up with initiatives to attract more young professionals in the industry. Besides the Web Summit 2021, Portugal has hence been creating and hosting new initiatives such as:
- Global data centre in Sines: this project aims at creating up to 1200 highly qualified direct jobs and 8000 indirect jobs by 2025;
- Innovation District in Almada: promised to be a lever for the capital's internationalization, the Innovation District project is based on the Live-work-play concept - a unique and plural city, designed to improve the quality of life of those who live and work here;
- Startups like Startup Portugal and Startup Lisbon which serve as links between the government, entrepreneurs, incubators and accelerators;
- Other well-known and influential companies that have chosen to invest in Portugal, and create offices, such as Google, BP, Nike, PepsiCo, LG and Samsung. Hence more innovation parks are being developed - Taguspark, Lagoaspark, Parque Suécia, Quinta da Fonte, to name a few -, serving as an invitation card for already established, or upcoming startups to set up in Portugal.
As a result of the pandemic changes on a global scale, several European companies had to adapt to this period, having hence introduced EU Digital Nomad Visas. Learn more about relocating to Portugal as a Digital Nomad here.
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