. 24/7 Space News .
Lisbon dreams of Europe's Silicon Valley tag
By Thomas Cabral
Lisbon (AFP) Nov 2, 2016

Lisbon is betting that hosting the Web Summit, Europe's largest tech event, will spur the growth of startups and draw foreign investors, helping it compete with the continent's main innovation hubs.

Portugal, struggling with a high debt and low growth, requested a three-year 78-billion-euro ($85 billion) international bailout in 2011 that imposed higher taxes and steep spending cuts.

While the crisis hammered the economy, depriving it of state funding and easy bank loans, it also drove change, pushing people to come up with new ideas for businesses -- many of them tech startups.

During the first half of the year the number of new companies that were created was 3.3 times higher than the number of firms that went under, according to government figures.

To fuel the expansion of the startup sector the government lobbied hard to bring the annual Web Summit to Lisbon. The tech expo has been held every year in Dublin since its launch in 2010.

Some 50,000 participants and 15,000 companies from around the world are expected to attend the November 8-10 event, nearly double the 27,500 people who attended last year.

Lisbon will host the annual event until at least 2018.

Portugal's secretary of state for industry, Joao Vasconcelos, said he hoped hosting the event will give rise to a new generation of entrepreneurs.

"A Web Summit generation, with a global mentality," he told AFP.

"We are a peripheral market, the digital economy is a unique opportunity for Portugal," added Vasconcelos, the former head of a Lisbon startup incubator.

- 'Good environment' -

Web Summit chief executive Paddy Cosgrave said the strong government support given startups in Portugal was one of the reasons why he moved the event to Lisbon.

"They recognise the value of technology and want to put Portugal on the map as a tech hub," he said.

The Portuguese capital is well placed to become a tech hub because it has strong infrastructure, a "vibrant tech community", cheap rents and an educated workforce that is fluent in English, Cosgrave said.

"These are all key factors for making a good environment for startups," he added.

The city has already given rise to a number of "brilliant" new firms with strong growth potential such as Codacy, which has developed a software tool that automatically reviews computer code, said Cosgrave.

The company, which employs 16 people, won the Web Summit Pitch competition in 2014.

"The Web Summit will place Lisbon amid the European startup capitals, alongside London and Berlin," said Codacy co-founder Jaime Jorge, who often travels to Silicon Valley in California, the heart of the tech universe, to drum up business.

Codacy is one of 40 Portuguese startups that have raised at least $1 million each from investors.

Since 2010 they have raised a combined total of more than $166 million, according to a European Commission report on Portuguese startups published last year.

While the figures trail those of Britain, Germany and France, the report said "the data tells you how recent and strong is the growth of the Portuguese startup ecosystem".

- 'Springboard for startups' -

Ricardo Marvao, co-founder of Beta-i, a non-profit that helps startups develop by providing office space and free legal consultancy, said "2015 was a turning point" for Lisbon's notoriety as a startup centre.

"When a dozen Portuguese startups raised five to ten million euros each in just a few months, investors started to show interest in what is happening here. With the Web Summit, the hype around Lisbon will rise," he added.

Foreigners are behind many of Portugal's new startups.

Of the 220 firms that took part in the Lisbon Challenge, a three-month startup acceleration programme organised by Beta-i in 2013, roughly two-thirds were founded by foreigners who were drawn by the city's low costs and mild weather.

Among them is Moneytis, an online comparator of money transfer services founded in 2015 by two Frenchmen.

After eight months in Amsterdam they moved to Lisbon because they were looking for a "flourishing environment that is cheaper than Paris or London", said Moneytis co-founder Christophe Lassuyt.

"Lisbon has great chances in Europe. The city has already proven itself to be a good springboard for startups and the Web Summit will be a great opportunity to meet major investors and partners," he added.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Software star Google expected to flex hardware muscle
San Francisco (AFP) Oct 2, 2016
A high-profile Google event Tuesday is widely expected to show a new emphasis on hardware, challenging rivals Apple and Amazon and launching a new strategy for the online giant. While the company has offered no official preview, it is expected to unveil a new line of Google-branded smartphones, a tablet and a home virtual assistant. Analysts anticipate that the internet titan will expand ... read more

Lisbon dreams of Europe's Silicon Valley tag

NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins, Crewmates Safely Return From the Space Station

Russia to Allocate $1.5Bln to Federal Space Program in 2017 - Draft Budget Plan

No Balloons for JPL's Birthday, Just a 'Satelloon'

NASA Uses Tunnel Approach to Study How Heat Affects SLS Rocket

SpaceX Aims to Resume Falcon 9 Flights in 2016, Blames Helium Tank for Explosion

Raytheon gets $174 million Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon contract

SpaceX zeroes in on helium containers for rocket explosion

New instrument could search for signatures of life on Mars

Detailed images of Schiaparelli and its descent hardware on Mars

Cursed not, Difficult yes

Did it crash or land? Search on for Europe's Mars craft

China to launch Long March-5 carrier rocket in November

US, China hold second meeting on advancing space cooperation

China to enhance space capabilities with launch of Shenzhou-11

Ambitious space satellite projects set for liftoff

Shared vision and goals for the future of Europe in space

SSL delivers Sky Perfect JSAT satellite to Kourou

Dream coming true for ISS-bound rookie French astronaut

Airbus DS contracts with Intelsat General for European Defence Communications

3-D-printed permanent magnets outperform conventional versions, conserve rare materials

Nickel-78 is a doubly magic isotope supercomputer confirms

Researchers bring eyewear-free 3-D capabilities to small screen

Towards better metallic glasses

How Planets Like Jupiter Form

Giant Rings Around Exoplanet Turn in the Wrong Direction

Preferentially Earth-sized Planets with Lots of Water

Potential new hunting ground for exoplanets discovered

Mystery solved behind birth of Saturn's rings

Last Bits of 2015 Pluto Flyby Data Received on Earth

Uranus may have two undiscovered moons

Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target is Reddish

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.