This year’s Web Summit welcomed over 70,000 people into Lisbon and had perhaps one of the most captivating line-ups to-date: and reaffirmed Portugal’s status as a burgeoning hub for innovation. This included linguist Noam Chomsky; founder of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Olga Zelensky through to the biggest industry brands, disruptors, and activists across the technosphere. At Edu Hub Lisbon, the team hosted a successful schedule of Web Summit events with international delegations from Brazil, Taiwan, and Switzerland to name a few.
Web Summit took place against a backdrop of a tremendous new set of start-up initiatives to seed, nourish, and build the flourishing ecosystem in Portugal. The “start-up” law will come into effect by the end of this year and be rolled out over a three-year period. Unlike the Spanish model, this will not be limited to just nascent companies (ie. under 5 years in operation) with a view to nurturing key industries like biotech where proof of concept can take longer.
Today, the country has a record number of unicorns with 7 in total worth €35 billion euros combined and constituting 15% of Portuguese GDP. Consistently striving to be forward-thinking in its approach, the government is also not putting an age limit on the start-up funding vouchers and announced a new loan scheme for unemployed entrepreneurs to start their own business. With incubator vouchers and stock option reform, we are undoubtedly going to see Portugal go from strength to strength as a place to live, work and invest!