Portugal is much more than just a tourist destination with superb cuisine and incredible landscapes. This country, positioned on the most westerly edge of Europe, has become a paradise for startups - either to discover that they can incubate themselves among the existing startups in the country or carry on from where they left off.
One of the many reasons that puts Portugal at the forefront of chosen countries for startups is the existence of an ecosystem that promotes technological development. In fact, Portugal is the nest for some high tech innovations such as one of the most sophisticated banking networks in the world (Multibanco network), the first closed system of automatic highway tools around the globe (Via Verde), and the pre-paid Mobile Phones, that quickly became the foundation for the mobile revolution we have come to know. The digital transition is an essential economic driver in this country, and in 2019 there was a direct impact on the Portuguese economy of €13 billion, representing 6% of national GDP. In the last two years alone, this sector has grown by 1.2% in the digital relative weight of national GDP.
The virtuous technological ecosystem combined with favourable geographic positioning and qualified workforce has also brought in the investment of major technology companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Nokia.
But startups aren’t choosing Portugal just because big companies are investing in the country, they are also being brought to life here – and proving so, four Portuguese unicorns (startups valued at more than one billion dollars) were born:
Another reason why Portugal has become so attractive is the incentives and efforts that the country has gone on to develop in its technological sector. The Portuguese government has set up the program ‘StartUP Portugal’, which aims to publicise the startup ecosystem in the country on a global scale. The program currently has 25 ongoing initiatives to support startups, examples of which are:
Today, Portugal is one of the most attractive countries where there is still plenty of space to grow and in which multinationals can expand and create jobs, and new companies can take their first steps to settling.
Sounds interesting, right? Explore Lisbon Tech Guide’s relocation package!