Startups ‘spearhead’ of digital matters in business

  • Lusa
  • 11 May 2022

"The startups will continue to be a clear commitment of this government," stated the Portuguese secretary of state for digitization and administrative modernisation.

Portugal’s secretary of state for digitization and administrative modernisation, Mario Campolargo, said on Wednesday that startups were the “spearhead” of the business world in digital matters, continuing, therefore, to be a clear commitment of the government.

“I see startups as the spearhead and vector of innovation of the business world in digital matters. The startups will continue to be a clear commitment of this government,” he said.

During the opening session of the Startup Capital Summit 2022, which runs throughout today in Coimbra, the government representative stressed that they would continue to support startups so that they could be “an accelerating force for Portugal’s digital transition”, taking advantage of the skills of universities and the entrepreneurial spirit of young people.

“With you we will build a more digital, more entrepreneurial, more transformative Portugal, ensuring that our society and our economy thrive, offering national cohesion and the well-being of all citizens,” he added.

Throughout his intervention of about 20 minutes, Mário Campolargo pointed out that the area of entrepreneurship constitutes a strategic component of the digital transformation that the government intends to promote.

“Both in the scope of the change of the profile of our economy, encouraging a greater differentiation and incorporation of technology and the digital aspect, as well as in terms of the business models based on a digital context,” he clarified.

In his point of view, the need for transformation of the Portuguese business fabric involves the creation of a culture “based on critical success factors” that “are usually found in start-ups”.

“I am talking about the levels and types of investment, investment in innovation, talent, which generates highly marketable knowledge, the digital nature of business, the ability to be born global from day 1 and the adoption of business models that are scalable,” he said.

Throughout his speech, he highlighted the “record state investment” in supporting entrepreneurship and startups.

“I could mention the €125 million that will be invested and dedicated to this ecosystem, but always more than the amount invested, the important thing is to translate this investment into proactive results, in impacts on the business fabric, in positive impacts on society,” he highlighted.

He also mentioned the support of €90 million in vouchers, which aim to support start-ups that “have or want to develop digital business models with a strong green component”.

“We will make an investment of €20 million, which also involves creating vouchers, so that incubators can invest in their own development, namely technological, so that they can be more up to date in their knowledge and capabilities, and so that they can give more concrete support to startups with business models based on digital,” he said.

According to Campolargo, these conditions will allow incubators and accelerators to “better support incubated startups”, especially in terms of hosting and monitoring.

The Startup Capital Summit is “the biggest national event of venture capital, innovation, entrepreneurship and technology transfer”, organised by the University of Coimbra, in partnership with Coimbra City Council and the Pedro Nunes Institute.

It brings together more than 1,000 participants, 100 speakers and 50 national and international investors, in the Convent of São Francisco, in Coimbra, involving more than 70 panels, talks and pitches, in different formats and spaces.

It is sponsored by the president of Portugal and supported by the Banco Português de Fomento (BPF), the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), with the newspaper Público as a partner.