Portuguese Startup Ecosystem: let’s raise the bar?
Characterized by small-scale but fast-paced growing companies, the Portuguese startup ecosystem is extremely important to the economy as it accounts already for over 1% of the country’s GDP.
The ecosystem of technology companies in Portugal is very strong, diverse, and dynamic. It is composed by many different types of companies, from small startups to large multinationals. According to Startup Portugal (2021), the Portuguese technological ecosystem currently has more than 2,150 registered startups, 7 unicorns, and accounts for creating more than 25,000 jobs across the country. It is particularly strong in the areas of software development, web and app development, and web3, with a number of companies doing cutting-edge work in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science.
Characterized by small-scale but fast-paced growing companies, the Portuguese startup ecosystem is extremely important to the economy as it accounts already for over 1% of the country’s GDP. Therefore, this ecosystem has proved to be a clear inducer of economic growth and a key strategy for Portugal’s economic recovery, especially in a context pos-pandemic, where the digital has gained even more relevance.
However, it is important to mention that the relevance of the technological ecosystem is not restricted to startups only. In recent years, the Portuguese tech sector has been growing rapidly, and there are now over 8,000 tech companies in the country. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing availability of venture capital, the rising number of skilled workers, and the increasing international visibility of the Portuguese tech scene.
Creating a strong tech ecosystem, especially focused on fast-growing startup companies, can be a major asset for the country, leading to economic growth, investment attraction, and the creation of more qualified and better paid job positions. Through Startup Portugal the government shows to be committed to supporting the startup scene, creating an environment that is conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship. However, the Portuguese startup ecosystem it is still relatively young and fragmented, having a long way to go.
There is a real need for Portuguese startups to partner with each other and implement projects together in order to be able to address country’s strategic needs fully. Through a wide strategic alliance, startups could pool their resources and expertise together and create solutions to address the country’s most pressing needs, identified in the Portuguese post-Covid economy recovery program (PRR). In this process, the government could have a more active role, creating the context for this startup alliance, and putting in place incentives and programs to help the tech ecosystem grow and thrive.
In fact, working together with other companies may result even more beneficial for the national ecosystem. That is because this kind of partnership often leads to technology transfer, know-how sharing and people development, creating an enabling space for innovation. Finally, by partnering with other startups, Portuguese startups can increase their visibility and raise their profile on a global scale. By working together, we can showcase the country’s innovation and entrepreneurial spirit even further to the world.