What it's like to be a startup in Portugal

What It’s Like To Be A Startup In Portugal

Linkilaw Business News

What It’s Like To Be A Startup In Portugal

Lisbon, the home of sun, surf, great seafood and … One of Europe’s biggest and fastest growing startup hubs.

For the past two years, Web Summit has been held in this vibrant capital; it’s estimated that the Summit has been offering the country’s economy around 200 million euros per year. But was Lisbon chosen over Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam for the world’s largest Web Summit by chance? Not quite.

Lisbon in Portugal, annual host of Web Summit

Portugal prides itself on having over one million startups which provide 80% of the country’s employment excluding non-financial enterprises, and 60% of its gross value added (GVA). The combination of  Portugal’s economic openness, strong ties with the EU and unique geo-strategic location, make it a natural gateway to the EU and world markets.

So Here Are Our Top Reasons Why Portugal Is Ideal For Startups:

1. It’s Cost Competitive

One of Portugal’s main features is its low-cost of living and high quality of life. Lisbon has been rated by the European Digital City Index as 75% cheaper than London. Cheap rents, living cost, and low wages imply benefits on your company wallet that will be immense.

2. Its Incubators And Scale Ups

Portugal not only has over 90 incubators but two of them make the top 20 worldwide: Beta-i and Fabrica de startups.  Portugal is also home to 0.7 scale-ups per 100 thousand people, outperforming all other Southern European countries. Because of the country’s small population of 10 million people, Portuguese startups launch with an eye on international expansion from day one. In that respect, it’s far closer to the United Kingdom in scaling-up mindset. In fact, the capital has the bulk of Portuguese scale-ups where most startups raise their venture capital.

3. The Prime Minister’s Pledge

In the 2016 edition of Web Summit that Portugal’s PM António Costa launched a €200 million fund to co-invest in local startups and foreign companies that relocate to Portugal. The aim is to attract over €400 million in the next four years. The aim of this is simple: they want foreign entrepreneurs to relocate to Portugal.

4. The Portuguese Atmosphere

The country has safe urban centres and suburbs that promote freedom to people living here. All major international studies put Portuguese cities on the top of almost every European cities ranking for conducting events and conferences. 

Startups To Watch In Portugal


Founded in 2011 this app acts as a personal assistant to golfers to improve their game. The app also provides a course profile designed to connect golfers with each other.


This app was founded by former Google engineers and acts as a sales support system. It pairs with other CRM systems to alert clients about their competitors.


This app translates content for Skyscanner, Under Armour, Trello and Pinterest. The company works with over 50,000 crowdsourced translators and has turned over more than $8 million.

SWORD Health

This Medtech startup uses artificial intelligence and tracking to digitise human motion and give patients feedback during physical rehabilitation. This aims to reduce costs for physical therapy and empower patients with their own recovery.

Final Words On Lisbon & What It’s Like To Be A Startup In Portugal

So, if the weather, food and low cost of living aren’t enough to convince you to make the leap to Portugal we don’t know what is… By the way, did we mention that in November 2017 Linkilaw is opening a new base in Lisbon?

Come say hello!

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startup in portugal