European Stories – Lisbon

15 March, 2017


entrepreneurs, European stories, Lisbon, startup ecosystem, startups


The West Coast Underdog

Lisbon start-up ecosystem is unfairly underrated.

It is still viewed by many as the small capital of a struggling southern European country crushed under the weight of the crisis and depending on the EU to survive.

But this is no longer the case. Portugal is definitely capable of fending for itself. It’s always taken advantage of its geographic position and has had big international exposure for centuries.

This asset is still exploited today. The young Portuguese entrepreneurs are making the most of this century-old exposure to build a new tech ecosystem and reach out to the rest of the world.

Okay, it’s still relatively small, but it’s got big ambitions and most importantly big resources and talents to accomplish them.

Lisbon has geared up and is ready to show Europe (and the rest of the world) what it’s actually worth. You’re used to hearing about the biggest waves in the world being surfed in Portugal. Well now be prepared for a whole different wave: the tech one is going strong and Lisbon is damn ready to ride it.

And to be fair, their arsenal is strong.

They have an impressive pool of talents backed up by great universities, making it a blooming start-up hub with the potential to attract international attention.

The government is also really supportive of the country’s young talents, giving them resources and benefits to help them achieve their potential.

All of this, combined with the amazing climate, a level of cheapness which makes it way more attractive than Berlin, and its capacity to get under the international radar (you know the Web Summit is now being hosted in Lisbon right?) gives Lisbon all the tools to succeed.

All it needs now is a bit of recognition.

Lisbon start-up ecosystem by the numbers:

17M € 9 175 million € 200 million €
Capital invested in start-ups 2016 ?  Deals in 2016 ?  Revenue generated for the city by the Web Summit ? New fund to be launched by the  government to support local start-ups ?

Best incubators/accelerators:

  • BGI
  • La Fabrica de Startups
  • Beta-i
  • LisbonChallenge

Top VC:

  • Portugal Ventures
  • Caixa Capital
  • Faber Ventures

Best Start-ups:

  • Farfetch: The community of independent fashion boutiques – $1.5 billion valuation
  • Seedrs: The equity crowdfunding platform accessible to anyone – 394 Investments
  • Veniam: Powering the Internet of Moving Things

Cool stuff:

  • Web Summit
  • Startup Guide
  • Startup Lisboa

Best Coworking spaces:

  • Cowork Lisboa
  • Surf Office
  • Village Underground
  • StartUpNow

Best media:


Hot spots:

  • LX Factory