The crew just got back from a relaxing season at sea to find out that there’s major news shaking the waters of the Portuguese startup scene. The Web Summit 2016 might be held in Lisbon. In other words, Titanic is about to hit our shore… And we, at Startup Ship, want to let the world know that there are no icebergs on the way so that it can safely reach the port. Lisbon is the perfect place to host the Web Summit and we want to give you a hundred reasons why. But let’s start, first, with 7 simple reasons… you can add your own reasons later on (yes, we’re starting a movement).
For those who are not familiar with this huge event, Web Summit is one of the main tech and startup conferences in the world that happens once a year in Dublin, Ireland. This year the Web Summit’s organization is considering other European cities to host the event in 2016 and Lisbon is part of the race. So, why should they choose Lisbon over, for example, Paris or Amsterdam? Well, here’s a few reasons why:
1. Lisbon’s tech startup scene is booming
The world keeps talking about what’s happening in Lisbon. How can the underdog of startup hubs get so much attention? Forbes says Lisbon discovered its spirit of entrepreneurial adventure, the Financial Times compares Lisbon to San Francisco, Mike Butcher from TechCrunch has just been to Lisbon to get to know the startup scene and select startups for TechCrunch Disrupt, Tech.eu highlights a new generation of entrepreneurs in the Portuguese capital, the EU awarded Lisbon with the Entrepreneurial Region for 2015, while many foreign investors and entrepreneurs keep calling Lisbon, the new Berlin.
Why all this? Because what’s happening here is remarkable. Lisbon showcases startups such as: Codacy, the automated code review tool invested by Seedcamp and winner of the Web Summit pitch competition; Uniplaces, the airbnb for students who in less than 2 years expanded to more than 30 cities across Europe; Talkdesk, that creates digital call centres got invested by 500 Startups and has Dropbox as a client; Feedzai, the fraud prevention software that raised 17.5 million euros; or Unbabel, who has been through Y Combinator and invested by Google Ventures and that works on machine and crowd translation.
And the number of startups created keeps on growing. Just over last year, more than 500 startups were created in Portugal while 8.2% of Portuguese adults were involved in startups and new businesses, according to this article on Portugal Startups. Many startups are drawn to Lisbon also because of its tech talent and they end up setting their tech teams here (that’s the case of Seedrs for example – you can ask the guys at Landing.jobs, a marketplace for tech jobs based in Lisbon, for some info on this too).
To support all this you have many important players within the ecosystem, from incubators to accelerators, everyone’s focussed on building the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. Startup Lisboa, an incubator for startups in Lisbon, helps hundreds of entrepreneurs across their 3 historical buildings in Lisbon’s city centre. Lisbon Challenge, the accelerator program from Beta-i, was considered the 4th most active accelerator in Europe by Fundacity. Fábrica de Startups, an incubator that has been innovating by creating different workshops, networking events and programs for entrepreneurs. Not to mention the great work from Faber Ventures, Caixa Capital and Portugal Ventures on investing and helping startups succeed.
It’s time to make this a world known phenomenon, with the Web Summit coming to Lisbon.
2. A Portuguese startup won the previous edition
Codacy was the winner of last year’s pitch competition. Jaime Jorge, co-founder and CEO, rocked the stage with a great pitch and took the prize home (aka Lisbon). So, the Web Summit might as well honour the winner and bring the conference here, right?
3. Lisbon is still sunny in December
This is a bit of a cliché but, nonetheless, true. We all know Lisbon has great weather, even in December, when the Web Summit usually happens. Let those who attend the Web Summit enjoy the sun and all that Lisbon has to offer to its guests and visitors (like these amazing rooftop bars or these astonishing beaches for some great surfing). A shift from Dublin to Lisbon would be interesting, if you put it this way…
4. Lisbon is international and welcoming
Every year we have more and more tourists visiting Lisbon and more and more people moving from abroad. Many startups are founded by foreigners in Lisbon because of the great quality of life and low costs of living. We are building an international startup scene, not only focused in Portugal but wanting to go global. For example, around 40% of the founders in Startup Lisboa are foreigners and 80% of the startups that go through Lisbon Challenge come from abroad. Plus, as an extra, people are super friendly and are pretty comfortable speaking English.
5. Thousands of hotels to accommodate the crowds
As we’ve said before, Lisbon is growing as a touristic destination. Many international guides and media publications consider it to be one of the top European capitals to visit. With these numbers going up, hotels and hostels have been popping out in every street. No need to worry about accommodation here, there’s plenty of space for everyone attending the conference.
6. Because the Web Summit wants to set the trends, not follow them
Lisbon is getting out there in the tech world but, there’s still a long way to go. Many have discovered what our shore has to offer while others still don’t have a clue of what’s going on. The Web Summit wants to set the future trends in tech so, why not push for the next big startup hub while it’s still not too mainstream?
7. A strong startup community
One of the reasons why we love Lisbon’s startup scene so much is because there’s a strong community, willing to connect and help each other. This makes Lisbon the ideal place to receive thousands of entrepreneurs and to spread the word about the event. We are committed and passionate in what we do… And the outcome of this movement will prove it.
So, there you go, here are the first 7 reasons for the Web Summit 2016 to be in Lisbon. Now it’s entirely up to you. Help us bring the Web Summit to Lisbon by posting your own reasons on Facebook and Twitter, together with this article, using the hashtag #LXwebsummit16.
Join our Facebook group for all the updates and to be part of this movement. Let’s spread the word across the seven seas and convince the organisers to choose Lisbon to host the event. The final decision will be announced in the end of September, beginning of October, so we have until then to prove to the world that nobody else deserves this more than we do.