Many articles have already tapped into buzz about the booming potential of the Portuguese startup ecosystem. With a very attractive geographical coordinates, Lisbon is a very easy destination, only a couple hours away from European main entrepreneurial hubs and a few hours more than that in the USA direction. Not only equipped with year-long fantastic weather, charming hills and cable cars, inevitable Golden Gate-like bridge so it doesn’t take much for one to have Lisbon mistaken for San Francisco. Cosmopolitan flavor of Lisbon easily attracts global citizens and digital nomads, especially when entrepreneurial factor is added to the equation.
Portuguese Silicon Valley, however, goes further than the borders of Lisbon and goes significantly beyond being an entrepreneur because it is trendy. Portugal hit quite a low with the economic crisis, which created a huge impact on the new generation not willing to settle for an average low salary no matter how low the cost of life in Portugal may be. Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur not because it is fashionable, but because the general awakening mindset is that only by being an entrepreneur one can be independent and in charge of their own future.
The Portuguese “hungry” entrepreneurial mindset was reflected to Global Entrepreneurship Week, re-launched in 2016, featuring 130 events with 40 partners, which is the largest number of events ever done under GEW in Portugal and one of the best performing in Europe. Not only the whole ecosystem was mobilized with the spotlight on even smallest entrepreneurial activities organized by various hosts such as universities, municipalities, incubators and investors, but the events were celebrated all across the country, from North to South, in cities like Braga, Coimbra, Porto, Evora, and Faro, concluding with a closing ceremony in Lisbon attended by 2000 participants.
Success of GEW Portugal 2016 was also recognized by the Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who awarded the initiative with his High Patronage, fully supporting the ambition of Portugal to host Global Entrepreneurship Congress, one of the GEN annual events, in 2020. Following the great results of GEW Portugal, GEN Portugal affiliation will be consolidated in the upcoming months by GEN Portugal partners ANJE, APCRI, BICS, DNA CASCAIS, FNABA and TESE, representing the highlights of the Portuguese entrepreneurial ecosystem – young entrepreneurs, venture capital, incubators, accelerators, business angels and social entrepreneurship.