Lisbon: a thriving startup Ecosystem

Although Lisbon is considered as one of the youngest startup ecosystems in the world, most startup reports refer it as one of the world’s fastest growing startup ecosystems. Lisbon presently scores very well on almost every indicator such as access to talent, affordable housing, affordable cost of running a company and quality of life. Bloomberg recently compared Lisbon as being the San Francisco of Europe, referring to the commonalities “Surf, electric and golden bridges” where “Young entrepreneurs can live the technological dream”.

Lisbon thriving startup ecosystem has been able to attract Web Summit, one of the world’s biggest entrepreneurial conferences, which gathers people and companies from several countries into a 3-day event.


Lisbon is an appealing city to create startups, considering its strategic access to international markets, its competitive work strength, life quality, low cost of living and availability of space for hubs and offices. It is also very affordable to create an operator startup in Lisbon.

The city is committed to positioning itself as a Startup City at a global scale, with a rising number of entrepreneurs choosing Portugal’s capital to launch their ideas, products and services. Lisbon achieved the 4th place in the main “Startup Cities Index” in the world and has 7 universities on the top universities in the world ranking.

This strategy began with the Lisbon Participatory Budget (2010), where one of the winning projects was a hub that later created Startup Lisboa, a big reference in Portugal and in the world.

There are currently over 40 co-working spaces, pre-accelerators, accelerators, incubators and innovation labs in Lisbon. The most important entities are Startup Lisboa, Startup Portugal, Lispolis, Building Global Innovators (BGI) and Labs Lisboa.


The cosmopolitan and multicultural environment of Lisbon, its big openness to Technology Innovation and high quality workers, are characteristics propitious to the city’s economic development.

The river and the city’s closeness to the sea are factors that help a “sea economy”, events and nautical activities in Lisbon. Its great diversity of visitors and tourists from different places in the world contribute to the growth of the tourism sector. Health and care areas are also rising in Lisbon.


Lisbon was the chosen city to host Web Summit in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Web summit is one of the largest technology conferences in the world and attracted in its 2016 edition more than 53,000 people from 166 countries, and in 2017 around 60,000 people from more than 170 countries, including 1,200+ world-class speakers, 2,000+ of the world’s best startups and 1,400 tech investors.

Besides Web Summit, Lisbon hosts other important events such as Lisbon Entrepreneurship Week, a week of celebration, reflection, discussion and promotion of entrepreneurship in the city, Montepio Acredita Portugal Competition and BGI Competion.


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