Startup Europe and Beta‐i launches the Portugal Startup Manifesto

▪ The kick‐off will take place at the Startup Europe Week 2016 @LISBOA

▪The document aims to drive the country’s agenda for promotion of entrepreneurship & innovation.

Lisbon, 5th February 2016​ – Startup Europe and Beta‐I will launch the development of the  Portugal Startup Manifesto, a document that aims to drive the agenda for  promotion of entrepreneurship & innovation so as to accelerate growth of the Portuguese startup ecosystem. The formal kick‐off will take place today at the Startup Europe Week 2016 @LISBOA, organized by Beta‐I, in close partnership with Câmara Municipal de Lisboa (CML, or Lisbon City Hall). Startup Europe welcomes this new national manifesto initiative and hopes that it becomes a meeting point for all Portuguese startups in the ecosystem to agree on the way forward to strengthen the environment for startups to flourish in Portugal, in Europe and worldwide.

This event will be the first stepping‐stone for the Portuguese Startup Manifesto. Entrepreneurs, accelerators, incubators, institutions and investors will come together to discuss and debate how to support the growth of the startup ecosystem in Portugal, and the steps that Lisbon should take to insure just that over the course of the next couple of years. Paulo Carvalho, Head for Economy and Innovation at CML, will be one of the speakers, with a presentation on ‘A journey into Lisbon entrepreneurial ecosystem’.

The Manifesto 

The Portugal Startup Manifesto is a document that aims to drive the agenda for promotion of entrepreneurship & innovation so as to accelerate the growth of the Portuguese startup ecosystem.

Entrepreneurship in Portugal has been on the rise for the past five years. Fuelled by the economic crisis, the Portuguese ecosystem grew from simple events, in the style of startup weekends and hackathons, to being home to several accelerators, amongst which the renowned Lisbon Challenge from Beta‐I and Startup Next by Tech Stars.

Today home to a vibrant, active and emergent startup scene, Portugal has had more than 40 scaleups raising more than $166M from venture capital, with 9 exists that attracted mostly American investors. Rapidly emerging on  the European startup map, it is not surprise that it was chosen by the Web Summit, one of the most prominent events in the startups community worldwide, to host the event from 2016.

More recently, Uniplaces, a Lisbon based started raised $24M, one of the biggest series A in Europe. Talkdesk, another Portuguese startup, just had their co‐founders, Cristina Fonseca and Tiago Paiva, featured on Forbes 30 under 30 list for enterprise tech. All of this goes to show that the Portuguese startup scene has gained momentum and it is the right time to work on the Portuguese Startup Manifesto.

In order to help policy makers, businesses, entrepreneurs, venture capital funds and other stakeholders take concrete steps to improve the already dynamic local ecosystem; Startup Europe is asking Beta‐I to engage the community to put together the Portuguese Startup Manifesto. The first step in the making of the Portuguese Startup Manifesto will be taken in an event during the SEW. It will be the first of a series of engagement opportunities to give voice to the community both through events, which will take place along the year of 2016 across the country, and online through #ptstartupmanifesto.

Startup Europe would like all stakeholders in the ecosystem to collaborate. Much like Europe itself, this will be a joint program that aims to help all players and partners in Portugal leverage its innovative edge, by facilitating the growth and consolidation of innovative companies. In essence, these shared inputs and insights will drive change, as the solution doesn’t lie in one individual or group, but in the entire Portuguese scene.


Over 90% of all companies in Portugal are small businesses and micro‐enterprises, and today they account for almost 4 out of 5 jobs. According to a study called “Entrepreneurship in Portugal 2007‐2014”, by Informa D&B, 1 out of 10 Portuguese startups begins to export in it’s very first year. The exports rate doubles by the fifth year of activity.

In the period between 2013 and 2014, more than 35 thousand companies were created in Portugal, and 93% of this are commercial businesses. In terms of turnover, startups turned in average a value of 74.000 euros, generating 2.1 jobs (also on average). Businesses in existence for less than one year represent 18% of jobs created in Portugal today. The figure rises to almost half (46%) of new jobs generated when we look at businesses in the first five years of life.

In fact, Lisbon has been under the spotlight lately, since it was considered the first European Capital of Entrepreneurship for 2015, and got the Web Summit to move there this year. There is also a string of media coverage comparing the Portuguese capital to San Francisco or Berlin and considering it as one of the best cities to visit in Europe.


The goal is for Portuguese startups, entrepreneurs, business angels, venture capitalists, incubators, accelerators and all other relevant players in the ecosystem to have their saying and get their voices heard. The making of the Portuguese Startup Manifesto is an opportunity to identify the concrete challenges that these players deal with, hear the solutions they envision and create together a more competitive economy.

As we see it, Startups are the future of our economy. They empower people to work on things that they are passionate about. They empower people to innovate, to create the tools and services that we will use tomorrow. Yet, today, it’s still too hard to create and grow a Startup. It is imperative that we work together with industry partners and policymakers to create and foster a healthy environment for startups to thrive for many years to come. With a Portuguese Startup Manifesto, we can make our voices be heard louder and clearer, pushing a ‘Digital Agenda’ action plan for the coming years. The chance to communicate our needs and wishes as a community is here.

About the Startup Manifesto

The Startup Manifesto is a manifesto for entrepreneurship and innovation to power growth in the European Union. This ambitious policy document was written by the Leaders Club, an independent group of founders of world‐leading technology companies based in Europe, including Atomico, HackFwd, Rovio, Seedcamp, Spotify, Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO), Tuenti and The Next Web. The manifesto was drafted to spur discussion on improving the startup ecosystem and digital‐era performance in the European Union’s 28 member states. The writing of this first manifesto sparked a movement whereby organizations, entrepreneurs and startups at different European countries got together to develop their own national Startup Manifestos. The movements gained momentum and at present 9 European countries have already published their own manifestos.

For more, visit ​   ​  ​

About Startup Europe

The Startup Europe Team works for entrepreneurs to be more connected within the European ecosystem, where talent, investment and learning can be easily captured. We believe Europe’s growth is going to be determined by savvy startups, and we want to support this startupers grow.

Startup Europe is based in four pillars:

About Betai

Based in Lisbon, Beta‐I is a non‐profit association created in 2010, with the mission to improve entrepreneurship through 3 main acting principles: create and boost a network of entrepreneurship, accelerate startups with global ambition and facilitate their access to investment, create space, services and products focused on startups. Beta‐I was considered the biggest startup & entrepreneurship promoter in Europe by the European Enterprise Promotion Awards in June 2014. Our institutional partners include Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic, the Government of Portugal and the European Commission. Corporate partners include Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Turismo de Portugal, KIC InnoEnergy, IEFP, EDP and Microsoft, among many others.

For more, visit: http://beta‐