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Portugal’s startup ecosystem becomes more mature

startup ecosystem becomes more mature - portugal news
startup ecosystem becomes more mature - Portugal Business News

Portugal news - Portugal’s startup ecosystem is becoming more mature with the inauguration of the Web3 Hub in Lisbon and with the development of specialized hubs dedicated to innovative tech sectors that are supported by a legal framework and tax incentives. 


Portugal just launched a Stock Options tax regime and a tax incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation as well as a number of other incentives for startups that complement its new Startup law and provide the basis for attracting foreign direct investment in specialized tech sectors. Here is the list of Portugal’s innovative tech sectors that have evolved to become specialized thematic hubs:



List of Portugal’s tech sectors that have become specialized hubs:

1 – Portugal’s Web3 Hub


Unicorn Factory Lisboa launched Portugal’s Web3 Hub on May 17th, 2024. Portugal’s Web3 Hub comprises three interconnected spaces, namely Poolside, Kübe Coworking/CV Labs, and SITIO, that will serve as pivotal meeting points for startups, investors, academia, and industry leaders in the Web3 sphere.


Portugal’s Web3 Hub, that is located in Alvalade in Lisbon, is expected to attract innovative scalable projects that are capable of attracting investments and creating jobs. Legal advice and training for scaleups being incubated in the Web3 Hub are provided by Cuatrecasas, while RealFevr is a partner that will strengthen the Web3 community.



2 – Portugal’s AI Hub


Portugal’s AI Hub is a space dedicated to AI startups and scaleups that provides acceleration and incubation programs to foster growth under Unicorn Factory Lisboa. 


Portugal’s AI Hub includes Microsoft that has launched an AI Innovation Factory with a scheduled opening date of November 2024 in partnership with Accenture and Unicorn Factory Lisboa. The aim is to accelerate the adoption of AI by public and private companies in Portugal and it is to be noted that 62% of Portuguese companies already use AI while 25% of those that do not are expecting to implement it within the next 24 months.


Feedzai is an example of a unicorn incubated in Portugal in the AI sector and Unbabel is on its way to becoming a unicorn, while is one of the companies incubated by Startup Lisboa.     


3 – Portugal’s Gaming Hub


Portugal’s Gaming Hub provides a dedicated space for emerging gaming startups and scaleups under Unicorn Factory Lisboa. Lisbon’s Unicorn Factory will be an incubator for an industry that is expected to grow by nearly 50% within 4 years to reach USD 541.40 million by 2027.


Portugal’s Gaming Hub includes a partnership with key players that include international gaming studio Fortis and APVP.


Since January 2024, the parent company of Blip Portugal, Flutter Entertainment Plc, is listed on the NYSE as the world’s leading online sports betting and gaming operator.

4 – Portugal’s XR (Augmented Reality) Hub


Portugal’s XR (Augmented Reality) Hub is a center for XR activities, with acceleration and incubation programs under Unicorn Factory Lisboa to test and showcase new products and technologies. The partners of Portugal’s XR Hub are the operator NOS and consultancy firm PwC.


5 – Portugal’s Creative Hub

Portugal’s Creative Hub, Hub Criativo do Beato, is a physical space that covers over 50,000 sq. meters for startups, scaleups and global companies under Unicorn Factory Lisboa. The Creative Hub is a focal point for entrepreneurship, creative industries, and innovation in Lisbon.


6 – Portugal’s Data Connectivity Hub


Portugal is becoming a Hub for global data connectivity with a strong backbone of subsea cables and green data centers that represent a fully integrated ecosystem, thus driving investments in cutting-edge technology and fostering the dynamic tech startup scene. Here is the list of new subsea cables linking Portugal to the rest of the world.

7 – Portugal’s Green Hydrogen Hub


Portugal is positioning itself as a Green Hydrogen Hub for the EU with Sines becoming the new Hydrogen Valley. Portugal is strategic for connecting to the rest of the EU and green hydrogen is expected to become a major pillar of economic growth.

8 – Portugal’s Startup Hub for Incubators & Accelerators


Two of Portugal’s incubators and accelerators for startups and scaleups rank in the Top 10 Startup Hubs in Europe according to the Financial Times ranking of Europe’s Leading Startup Hubs in 2024. 


Portugal has 2 incubators, namely Startup Braga and Startup Lisboa – Unicorn Factory Lisboa, that rank among the best in Europe. Here is the list of Portugal’s best Startup Hubs for incubating and accelerating startups.

9 – Portugal’s Blue-tech Hub

Portugal is investing 5.7 million euros to build a Blue Hub for companies operating in the ocean economy sector, including aquaculture, biotechnology and food innovation. The hub will be located in Peniche, that is a seaside municipality in the district of Leiria in Central Portugal. Portugal’s Blue Hub will include a building that will provide a space of 1,230 square meters to accommodate companies and startups and will foster the emergence of an ocean economy based on innovation and technology.


10 – Portugal’s Biotech Hub  

Bio-Hub Portugal, the national platform for development research on innovative biopharmaceuticals, has received funding under the EU Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP). The Bio-Hub consortium is comprised of 4 promoters and involves the creation of a production unit that will provide support for the development of biopharmaceuticals as well as product marketing. The consortium intends to position Portugal to spearhead the development of new biological therapies for various pathologies.

11 - Portugal’s Fintech Hub


Fintech House in Portugal, that is a one-stop-shop for fintech startups, was born from a collaboration between Portugal Fintech and SITIO. Portugal’s Fintech Hub fosters innovation by connecting startups to capital, talent, and industry leaders. The Fintech Hub creates an ecosystem where every FinTech, RegTech, InsurTech and CyberTech company in Portugal can easily interact with regulators, legislators, consultants, banks, investors, and other relevant entities.



Portugal is also a Hub for multinational tech companies in different sectors:


While the future of Portugal as an innovative startup ecosystem is strengthened through the building blocks of highly specialized thematic Hubs for tech startups and scaleups, Portugal is also selected as a Hub by multinational tech companies in different sectors.


Portugal has thus attracted a number of multinationals that have selected the country as their EU hub. These include the Siemens Lisbon Tech Hub that is creating value in the field of digital transition from Portugal to the world with a team of over 1,300 experts, as well as the Deloitte Tech Campus with the capacity to accommodate 2,500 people. In the RegTech sector, Portugal was selected by UK Regulatory Tech company FinTrU as their EU Hub; while in the Travel and Tourism sector, TUI Group chose Portugal as its Digital Hub.







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