Lisbon has gotten a lot of publicity lately – not just because a lot of interesting startups have emerged, but because one of the largest Startup Events, Websummit, has decided to leave Dublin behind and relocate to Lisbon. So how come Lisbon is such a thriving place to start your tech startup? There are many reasons, but here are some of the main ones.
Lisbon is still very cheap when you compare it with London, Paris or Barcelona. Even Berlin is starting to get expensive. Housing, cost of living and wages are lower than in the major startup hubs in Europe. As a bootstrapped startup, this factor is one of the most important ones.
High quality labor.
There is a lot of strong, available and affordable talent in and around Lisbon. With top universities and a lot of young, hungry graduates, startups are able to find people easily.
Setting up companies is very easy.
The council is actively promoting entrepreneurship. In fact, the process of creating a company has been streamlined so much, that you can set up your company with a single appointment at a single office. In fact, on the homepage of this initiative the council notes that the average time you will spend at the office is only 36 minutes!
There are a couple of important points to note here:
- Lisbon is conveniently located geographically. You are within a reasonable flying distance from Berlin, London, Paris and Barcelona, while at the same time not too far from the US.
- The climate is very mild. No dreary weather, constant overcast sky, rainy moods. Regular sunshine has a positive effect on your body, never underestimate it.
- The city center is very close to the airport of Lisbon, and very easily accessible in multiple ways.
Big startup community and mentality.
Due to the recent difficult economic situation, starting your own business became a viable alternative to many people, so there is a very entrepreneurial vibe going on. The startup community is, especially relative to the number of inhabitants of Lisbon, very large. Everyone is close by, since the city in itself is not that big, contributing to a close-knit community.
Infrastructure is catching up.
As a tech startup, probably your single most important requirement is fast internet. Portugal has been very active in catching up in this regard.
High quality of life.
Especially in the summer, it is a great place to live in. Great food, great atmosphere, and close to nature. People meeting in public places or outside of bars to enjoy the warm night and meet up with others.
Portuguese are very welcoming to foreigners, and due to the many offices of international companies, there are many of them.