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ScaleUp For Europe From The World To Porto, From Porto To The World

It isn’t possible to speak about scaleups without reflecting on startups’ growth. How can these companies grow sustainably and what obstacles do they face when it is time to position themselves globally? The truth is that, this movement is only possible with the alignement and support from a set of entities. Investors, educational institutions, big companies, local authorities, cities and countries play a key role in the process.What can a city do to capture attention, talent and investment and how can Europe, in this ScaleUp context, position itself as a motor that can boost the economic world? These were some of the central issues discussed in the ScaleUp For Europe Conference.Filipe Araújo, Councilor in charge of the Innovation and Environment Department of the city of Porto, opened the morning debate highlighting the role that cities have in this process:“Europe is a continent of excellence for everyone that plans to start a business and make it grow. In their turn, cities play a key role in the scaleup process and, because of that, it is important to understand how they can promote and enhance the innovation and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”The Conference, that was moderated by Alex Barrera, brought together several stakeholders from the Portuguese entrepreneurial ecosystem such as Carlos Oliveira from Startup Braga, Isabel Coutinho from Lisbon Challenge or Miguel Dias from Porto StartUp Accelerator. But it was also represented by international entrepreneurs such as Carmen Félix-Taveras, Endeavor’s Director, Daniel Kadishson, responsible for the Economic Development in New York City or Bogdan Florin Ceobanu from the European Commission. The debate was focused on the role of cities and Europe’s as facilitators. The general message is that regions have the responsibility of bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, industry and education entities, to empower the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem and consequently, the economy.Portugal was complimented for its ability to create and manage talent. Bogdan Florin, from the European Commission, who lived in Porto as a student 8 years ago, mentioned the change in the way entrepreneurs and investors see the country abroad:“The number of companies I had contact with in the last year and that revealed theur tech teams are in Portugal, is surprising. Nearly 1 in 3 startups I’ve met in the last 6/7 months have their tech teams in Portugal and most importantly, 2 out of 3 people I meet tell me they want to move to Portugal to make things happen from here.”The ScaleUp For Europe Conference was also stage for the presentation of the Portuguese ScaleUps 2017 Report produced by EIT Digital in partnership with the Building Global Innovators (BGI). In this report it is possible to know the 25 most promising Portuguese scaleups with less than 5 years of activity. We’ll share more information on this Report soon.

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