Scaleup Porto. aims to be a catalyst for the creation of an innovation ecosystem and a network of individuals and organizations that share the vision of a scaleup program.
More than a declaration that presents strategic orientations, ScaleUp Porto Manifesto is also a contribution from Porto to the ScaleUp For Europe movement, enhancing the importance cities can have in the ecosystem growth.
ScaleUp Porto. Manifesto
In the last decade Europe has been witnessing a significant overall change in the paradigm of entrepreneurship and innovation, reflected in the intensive proliferation of startup programs and other supporting frameworks. These programmes and projects related to the startup phase have been developed very successfully so far, but fledgling forms could not truly enter the “warp-zone” of growth based only on the help of early stage accelerators or incubators. After successfully achieving a problem/ solution fit, validating a business model and entering the loop of funding rounds, startups aiming at moving towards a path of sustainable growth will need a completely new supporting platform. With this new scenario in place, and with hundreds of startup companies ready to grow all over Europe, the challenges are now related to scaling these companies in a sustainable way.
Several metrics are used to define companies in a scale-up phase. And for the purpose of this manifesto, we adopt, as a starting point for the development of a complete framework, the following definition: “Scale-ups are enterprises with average annualised growth in employees (or in turnover) greater than 20 per cent a year over a three-year period, and with 10 or more employees at the beginning of the observation period.” This is the same definition used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Nesta and Endeavor, amongst others. In a functioning, dynamic and sustainable scale-up environment, successful entrepreneurs do not just develop their businesses. They also share their success as inspiring role models, their knowledge as mentors, experts or teachers, and their financial gain as investors in the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Porto Start & Scale Guide
As one of the major urban areas in Southern Europe, Porto stands out as a city with strong potential to become a national and international reference in the domains of innovation and entrepreneurship. Synergies and the reduction of fragmentation have the potential to help the city becoming a tech, innovative and creative entrepreneurial hub. The scaleup phase deserves particular attention in this context.
Porto has designed and embraced policy strategies aimed at fostering the implementation of Smart City principles. Citizen’s centred sustainability, energy efficiency, R&D and economic growth are the main areas of interest of the city. The implementation of this innovative strategy adopted an interdisciplinary approach in which the city’s well-known strengths are aligned with the excellence of the work developed by the academia. With the support of reference industry partners, the developed strategy was able to contribute to the creation of hundreds of qualified jobs and to transform the city into a place where people, especially young entrepreneurs, are inspired by a new risk culture and integrated into a new multicultural and international ecosystem. As a clear result of this strategy, Porto is now attracting talent to the city, creating new jobs, developing solutions required by citizens, reducing social exclusion, and increasing security.
Porto is a facilitator of innovation. The city becomes a living lab, citizens challenge companies, entrepreneurs and researchers, and all of them work together to solve real problems, with differentiated solutions able to be replicated. The city is attaching special importance to measures, at a city scale, to strengthen the local innovation ecosystem and to network them at local, regional, national and international levels.
The ScaleUp Porto. Manifesto was launched as the first step of a coordinated programme that’s included in a broader municipal strategy for innovation and competitiveness, to foster employment, the economic development, internationalisation and the well-being of citizens.
ScaleUp Porto. differentiates itself by its scaleup nature. Companies in this phase have in Porto a natural choice. This Manifesto reflects the commitment of the city in the implementation of a scaleup programme that can be reflected all across Europe.