Tomorrow (July 15, 2016), the European Startup Initiative (ESI) will publish the Startup Heatmap Europe report (www.startupheatmap.eu). Caixa Capital has had an exclusive early look at the report, which shows an in-depth analysis of EU startups’ migration, founders’ motives and seeks to provide a reference for comparison of hotspots and ecosystems.
One of the most exceptional findings of the report is the rise of Lisbon's and Portugal’s recognition in the European startup ecosystem.
Stephan Morais, Executive Board Member of Caixa Capital, says “This report demonstrates the fantastic evolution of the Portuguese startup ecosystem in the last five years. We must continue to work hard to grow and mature the ecosystem, while expanding the possibilities for Portuguese startups to grow and internationalize.”
The report reveals that Lisbon is among the top 5 favorite European cities for founders. Startup founders were asked in which city they would start if they could begin all over again. 5% of all founders surveyed would choose to kick off their startup in Portugal. The only cities that scored higher than Lisbon as founder favorites were Berlin, London, Amsterdam, and Barcelona. The study concludes that “the massive movement of founders across Europe has already created a fierce competition for entrepreneurial talent among regions and startup hubs.” The interest in Lisbon suggests that founders around Europe recognize what Lisbon has to offer in terms of resources available to startups.
Further, Portugal as whole is attracting startups. While a negative net migration flow of startup founders can be observed in Southern Europe, when looked at individually, Portugal actually has a net positive migration flow of founders. Meaning, more startup founders are moving into Portugal than moving out.
The success of Lisbon’s startup ecosystem is more than mere media buzz. Lisbon fares much better than its reputation in the media. The report analyzed each city’s ranking based on media mentions and startup founder preference. Lisbon’s vivid startup ecosystem has recently seen significant media buzz as the new home of the Web Summit. However founders score the city significantly higher as an attractive location to found a startup than would be expected from media mentions. The report concludes “founders indeed see the substance behind the hub’s repositioning and reward it with the highest rise in ranks of all cities in the competition.”
According to the report, the results of the survey “debunk certain myths about startup ecosystem development through PR by policymakers and community builders alike, while they endorse successful transformations as in the case of Lisbon.”