The start-up ecosystems of Luxembourg and Portugal might still be fairly young compared to some other locations, but both countries are nonetheless home to dynamic and expansive start-up communities. The state visit of TRHs the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg to Portugal provided an ideal opportunity to take stock of the progress in the two countries and discuss mutually beneficial cooperation.
Same values, same ambitions
Over 120 participants joined the event entitled “Interconnected ecosystems driving entrepreneurship and innovation” that provided an overview of the two ecosystems and introduced several Luxembourg and Portuguese start-ups that presented their innovative and technological solutions.
“Luxembourg and Portugal not only share the same values, but also the same ambitions. Like the Portuguese government, the Luxembourg government is committed to supporting the start-up ecosystem,” Luxembourg Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot pointed out in his welcome address. He spoke about the steady growth of the number of start-ups in Luxembourg, in particular due to the implementation of the Fit 4 Start acceleration programme that provides pre-seed capital and expert coaching to promising young companies.
Since July 2021, the Startup Luxembourg web platform brings together the players of the ecosystem. “It is now essential to further develop interactions with other ecosystems, and Portugal is a partner of choice in this context”, the Minister pointed out. “Today’s event is a perfect opportunity to strengthen our relationship.”
Enhanced cooperation between start-up ecosystems
The ambition to work together is not new, but ties in well with the long-standing and close relationships between the two countries. When the Portuguese Minister of the Economy visited Luxembourg in 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at enhanced collaboration between the start-up ecosystems was signed. The organisation of the event on 11 May was yet another step forward.
Antonio Dias Martins, Executive Director of Startup Portugal, provided an overview of the Portuguese start-up ecosystem. With almost 2,150 start-ups and 150 incubators and accelerators, it ranks 12th among the top 100 emerging ecosystems. Several start-ups from both countries presented themselves, and Luxembourg and Portuguese investors participated in a round table discussion about start-up financing.
Skeeled, a digital recruitment start-up based in Luxembourg, benefitted from the event to sign a partnership agreement with Portuguese bank Banco de Investimento Global.
Photos: © SIP