The successful experience of Lisbon and Portugal, as an example for the development of the startup ecosystem in BrazilDate: 03/01
Often we turn to the experience of Silicon Valley to try to copy the secrets or only just to dream and to be inspired and often we forget to compare the reality of Brazil with countries closer to culture, experience and level of development of the market risk of the investment for start up .
In this sense, the example that comes to us from the city of Lisbon and Portugal can definitely be useful for the current Brazilian reality.
When Mr. Cosgrave, the founder of the Web Summit, announced the decision to move the event from Dublin to Lisbon, the media attention around the world has moved suddenly on the Portuguese capital. An interest so sudden, and well deserved. It is some years than in the city, and in Portugal, in general, has created an environment conducive to investment and entrepreneurship innovative.
So much so that, although the GDP 9 times less than the Italian, Portuguese startups more important, say the data of a recent report by the Startup Europe Partnership, have raised capital only two and a half times lower. This sudden blossoming is, in part, son of the great economic crisis, and of the austerity that followed.
Put in front of alternative between the company create its own, or not work at all, the Portuguese, as happened in other countries, have decided to embark on the business. The government has helped, with a series of measures to facilitate start-ups and those coming from abroad. Who wants to start a company, for example, can refer to the program "Empresa na hora" http://www.empresanahora.pt/ .
It does not allow, as the name might suggest, to create a society in an hour, but almost: the idea is that once recruited some red tape, mostly online, just one step from the relevant authority. In one day, then, you should attend to succeed. The cost is quite small: 360 € for the practices, in addition, obviously, to the share capital to be paid.
Streamlining bureaucracy, as is well known, however, also officials from our own, it is however only one aspect of the problem. To grow an ecosystem, another key is to be able to attract talent from abroad. Here the international environment and cosmopolitan Lisbon, certainly helps: high quality of life, cost of accommodation and food of much lower in London or Berlin, plenty of people who speak English, used to communicate with foreigners, are all factors that weigh , positively.
But there's more: at the end of 2009, Portugal has introduced a preferential tax regime for "not ordinarily resident". In summary, subject to certain pre-conditions, such as having lived in Portugal for more than 183 days in a year, or own a house there, you are entitled to ten years at a rate of support, independent of the gain, of 20%.
Instead of the normal progressive income tax, which can reach up to 42%. A great hook to attract wealthy investors who intended to open a branch office or a real on the banks of the Tagus. Until now, funding for startups Portuguese came mostly from local venture capital and private equity, as Caixa Capital, Faber Ventures, Ventures and Portugual, but things are changing.
Last November, for example, the startup Uniplaces www.uniplaces.com , platform that helps college students find accommodation, it has collected $ 24 million from Atomico and other very important. European funds
Another startup, Unbabel, https://unbabel.com , which aims to revolutionize the translation process using a mixture of artificial intelligence and human contribution, has collected money from, among others, Google Ventures and YCombinator. Among other startups that deserves mention, remember Codacy, Talksdesk, We come, Seedrs, Farfetch. The latter is even a "unicorn", that is worth more than a billion dollars, but we hesitate to consider it really gave the Portuguese, who despite being the original founder of the country, was born and raised in London.
It is the fate of the rest, many startups Lusitanian: even those that are launched at home, once they reach a certain critical mass, they are forced to move the headquarters elsewhere; maybe keeping the research and development department in Portugal, as it did for example We come. It is not a drama, and certainly does not happen only in Portugal,
Indeed, the small town of Saramago and Pessoa is naturally projected outwards: to Brazil and the United States, from the Atlantic, and from the United Kingdom, with which it shares the same time zone and many business relationships of ancient date, looking to the European continent. In this, and in size, it is very similar to Ireland. The choice of moving to the Lisbon Summit, is also explained well.
Now, comparing Portugal, friend of blood and culture, with Brazil dealing with the current situation of economic crisis, with a decline in GDP with a devaluation of the real and rising inflation, but also with a parallel increase of activities related to 'entrepreneurship, with the steady rise of e commerce and with a high potential of the domestic market with another 100 million users to reach, an important regional and international presence, with great integration between different peoples and cultures and you can understand how the major Brazilian cities can really become attractive poles of aggregation at a cost far cheaper for countries in the euro or dollar. Just that the government, the parliament and the institutions responsible move in the right direction, keeping in mind that Lisbon has become the new Mecca startups, not only for the climate and the quality of life but also for investments and government support.