The Web Summit was VERY GOOD! Congratulations Lisbon, Congratulations Portugal!

Web Summit WAS VERY GOOD! Some criticisms were heard and it is true that it was not perfect, but I would still like to see what the perfect event is. Details get better, it’s time to celebrate, 53 thousand people! It was commented that many visitors went there just for curiosity, with no interest in the matter. But being a theme that is radically transforming the world and that will impact all areas of society, this is an initial form of awareness. Given that the main barrier to the digitalization of a society is education, this first contact for some of the visitors has a very positive impact.

In terms of content, several of the world’s best experts in their fields were present. Those who didn’t know anything, if they paid attention, learned. Conferences for all levels with various themes that go far beyond technology. One of my favorites was the Vatican’s Director of Culture, who gave a lecture together with the CEO of Burning Man.

Lisbon was in its splendor. A welcoming population that speaks decent English (whatever the statistics say) and that strives to be nice to visitors (who were delighted). How often do we have several of the world’s most world-changing people in the same city, dining and loving Portuguese food in the streets of Alfama o Bairro Alto? How many will come back and recommend it to their friends? For tourism, the impact will be very positive.

In an industry characterized by informality, it was great to see the various organizers and influencers integrated with the attendees. During the event (and at the various parties in the evening) I crossed paths several times with the Secretary of State for Industry, João Vasconcelos, with Miguel Frasquilho, President of AICEP, Paulo Portas, Vítor Costa and Paula Oliveira, from Tourism of Lisbon, and Luís Araújo, from Turismo de Portugal. It is refreshing to see this kind of relationship where entrepreneurs are treated as if they were you in contrast to the bureaucrats locked in offices who only show up for the photo or to create difficulties.

The Portuguese startups were also up to the task, it was interesting to see them pitching to several of the main investors and funds. Some are already part of the ‘international circuit’ as, for example, Pedro Trinité from TTR ( one of my favorite cases of entrepreneurship in Portugal that has already internationalized) that knew and was respected by many of the main international investors.

Of course, now everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, but from my own experience, as I’ve done quite well and badly with the subject, one must be careful, because entrepreneurship is not easy, it’s not for everyone and there are no miracles. Let’s not create expectations believing that everyone will be the next Facebook or Instagram. We have to be well warned about the risks so that we don’t make mistakes and ruin families. But with that in mind, entrepreneurship can be part of the solutions for the country. The ecosystem is still in an initial phase and is one more step along a path that has already been paved by institutions such as Beta and Start up Lisboa, and that will develop more and more. We will talk more about the announced funds and the P2020 in one of the next articles.

Lisbon is on the map of the sector! Congratulations Lisbon! Congratulations Portugal! Congratulations to the organizers! Next year there will be more, and until then let’s get to work to develop entrepreneurship.

David Bernardo
David Bernardo
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