Our own Sandra Wolf was invited by Startup Lisboa Executive DirectorJoão Vasconcelos to join him at the Startup Europe Summit 2015 hosted in @Factory Berlin. Here’s what happened:

Arriving in Berlin for two days, we headed straight to Factory Berlin on the East side of the city by the Wall. Not only the venue for this year’s Startup Europe Summit, it is also an outstanding campus (great work,@SimonSchaefer!) for startups and more established tech companies like Soundcloud and Twitter. Can you smell the vegan food?

The event kicked off with Mike Butcher of TechCrunch, interviewing European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip on the Digital Single Market, a key pillar of a continent-wide strategy to boost economic growth by removing borders from digital technologies, telecoms and copyright.

“If you’re building a global company with a global mindset, Lisbon is the place to live.”

So said João Vasconcelos as he led a talk on our startup scene, leading a delegation of the Portuguese startup mafia that included Muzzley,Unbabel, Uniplaces, Portugal Ventures and others.

Video of João’s talk is below, but the key takeaways were the usual (and convincing) pitch about the strength of Lisbon’s ecosystem in particular:

  • Much lower costs than even Berlin, and on the same timezone as London
  • Fulltime developer costs starting at hundreds a month, not thousands
  • Latest generation telecoms infrastructure with lightning fast connections and 4G
  • A gateway not just to the rest of Europe, but Brazil and Africa through same language
  • 40% of Startup Lisboa’s companies are founded by foreigners

Of course representing, I was eager to hear about tech recruitment, and Raffaela Rein, CEO and Founder of Career Foundry delivered a great presentation, The Broken Career Ladder: How to Climb the Ranks in the Digital Age. She was right to point out that there’s really no such thing as a “career” anymore – with 75% of people worldwide planning on changing it in the next 5 years, and nearly two-thirds not truly engaged in what they do.

Other highlights were: connecting with the Israeli investor Yossi Vardi(remember ICQ? That was one of his first tech investments! Come to Lisbon, Yossi!); meeting Maciej Jankowski, co-founder of @StartupPoland(Witam ponownie!), and hearing founder of BlaBla Car, Frederic Mazzellatalk about his company with his tongue in his cheek was pretty funny.

A great couple of days. Danke, Berlin! Obrigado, João!



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