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The Web Summit has been described as the most important tech event in the world as it welcomes thousands of attendees from all sectors of the global high technology industry who are there to make connections and gain insights into internet technology, emerging technologies, and venture capitalism, with partners ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups. This year will see a different kind of summit as the numbers of attendees are reportedly lower than in previous years, but that doesn’t seem to be diminishing exhibitors’ expectations, as the point of attending is to get new quality conversations started.
As part of StartUp Portugal’s Alpha Program, the software development company Bridge In, a proud IPBN member, will be exhibiting at the upcoming Web Summit in Lisbon on November 3 as a selected startup even though the company has been successfully helping foreign companies open their operations here in Portugal and recruiting the necessary tech talent located here for a while now. Founder and CEO of Bridge In Pedro Henriques told us the company is in the sweet spot "somewhere between a mentor and a start-up. We can play both sides because we are relatively young." We sat down with Henriques to find out about his expectations for the summit as it returns in its post-pandemic form to Portugal’s capital for its fifth-annual expo since its move from Dublin to Lisbon in 2016.
Since WebSummit made the move to Lisbon, the city itself has been referred to as the Silicon Valley of the old continent by entrepreneurs, investors and international publications. According to this article published by Bridge In, “It was just last year that the European Innovation Scoreboard 2020 classified Portugal as the 12th most innovative country in the European Union, right after being highlighted as one of the top 40 countries to do business by the World Bank…Lisbon keeps leading the race as one of the favorite destinations for expats and digital nomads, contributing to its diversity…[Moreover, the city] has an edge at a time when Brexit and new restrictions on immigration are increasingly problematic for London, Europe's No. 1 tech destination.”
Henriques said, “I’m curious to see how it will be onsite this year…I expect it will be less crowded and companies and employees who have been re-evaluating their lives during the pandemic will likely be more deliberate and possibly more aggressive with their agendas.” Henriques went on to say that he is looking forward to Antonio Costa’s speech at the summit in light of the recent news that the Portuguese moderate left government just announced that they won’t vote for the new budget. Henriques said, “Most likely, we will have to wait on any foreign investment until after January elections.”
In terms of what Bridge In is looking to gain from their exhibitor status at the 2021 Web Summit, Henriques says, “We support external companies, so we know when they come to our stand they are interested in Portugal. We can help them get started. One big question I have is, how will people greet each other? No one knows what to do so it will be a great way to break the ice.”
If you are an entrepreneur interested in entering the Portuguese market, get in touch with Bridge In or download their step-by-step guide on how to open a company in Portugal. If you’re going to be attending the Web Summit, be sure to visit Pedro at booth number A442 in Pavilion 3 on November 3.
If you're interested in learning more about tech from within the IPBN network, please sign up to join our upcoming Members meet Members in Lisbon next week where we anticipate our Irish members visiting Lisbon for the Web Summit will join us. For more tech news within the IPBN, please click here.
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