Portugal is on trend. For its quality of life, climate, and culture but more recently for its business-friendly environment and emerging tech scene.
Taking advantage of the boom in tourism, Portugal figured out how to turn this newfound relevancy into business opportunities. From hosting major events to presenting an open door for the best and most qualified creatives and decision-makers, Portugal is now one of the most attractive destinations for startups.
These developments have energized and inspired dozens of young entrepreneurs that transformed their ideas into a dynamic and rapidly expanding Startup Ecosystem.
Reckon.ai blossomed from this spirit. Looking to transform the way people shop, we have consolidated our growth in the entrepreneurial synergy of our Startup Ecosystem. But…
What is a Startup Ecosystem?
A Startup Ecosystem is the interconnection of people, startups in their different stages, institutions, and various types of entrepreneurial processes and organizations. These actors interact as a system within the local entrepreneurial or startup community environment.
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
Our journey began in 2017 when there was only one Portuguese Unicorn, and WebSummit had just had its first edition in Lisbon. Things have been changing at a fast pace. The Portuguese Startup Ecosystem, while still young, has experienced steady growth and recognition.
According to Startup Portugal, in 2020, there were 2159 startups and scaleups in the country. Taking into account Portugal’s population of around 10 million, Portugal is 13% above the average number of startups per capita in Europe, and these numbers are expected to increase further.
Together these companies represent more than 1% of the Portuguese GDP, having raised more than 1 billion dollars in 2021, a 15x surge from 2017 to 2021.
This year, after a successful seed round, Reckon.ai was considered one of the 50 fastest-growing in Portugal, along with several of our industry partners. This success is motivation and fuel for greater development, where all lift each other and converge in a spirit of mutual reinforcement and encouragement.
But all the great results aren’t exclusive to companies’ performances. As a nation, through the years, Portugal has asserted itself in the European startup scene through distinctions like:
- 12th place in the Top 100 Emerging Ecosystem Ranking by Startup Genome
- 12th Most Innovative European Country by the European Innovation Panel
- Lisbon as the 4th Most Popular Startup Hub by Startup Heatmap Europe Report 2022
Global Mind, Heart from Porto, Portugal. That’s one of our mottos at Reckon.ai. It’s about having our eyes and goals set on the World but still seeing Portugal as our home. With a limited national playground, Portuguese startups have no alternative but to cross borders. Business plans have become global but aligned with the Portuguese market to further develop and enrich our ecosystem.
These internalization attempts are amply supported by national entrepreneurship agents that look to export these national change-makers ideas for the future. This year’s edition of Collision Conf was a prime example of this. Propelled by Startup Portugal and aicep Portugal Global, Reckon.ai was part of a Portuguese entourage of over 30 entrepreneurs that showcased the best work being developed in the country.
PORTO: THE PORTUGUESE TECH HUB
Our home, Porto concentrates 1 in 5 Portuguese startups, representing a share equivalent to 19% of the national total, leading the national ranking of entrepreneurship ecosystems and making it the key Portuguese tech hub.
Porto isn’t a standout only on a domestic level. In the European panorama, the city was previously ranked as the third fastest-growing tech hub in Europe, standing out with several startups per capita, 20% higher than the European average.
Reckon.ai is proud to be part of this movement. Porto is booming, and the energy is felt. With a dynamic and collaborative spirit, great initiatives have been developed to promote and expand the ambition of those who chose the city to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
Porto and Northern Portugal are also international juggernauts when it comes to manufacturing. This industry focus transpires into the people and their qualifications, with our team having deep industry know-how. With strong commercial and business acumen, these well-established companies have partnered with upcoming startups, providing us with immeasurable trust bridging the present and the future.
UNIVERSITIES AS LAUNCH PADS
After years of sidelining academia as a priority, the country saw the importance of scientific capacity. Recognizing the responsibility and merit of universities as centers of knowledge, Portugal got back on its feet, making progress in our ability to innovate.
Universities are the prime incubators for talent and ideas. Reckon.ai’s starting point is proof of the impact of this investment in education in innovation. While attending Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, our founders realized the transformative power of combining Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, and Retail, and the rest is history.
Companies realized this, and a shift happened in the industry. Startups are now actively looking for talent fresh out of college to enrich their teams and further propel the ecosystem. Portugal has its most qualified generation ever, and these efforts bring closer the link between universities and businesses while garnering support for science and innovation.
In the technology field, many young qualified jobs have already been created, with Startup Portugal disclosing that these entrepreneurial efforts have employed over 25.000 people in the country.
From Software Development to Mechanics, Arts, and Marketing, our ever-growing team comes almost entirely from Porto-based institutions. Multidisciplinary and versatile, we are a team of doers, and these principles come as a result of solid foundations and career preparation.
At Reckon.ai, we want to transform Global Retail while uplifting our homeland. The Portuguese startup ecosystem has matured, and the world started to look at Portugal in a different light. With an improved image, Portugal will continue to reposition itself as a country of disruption, creating startups and promoting entrepreneurship. A collaborative effort that we at Reckon.ai face head first, committing to leading the Portuguese entrepreneurial project and its future.