Practices > Good Practices > Spatial Cross-Collaboration > Start-Up Lisboa

Start-Up Lisboa is an example of a spatial – cross collaboration services in the city of Lisbon. The creation of business incubators is one of the most effective and innovative factors to attract micro, small and medium enterprises and to ensure their survival in the early days of activity, a fact particularly important in the current economic and social context. This can be a European solution to the crisis and jobs creation, mainly targeted to the young European entrepreneurs.  It is a new city politics because this incubator is part of a new strategy for economy and innovation in the city of Lisbon.

Start-Up Lisboa is part of an urban regeneration project for the downtown area of the city (Baixa), including the reuse of historical buildings and it was implemented with a decisive role played by the private partners.
But is not just one more incubator. It is an incubator with special characteristics.

Role of partners?
There are two types of partners: the three founding organizations (Municipality of Lisbon, IAPMEI, Montepio Geral) that participated in the creation of Start-Up Lisboa and the founding partners, which were decisive to the implementation of the project (private companies like KPMG, Portugal Telecom, Brandia, SBI Consulting, Lisbon MBA, SAGE, Microsoft, Cisco and others).

The use of financial and practical resources was shared by the three founding organizations which participated in the activity (it is a truly innovative Public-Private Partnership):
1. The Municipality of Lisbon, which has undertaken the initial investment
2. IAPMEI – a public institute – that developed the system of support to the creation and management of the start-ups
3. Montepio Geral – a private bank and a mutual association – which provided the installations and had undertaken the specific works in the incubator´s building and also manages the fund – FINICIA – to support the entrepreneurs’ activities.
4. Also the founding partners (private companies) had provided equipment and services to the incubator.

Why is it needed?
For the implementation of its objectives, the Start-Up Lisboa intends to capture and develop skills and knowledge by promoting and encouraging creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
And why Start-Up Lisboa meets the Innovation criteria? What are the incubator´s special characteristics?
1. It results of the will of Lisbon citizens who had voted in this project in the Participatory Budgeting;
2. It was implemented through a Public-Private Partnership, with a decisive role by the private companies that have speed up its  implementation;
3. It is located in the historical central area (downtown) of the city and it is part of an urban regeneration project;
4. It is the starting point and a central node of a network of incubators and acceleration spaces (both public and private) that are being developed in the city of Lisbon;
5. It is truly international and cosmopolitan (there are entrepreneurs from other countries and the potential markets are outside of Portugal), it has a strong focus on technological products and services and it´s not, like other incubators, associated to a university.

What are the success factors and challenges?
Facts and figures on the success of Start-Up Lisboa:
1. Increase the number of spaces available to entrepreneurs. A high number of entrepreneurs (300) have applied for a place in the Start-Up Lisboa (the occupancy is now in the maximum rate – 33 entrepreneurs – including 18 “physical” companies, 5 pre-incubation projects and 10 “virtual” incubation companies).
2. Create new jobs in the city (high qualified and young people). Number of persons working in the building: 100-120;
3. Incubator´s innovative products and services are entering in the market;
4. Increase the economic activities around the incubator´s area;
5. Number of funds raised to the entrepreneurs (until now):
6. The entrepreneurs already installed in the incubator show strong support to the initiative and clearly want to stay longer.

The incubator was one of the most voted projects by the citizens of Lisbon in the Participatory Budgeting 2009/2010. Also a high number of entrepreneurs have applied for a place in the Start-Up Lisboa. Finally, the companies/entrepreneurs already selected and installed in the Start-Up Lisboa support the initiative and are very satisfied with the conditions provided by the incubator.

Watch the video about “Lisbon – Start-Up City” – with the participation of foreign entrepreneurs who have chosen Lisbon and Start-Up Lisboa incubator to undertake their projects:

Business name: Start-Up Lisboa
Contact name: João Vasconcelos
Address: Rua da Prata, 80 – 1100 Lisbon – Portugal
Telephone:  –
City: Lisbon
Country: Portugal
E-mail: geral(at)
Legal status of Company: Private non-profit association
Number of employees: 100-120
Nature of business: Incubator
Name of company collaborating with: IAPMEI and Montepio Geral
Title of project: Start-Up Lisboa
Date of activity: 2012 – present
Activity Theme: Spatial Cross-Collaboration

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