Franz Fayot, Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy; Credit: MECO

As part of the economic mission organised on the occasion of the state visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess to Portugal, from 11 to 12 May 2022, Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, delivered the welcome address at an event dedicated to the mutual discovery of the startup ecosystems of Luxembourg and Portugal in Lisbon on Wednesday 11 May.

Entitled "Interconnected ecosystems driving entrepreneurship and innovation", this event highlighted the strengths of the two ecosystems and introduced several Luxembourg and Portuguese startups who presented their innovative and technological solutions. The event brought together more than 120 participants.

With fairly young yet very dynamic startup ecosystems, Luxembourg and Portugal have followed sometimes similar and sometimes different paths over the past ten years to build the foundations of a favourable economic environment for innovative entrepreneurs. Following the visit of the Portuguese Minister of the Economy to Luxembourg in 2017, a memorandum of understanding was signed, initiating a reinforced collaboration and today's event further strengthens the links between the two countries' startup ecosystems.

During the event on Wednesday, following a video presentation of the Luxembourg ecosystem, Economy Minister Franz Fayot spoke about the development of Luxembourg startups, the number of which has grown steadily as a result of the implementation of the Fit 4 start acceleration programme. Since July 2021, acts as a platform dedicated to the ecosystem, bringing together all players, i.e. over 500 startups and about fourteen public and private incubators.

Minister Fayot said: "Luxembourg and Portugal not only share the same values but also the same ambitions. Like the Portuguese government, the Luxembourg government is committed to supporting the startup ecosystem. After the official launch of in July 2021, it is now essential to further develop interactions with other ecosystems and Portugal is a partner of choice in this context. Today's event is a perfect opportunity to strengthen our relationship".

His speech was followed by that of Luc Frieden, President of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the House of Startups Luxembourg, the largest startup hosting infrastructure in Luxembourg.

A true startup institution in Portugal, the Lisbon incubator and accelerator, Startup Lisboa, was then invited to one of the two round tables with the participation of its Membership Manager, Pedro Teixeira. For his part, Jean-Michel Ludwig, Director of Business Development at Luxinnovation, recalled the central role of the Fit 4 Start acceleration programme in the structuring of the Luxembourg startup ecosystem. The event was also an opportunity for Skeeled, a digital recruitment startup based in Luxembourg, and the Portuguese bank Banco de Investimento Global to formalise their collaboration with the signing of a partnership.

The issue of financing was also discussed during a second round table moderated by Luis Galveias, chief operating officer (COO) of the Luxembourg Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (LPEA), in which investors from both countries participated.

Several presentations of Luxembourg and Portuguese startups offering innovative and technological solutions followed.

Finally, Antonio Dias Martins, Executive Director of Startup Portugal, also co-organiser of the event, gave a closing speech, drawing a portrait of the Portuguese ecosystem, which is ranked 12th in the top 100 emerging ecosystems and which counts almost 2,150 startups and 150 incubators and accelerators.