Mayor launches Lisbon Unicorn City

 In News, Start-Up

Lisbon’s Mayor Carlos Moedas has unveiled the Lisbon unicorn factory project as the city welcomes Web Summit 2022 which opens tomorrow.

The project, which was one of his key election pledges in his bid for city hall, was officially unveiled on Thursday at the Beato Creative Hub where adaptation and refurbishment works had been ongoing since 2021.
The idea is to accommodate startup companies that have the potential to become unicorns in creating what he termed at the time “a unicorn factory”.
The city hall and its partners have stumped up €8 million to attract and support startups in a bid to create wealth, encourage diversity and regeneration in the city’s economy. The overall investment could eventually be €100 million.
According to the Mayor and Startup Lisboa, this will be a platform of hubs with various programmes to support startups, and scale-ups to create business models that are disruptive.
“The aim is to help take companies, of any nationality, at the beginning of their lives, help them reach a global scale, and eventually become unicorns or companies worth US$1Bn.
During his presentation at Beato, Carlos Moedas said how proud the city hall was with having succeeded in bringing the project to fruition in the face of so many doubters.
“There are projects in our lives that are somehow different. For five years I battled to change the innovation paradigm” he began.
And continued: “When I was elected as mayor, my challenge for the city was this…. to shake the city up and get it moving”.
“We cannot have a city in which we have a great startups ecosystem and then not have these companies turn into large ones”, he added.
The mayor said he and his team had been inspired by templates in New York and Berlin where there were similar platforms transforming startups and scaling them up into viable international companies.
In terms of investment, he said: “This programme will start off with €8 million of public money but pointed out that partners and sponsors included Google, oil and gas company Galp and bank BPI.