Beta-i carried out an Ecosystem Survey to understand the evolution of the innovation market over the past 12 months among players in Portugal’s tech community.
The survey’s results show a growth in innovation and digital transformation projects during the pandemic.
One year after the beginning of the pandemic, these were the main takeaways:
- 71% of respondents say that the number of innovation projects developed between startups, companies, universities, and research centres has increased between March 2020 and March 2021;
- 50% show an increase in their number of innovation partners to find new solutions to the pandemic’s challenges;
- 47% of respondents give greater preference to seeking local partners rather than entities outside of Portugal;
- Collaboration has also gained new strength, with over 70% of the community upholding the growth of this belief;
- Innovation and digital transformation as agents of change increased 47%;
- 52% of the respondents’ optimism about the future remains similar to the pre-pandemic period, being a more skeptical or pragmatic stance based on issues that go beyond the pandemic context – such as diversifying innovation funding models and reducing bureaucracy and public procurement rules;
- At Beta-i, we also saw our number of projects increase compared between March 2020 (15) and March 2021 (22 projects) and a 22% revenue growth in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2020.
Alisson Avila, our co-founder and Communication and Knowledge Expert, explained that “the survey was conducted with people who work with innovation and digital transformation, during a year where this was paramount. A year later, this 12 month survey was undoubtedly crucial for the ecosystem to understand the way it deals with uncertain environments and, above all, rethink the way it approaches innovation.”
“However, we must understand the context of the data before assuming a positive correlation. The results show a solid upcoming scenario at a digital level; nevertheless, it may not represent higher revenue generation. It will be essential to align this through 2021, to confirm the trend that collaboration for innovation is a culture and process for generating results in the market,” adds Alisson.
The survey had the participation of 54 players from the technology community, including founders of startups, leaders, large companies’ executives, researchers, and investors, mostly of Portuguese nationality. The answers were collected between February and March, 2021.
Digital transformation still has a long way to go before becoming ubiquitous in society and companies. The belief that all the market is fully on digital mode, is actually a myth.
B2B relations might consider more environmental, social issues in their procurement and compliance processes;
Core business technological reinvention is an unavoidable must. Really. At last.
These are some of the key impressions from “Learnings in times of a pandemic – A quick poll on personal mindset changes” ran by Beta-i during the peak of quarantine and self-isolation stress in Europe (May to June). We’ve asked some of our corporate clients, closest startups and other stakeholders (investors, think tanks) about these new perspectives. And you can access the full results here:
Well yes, we do have some exciting news to share. We’re launching our new brand and everything that comes along in these key moments. We’re really happy with the final result – something that was already happening when the entire planet turned upside down with the pandemic:The interesting thing is that our value proposition – collaborative innovation – couldn’t be more aligned with the new challenges brought by this new brand world waiting for us out there, or already impacting us right now whenever we can be.
Beta-i has distilled its approach on innovation during the past years and if there’s a one really important thing to highlight at this point, is that what we’re saying is not a goal or a will. It’s a reality from here to the future. Beta-i has a global reach actually, a strong 10-year track record on innovation ecosystems and an expert team able to share this knowledge.
We have a new branch in Brazil, clients in 20 countries in the 5 continents and an admirable team of 50 people from 15 different nationalities.
We believe collaboration is the key to make things change. To solve things that matter. To help ecosystems and society grow. To, no bullshit, build a collective future. That’s what we have been doing; now, we’re just funnelling these services to the same destination: collaboration to innovate. We’ll keep connecting the innovation voices to transform ideas into a business, pilots into deals, solutions into impact to solve complex changes.
Beta-i was created during the last Portuguese crisis, in the second half of 2009, with the deep motivation of being part of the solution and help to create an innovation ecosystem able to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. We helped to make that in Portugal and abroad, and now we’re leveraging this in a global scale – helping corporates, startups, universities, investors, social impact organizations and other voices to work together. We’re starting a new phase in the best possible moment.
So you’re invited to explore our new site and follow our social media channels. And stay tuned: we have a lot more to share during the next months. And to tell, after 10 years of ongoing innovation.
I was at the South Summit in Madrid last week on a mission to explore this innovation platform. I can say it was interesting, impacting and at the same time, consuming.
Here are my personal takeaways from the event:
The spanish innovation ecosystem is booming, and it’s reaching out to the world
South Summit is, however you want to spin it, a very spanish event. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, quite on the contrary! The startup scene in Spain is becoming very mature. Madrid and Barcelona are true European innovation hotspots and surprising local ecosystems are arising in Andaluzia, Galicia, Asturias and Basque Country. But this is also an event that is attracting startups from all over the world (and not only the usual suspects from Europe and Latin America).
Collaboration is the name of the game – Corporates <3 Startups <3 Corporates
Innovation is more and more becoming a space for collaboration between different stakeholders, and big corporates are more than ever interested in working with startups in new solutions and testing disruptive technologies in their operations and businesses. Most of the corporates represented in South Summit already have some kind of structured approach to deal with startups and some already have acceleration and open innovation programs.
Let’s talk about talks! It’s all about networking…
Just between you and me… what’s the thing about these events and the non-ending agenda of talks about the same topics, all over again, where the content ends up being… let’s say it… not really interesting. OK, I do suffer from FOMO everytime I go to these events and end up watching a few talks on topics that I’m interested in. But more times than not I end up being utterly disappointed. But then, the real value of events like this is the networking and the possibility of meeting in the same place amazing startups and innovators. Come for the talks and stay for the networking…
AI in the front seat, Data in the engine
We are finally seeing big companies apply AI in real use cases and not only doing pilots and small controlled experiments. But AI runs on data, and we still need to work on issues like data sharing frameworks, information architecture, stakeholders collaboration and… privacy. The GDPR trauma is long gone but companies are still finding ways to integrate data protection in their data strategies.
Health startups are coming, and Mobility is here
Of the many hot topics in South Summit my eyes went to Healthcare and Mobility. On healthcare new solutions are arising in diagnostics and devices, and you should take a look at Mentalab, one of the amazing startups that accelerated with Data Pitch. Also take a look at the winner of this track – 2eyesvision. And mobility is booming with solutions ranging from drones, logistics, shared mobility and of course, MaaS solutions like iomob, the winner of this track.
Mind the Bridge and Beta-i, under the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) initiative, have recently presented the “SEP Monitor Report”, a report that looks at the Portuguese startup ecosystem in depth. “Portugal Rising” was the title of the last SEP Monitor, presented at the end of 2015, and a year and a half later we can now say it was right since Portugal is growing twice as fast as the European average.
The scaleup ecosystem in Portugal is growing and it’s growing fast. In the last year over $130 million dollars of new funding was secured (40% of the total financing raised in the 2010-2016 timeframe), this means Portugal is growing 2 times faster compared to the European average.
Portugal registered 67 scaleups, with $350 million dollars capital raised. If we look a little closer, we can find that Lisbon is the ‘Portuguese Scaleup Hotspot’ responsible for $221 millions of the capital raised, having seen 27 scaleups, 17 exits since 2010 and 38% of new capital raised.
“Of the 17 Portuguese ICT startups that have exited since 2010, 65% have been in the last two years. In absolute terms, Portugal holds 15th place in the ranking of European scaleup ecosystems. While looking at Portuguese figures we need to consider that beyond the relatively smaller size of the Portuguese economy, the ecosystem is quite young. 76% of all scaleups tracked were established after 2010 – the European average is 67% – and almost half of them have been founded after 2013. The majority (88% of total) are small scaleups”, notes Alberto Onetti, Chairman of Mind the Bridge and Coordinator of Startup Europe Partnership.
Ricardo Marvão, Co-founder at Beta-i, added “it’s interesting to note international investors are playing a central role in the scale-up of the Portuguese ecosystem. 62% of capital made available to scaleups – 86% of later stage rounds – comes from abroad. International events such as the Web Summit, the Lisbon Investment Summit, and Scaleup Porto have been incredibly important in advancing the Portuguese scaleup landscape”.
Four out of five of the most funded companies in Portugal are “dual companies”, scaleups founded in Portugal that partially relocated their headquarters abroad while keeping relevant operations in their home country.
Another aspect is that mortality is quite low among Portuguese scaleups. Only 1 scaleup previously tracked has run out of business. The ratio (1.9%) is among the lowest we recorded in Europe. No cases of “early mortality” have been recorded in Portugal (no scaleups founded after 2013 have closed business).
Download the full report: