Government launches new measures to support entrepreneurship

In 2016 the National Strategy for Entrepreneurship Startup Portugal was launched by the Government with 3 objectives: to create and support the national ecosystem, to attract national and foreign investors and to accelerate the growth of Portuguese startups in foreign markets. The Startup Portugal+ Program, presented in July 2018, was designed by the Government to give a new impetus to the initial strategy and to address emerging challenges. In addition to the consolidation of 5 measures of the original program, 20 new measures are launched.

(Read in Portuguese)

Startup Voucher

Support for the development of projects in the idea phase. It provides for the assignment of several technical and financial tools for the creation of new innovative companies by entrepreneurs from 18 to 35 years.
New: New call for applications open from 9 July onwards for 400 applicants. For the first time, it is open to projects in the Lisbon region. There will be 2 notices per year.

All details and application forms can be found HERE.


Momentum Program

Support for recent graduates and finalists of Higher Education who have benefited from social action grants and who, at the end of their studies, want to develop a business idea.
New: The number of projects supported under this program will increase to about 50 per year.

Incubation Voucher

Support to companies with less than one year in the area of ntrepreneurship, by contracting services provided by certified incubators. Support includes management services, marketing, legal advice and support, digitization support intellectual property protection and support for applications for entrepreneurship and innovation contests.
New: Applications will be open continuously, starting in July 2018. The maximum value of the ticket goes from 5,000 to 7,500 euros, except in Lisbon.

Internationalization support missions

Support for the participation of Portuguese startups in major international technology events and in state visits abroad with members of the Government. It aims to promote the visibility of national startups abroad and of Portugal as an innovative country.
Upcoming missions / events 2018: Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom, TechCrunch (September), SLUSH - Helsinki (December), TechCrunch - Berlin (December).

Road 2 Web Summit

Support and prepare Portuguese startups to maximize participation in the largest technological entrepreneurship event in the world.
In 2018: the number of Portuguese startups to participate in Road 2 Web Summit rises to 200. The preparation bootcamps are also open to large Portuguese companies and SMEs.


Startup Hub

Create a digital platform for mapping startups and national incubators, which includes information on the supports available to the ecosystem. The platform will also allow you to approach startups and large companies through the Pitch Voucher.

Pitch Voucher

The Pitch Voucher promotes the strengthening of the relationship between startups and large companies. Through the Startup Hub platform, companies can launch technological challenges and startups can respond with innovative solutions.

Training for Entrepreneurs

Courses intended for entrepreneurs and their teams, funded 90% through COMPETE. This measure allows to increase the training offer of incubators and accelerators to respond to the needs identified by entrepreneurs.
Objective: 1200 trainees.


Bringing startups to the public sector, promoting their services and products to public managers and disseminating to startups how to access and bid for public tenders in different business areas.

Open Kitchen Labs

Provision of facilities and equipment in the network of 12 Tourism Schools throughout the country to startups who wish to test products, services and concepts in the area of atering and food tech.


Launching of competitions to present entrepreneurship projects in the area of commerce, which contribute to stimulate innovation in the sector.

Energy Challenge

Funding of technology-based startups to develop innovative ideas and projects in the energy field that help solve existing challenges and have strong market and internationalization potential. Focused on the initial development of innovative technological solutions in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency (measurement, management, technologies for reducing consumption, materials) and generation from renewable sources. Support in the areas of the development of business plans, risk analysis, intellectual property protection, development of laboratory prototypes or certification and marketing activities. The planned funding is between 20 and 50 thousand euros per project, non-refundable.

International Coinvestment Funds

Creation of an international co-investment fund to promote the attraction of venture capital funds in Portugal, originating from international multilateral institutions. The fund provides for a public contribution which, together with private investment, allows co-investment of up to EUR 50 million.

Startup DNA Line

Creation of a financial support line for startups and micro-enterprises under the age of 4 and a minimum of 15% of equity funding. Allocation of 10 million euros. Maximum financing per company of 50 thousand euros, with the potential to double under specific conditions. The term of the supported operations can go up to 8 years. The capital shortage period can go up to 24 months. The line includes counter-guarantee mechanisms provided through Portuguese mutual guarantee companies.

KEEP- Key Employee Engagement Program

Tax incentive to support the retention of workers in technology companies under 6 years. Employees who hold or will hold shares in a company, obtained through a salary premium, Employee Stock Option Programs or by individual acquisition, and who obtain gains from these holdings, see these gains exempt from IRS.

Co-investment instruments with incubators and accelerators

Creation of co-financing lines with incubators and accelerators, in a model similar to the lines developed to co-invest with Business Angels and Venture Capital. This mechanism facilitates access to capital by entrepreneurs and encourages the emergence of incubators that share the success of startups.

Capital + acceleration

Creation of a financing line for capital inflows to accelerate the growth of startups. Line managed by IFD. It foresees that the capital investment operations in the startups can be reversed, with the transformation of the participations in loan in the medium and long term, using a fixed scheme of reimbursements. Through this line the startups guarantee a loan that can be repaid in the medium term, thus recovering the interests in the capital of the company.

Lines of financing for technological projects in Tourism

Creation of financing for technological projects in Tourism, particularly innovative solutions in the area of igitalization of tourist experiences and projects based on virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. A line of support for the Digitization in Tourism is planned, within the framework of the Valorizar Program. Portugal Ventures will launch the call.

Call MVP - Minimum Viable Products

Launch of a call by Portugal Ventures for projects of new ideas, technologies, products or services that foresee the creation of an MVP and its commercialization in the global market. The areas of Digital (Enterprise, Cibersecurity, Networks, Artificial Intelligence, AR / VR, Marketplaces, Blockchain and IoT) and Engineering & Manufacturing (New Materials, Electronics, Robotics, Cleantech, Agrotech, SeaTech) are favored. The selected projects will benefit from investment ranging from 300 thousand to 1 million euros.

METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars

Launch of an international acceleration program with Techstars focused on the use of technology in the hospitality industry (accommodation & catering). METRO Accelerator is an intensive program that involves consulting, joint learning, product testing and mentoring for business development and attracting more investment. It allows participating startups access to more than 500 restaurants and hotels to test and validate their products or services and the international investor network of Techstars.

Company Space for startups

Creation of a point of service for foreign entrepreneurs with bilingual service (Portuguese and English), ensuring a simple and fast process of company creation. This space acts as a centralized information point on all types of support for the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Tech Visa

Creation of a visa for technological and innovative companies, aimed at the global market, wishing to attract highly qualified staff from countries not included in the Schengen area. The analysis of the eligibility and merit of the candidate companies is the responsibility of IAPMEI. Tech Visa invites the interview candidates at the Portuguese Embassies / Consulates in the respective country of origin to obtain the residence visa.

Hackathons in Trade and Tourism

Realization of hackathons to accelerate the digital transformation in the sectors of Commerce and Tourism, calling Portuguese and foreign startups to solve technological challenges identified in these sectors and increasing the visibility and recognition of startups.

Center for Innovation in Tourism

Creation of a center to stimulate innovation in tourism, involving the various national and international stakeholders in the sector. Its mission will be to support the development of new business ideas, the experimentation of projects and the capacity building of companies in the field of innovation and the digital economy. Within the Innovation Center will be the Digital Tourism Academy - a business training program for digital - and an incubator specialized in the development of innovative solutions for the Tourism sector.

Think tank for the Digital Single Market in Europe and easier scaling from Portugal

Create a think tank to analise and design measures for startups to scale inside Europe, significantly speed up and support the establishment of a Digital Single Market (DSM), and manifest the leadership position of Portugal in the policy of innovation that fosters digital Entrepreneurship and Policy in Europe. Startup Portugal will be in charge to moderate and initiate conversations with key stakeholders in Brussels, European Member States and Startup Associations across Europe to identify and suggest measures to reduce the burden for startups to internationalise across borders in Europe, to modernise the established industry (Industry 4.0) and help harvest the European market of over 500 million people more successfully.