StartUp Portimão turns six with “eyes set on future”

Business incubator was created in 2017

Startup Portimão, the ‘business incubator’ created to help the development of new businesses and stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit in Portimão, celebrated its sixth anniversary on Thursday, August 10 with a ceremony attended by several high-profile guests.

Among them was Luís Matos Martins, representing StartUp Portimão, as well as Paulo Pinheiro (CEO of Parkalgar/Algarve International Racetrack), André Gomes (the newly-appointed President of the Algarve Tourism Region, or RTA), José Apolinário (President of the Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission), Isilda Gomes (Mayor of Portimão), and Pedro Cilínio (Secretary of State for Economy).


Operating since 2017 at the racetrack in Sítio do Escampadinho, Mexilhoeira Grande, StartUp Portimão has seen the creation of 27 startups, 35 jobs, 241 initiatives, 1,339 facility visits and 366 hours of training.

One of the project’s developed at the ‘incubator’ and which was highlighted at the anniversary event was the StartIUPI entrepreneurship program in primary schools, which involved nine fourth-grade classes, involving 225 students, and culminated in a product sale fair.

Meanwhile, Luís Matos Martins also revealed that Portimão has been chosen to host Incubx – National Meeting of Incubators, which will take place on September 28. He added that a co-working space operated by StartUp Portimão is also due to open soon at the renovated Lota building in Portimão.

StartUp Portimão turns six with “eyes set on future”

Another major project linked to StartUp Portimão is Celerator, described as a “unique technology park” which will represent a €7.2 million investment and will be built at the racetrack.

“We have to be at the frontline and think of new ways of looking at the industry, which is why we aim to create the first technological park focused on new technologies, which will without a doubt have an impact on Portimão, the Algarve and Portugal,” said Paulo Pinheiro at the event.

Meanwhile, André Gomes highlighted the “excellent work” carried out at StartUp Portimão, which he stressed has been supported by RTA as they share similar goals.

“Public and private investment is necessary along with the involvement of the whole community, as this is how intelligent and digital destinations are built,” said Gomes.

The six-year history of StartUp Portimão was also praised by José Apolinário, who underlined the importance of “diversifying the economic basis of the Algarve”.

Local mayor Isilda Gomes highlighted that the presence of a secretary of state at the anniversary event is “proof of how the work carried out here is valued.

“StartUp Portimão is a project with great strength and dignity for the municipality and for the Algarve, and only with the participating and collaboration of all partners will we be able to consolidate projects,” said Gomes, adding that the municipal assembly has just approved the “creation of a university campus” which will be “mostly aimed at areas of advanced engineering” and will be supported by the Algarve International Racetrack.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for the Economy, Pedro Cilínio, stated that working as a network “allows for a combined approach” and highlighted the importance of the current National Incubators Network, which StartUp Portimão is a part of.

By Michael Bruxo

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