As an example of good governance between a public and private entity.
Founded in 2012, Startup Lisboa it´s a private non-profit association, which three founding entities: Lisbon Municipality, Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation, Bank Montepio Geral. Operationalizing some their programmes closest to the municipality and the government, and all the players of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Startup Lisboa is to support the development and growth of startups, helping them to attract customers and investors, to scale up and to become global. Startup Lisboa began its activity when there were no incubators targeting startups, which made it the first of its kind, bringing innovation to the region. The innovation accompanied its life, as it is the only incubator in the region that has a residence for entrepreneurs, a tourism programme to attract entrepreneurs to the city, a merchandising line to promote Lisbon as a city of entrepreneurship, and also a programme (The Host) that foments the free circulation of startups among the partnet incubators around the world.

Resources needed

Start-up investment: Lisbon Participative Budget (Lisbon Municipality); - Building (Bank Montepio Geral); - Lisbon Municipality support; - Companies support; - Average anual budget – 750.000€; - Human Resources needed - Staff = 14 pax and Outsourced = 3 providers.

Evidence of success

Metrics of Startup Lisboa since the beginning of its activity : - 4.500 applications; - 400 supported startups; - Entrepreneurs supported from more than 40 countrys; - 150M Investment raised by startups; - 3.500 jobs created.

Difficulties encountered

It is very important for incubators to be autonomous entities from the local authorities, even though they receive financial support from these local authorities. This independency facilitates all process and influences positively the perception of the general public regarding the incubator.

Potential for learning or transfer

Incubators shouldn´t look at startups as their main source of financing. Startups should pay to be incubated, because it contributes to increase their responsibility regarding the institution. However, the fee they pay should be below the fair value, to help them in beginning of the activity. So incubators should look also to other sources of financing.
Incubation is not about renting office spaces. Incubators have to promote a culture of proximity with all actors of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The secret of success lies in the partnerships established.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Municipality of Lisbon
Lisboa, Portugal
Start Date
October 2012
End Date


Please login to contact the author.