Soon I will be back in the United States after 4 incredible years discovering Portugal. I wrote this blog while in Madeira, the amazing and must-see island that the Portuguese discovered in 1419. Madeira was an important discovery for Portugal and most of the world knows that the Portuguese had an intensive period of maritime exploration during the 15th and 16th centuries. Portuguese sailors were at the vanguard of European overseas exploration. It’s a long and important story and in some ways it feels reminiscent of the intensive period of startup growth that is happening now in Portugal.
Yes, most of the globe knows that Portugal was on a short list of countries needing a bailout from the EU. During the ‘paying back/Troika years’ a very interesting startup ecosystem came together which I have written about often in the past. If you are not physically in Portugal, it’s really worth following, very much like the high growth years in Berlin.
I am picking an interesting time to step away from Portugal as each month more and more is taking place in Portugal. Money is moving around the country, companies are hiring and the speed at which things are happening is picking up. This all adds to the excitement and the opportunities that are available in the startup space.
I am taking with me the spirit of discovery to rediscover ‘the other west coast’; Los Angeles. LA is a HUGE city with a lot of opportunity. And it is really spread out. No walking to startup events or mentoring meetings like one can do in Lisbon, unless you have a day to spare. But I am ready to rediscover LA and work on new projects and mentor and coach startups. I feel all the more knowledgeable and prepared after mentoring over 200 startups, teaching classes, running intensive coaching sessions and being a line of support and advice for many early stage startups from around the globe.
I believe that my time away from the US has provided me with much more of a global business and entrepreneurial view at a time when many investors are paying more attention to non-US opportunities. The world continues to get smaller and more interconnected and I realized in these years that I am a ‘connector’. I will continue to connect companies, many Portuguese, with partners and others that can help grow their ideas and businesses.
So as I fly out, know that I am still part of the Portuguese startup family and I am certain it will continue to growth. Reach out if you need marketing, business development and operations expertise and keep in touch. And if you are an LA-based incubator or accelerator and need to add to your mentoring team or staff, let’s talk!
Thanks for helping me discover the early Portuguese ‘startup discovers’! I’m learning it’s all about effective navigation,
PS – Thanks for sharing, commenting, liking and retweeting my recent What I Didn’t Expect When I Moved to Portugal in 2011 blog. The response was really tremendous and it’s clear that many people are tuning into what is happening in Portugal. Fantastic!
And thanks for coming out for drinks earlier this week!