Lisbon is betting that hosting the Web Summit, Europe's largest tech event, will spur the growth of startups and draw foreign investors, helping it compete with the continent's main innovation hubs.
While the crisis hammered the Portuguese economy, it also drove change, pushing people to come up with new ideas for businesses—many of them tech startups.
During the first half of the year the number of new companies that were created was 3.3 times higher than the number of firms that went under, according to government figures.
To fuel the expansion of the startup sector the government lobbied hard to bring the annual Web Summit to Lisbon. The tech expo has been held every year in Dublin since its launch in 2010. Some 50,000 participants and 15,000 companies from around the world are expected to attend the November 8-10 event, nearly double the 27,500 people who attended last year. Lisbon will host the annual event until at least 2018.
Portugal's secretary of state for industry, João Vasconcelos, said he hoped hosting the event will give rise to a new generation of entrepreneurs.