The mayor of Lisbon said Wednesday that the partnership with the Web Summit is a “long-standing relationship” and ensured “there was no elephant” in the room because there was an event taking place in Rio de Janeiro.
Carlos Moedas was speaking at the “Above and Beyond Hangout – Business Abroad: Countdown to Collision” event, organized in partnership with Startup Portugal, and held in Lisbon.
At the opening of the event, in a session that also included the presence of the co-founder and CEO of the Web Summit, Paddy Cosgrave, put the question to Carlos Moedas, to get “the elephant out of the room”, about whether to hold the Tech Summit in Rio de Janeiro, to be held between May 1 and 4, 2023, would pose a threat or opportunity to Lisbon and the Portuguese ecosystem.
Carlos Moedas began by saying that from the “first moment in Portugal” he was in the team that at the time went to Paddy Cosgriff, stressing that he had always been and remains a “big fan of the web top”.
The mayor emphasized that the web summit “was a transformation for our country, not just Lisbon”.
Carlos Moedas continued: “We are very fortunate to hold the Web Summit in Lisbon, and the impact over the years” of what the Web Summit has achieved and achieved is “so unique and amazing for Lisbon.”
“Partnering with the Web Summit is a long-term relationship because that is what I want for the city, for Lisbon to be the capital of innovation in Europe and to be the capital of innovation in Europe” It is necessary for the “Web Summit,” the president emphasized.
Carlos Moedas posited that he was “perhaps” the mayor “most involved in the Web Summit”, even before his victory in the Lisbon elections: “I have been here every year and participate at the European level.”
As for what he wants from what is considered the largest technology summit in the world, the mayor was very clear.
“What I want from Web Summit is to take our partnership to the next level and that’s what I’ve been talking about with Paddy and Artur [Pereira, diretor-geral da Web Summit em Portugal]How can we do more?”
And one of the things “we’re working on together, part of one of the big projects we’re doing Lisbon” is if I want Lisbon to be an innovation capital, I need to focus on “scaling up” in getting companies from another level.
So, “I have a concept that I have discussed with Paddy several times, as a European commissioner, about owning a rhinoceros factory in Lisbon,” he said.
Carlos Moedas emphasized that when referring to the ‘unicorn factory’, this is a ‘metaphor’, i.e. a ‘place’ from which you can access the process that leads to innovations that later become large corporations and companies.
“That’s why there’s something I want the Web Summit to be with us, because Web Summit has been the father and mother, in some ways, of the international ecosystem,” he continued.
He noted that prior to the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal had “some” startups, but they weren’t on the map.
“I think the Web Summit came and put Portugal on the map of the ‘startups’ of the world, and we are lucky to have the Web Summit,” he stressed, adding that today’s event was not to talk about the technology summit, but the collision, “which is a small part of the Web Summit.” In Canada, in North America.
Carlos Moedas said the Web Summit “is in Rio, it’s probably in other parts of the world, and that’s good for them, it’s a good job and I’m very happy for them.”
“What I will always fight for as a mayor is to have a global platform here,” he emphasized, stressing that it is only natural for these dynamics to be created around the world, alluding to the desire that “Lisbon is the norm.”
Carlos Moedas insisted that “there is no elephant, there is absolutely nothing but a great partnership” with the Web Summit, praised Artur Pereira and affirmed that “Lisbon’s commitment to the Web Summit is a long-term one.”