The project DIGISTART (Support Ecosystems for Digital Startups) is an EU funded research project in the area of startup ecosystems. The project aims to support European-Wide digital ecosystems through a set of coordinated activities targeting Lisbon and Malmo. It also aims to harness the capabilities of the largest European online platform for startups and web entrepreneurs: F6S, for providing online support to startups.

The Lisbon Ecosystem will be supported by UNIDEMI and BETA-i. UNIDEMI, A research centre at the Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, will initiate activities to provide greater access to the innovation ecosystem for students. This includes early stage mentorship, awareness creation, launching of the Startup Forum, a formal Entrepreneurship Course and an online MOOC. It will also undertake research activities that will provide greater insights on how Innovation Ecosystems have benefitted Startups. BETA-i already runs a very successful acceleration programme, the Lisbon Challenge, and will undertake other events to enhance the ecosystem. Clusterland Sweden based in Malmo, Sweden will initiate activities in sync with the activities in the Lisbon Ecosystem.


“Innovative businesses must be helped to grow across the EU, not remain locked into their home market.”
Andrus Ansip, Social Media


The project Digistart includes four partners from UK, Portugal, and Sweden:

   UNIDEMI Research Center

UNIDEMI is a research centre in Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT) da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL). It is a interdisciplinary research centre which has conducted several research projects in the area of Information Systems/Digital Platforms and is actively holding courses for Web Entrepreneurship.

UNIDEMI’s team is responsible for annually organizing a 6 weeks unique entrepreneurship programme for 1000 MSc and PhD engineering students from different scientific fields, where the output must be a new business endeavour, prize of which is a trip to Silicon Valley. Due to its nature, UNIDEMI entrepreneurship activities focus on leveraging commercial exploitation of scientific research close to companies, governmental bodies along with providing guidance and support, in close liaison with FCT’s office for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer, for intellectual propriety protection and patents application.

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4th Floor, Building VIII
Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia,
Universidade Nova de Lisboa,
Monte de Caparica, Portugal

   Beta-i Accelerator

Beta-i has been the main private driver of entrepreneurship in Portugal. During its first couple of years, Beta-i effectively created the startup ecosystem by making explicit and available the network of startups, investors, corporate players, state interests and universities. Only then did the entrepreneurship ecosystem begin to flourish and present its current dynamic characteristics.

This working and valuable network was made possible by the different programs and activities Beta-i has rolled-out over the years. Large entrepreneur gatherings such as TEDx, Silicon Valley comes to Lisbon and Explorers Festival provide a networking and showcase ground for all parties in the ecosystem as well as a strong motivational boost in startup initiatives.

Pre-acceleration programs such as Beta-start and Startup Weekend provide a strong support to entrepreneur’s first step in understanding the requirements of startup ventures as well as the most relevant frameworks and methodologies such as LEAN Startup, design thinking and business model innovation. 10 editions of Beta-start have made their mark on the Portuguese ecosystem.

Acceleration programs such as the Lisbon Challenge have propelled more than 75 international startups in the first edition onto the global stage and for many, first relevant investments. This is the biggest, most sophisticated and attractive acceleration program in Portugal. It also boasts being the most well and internationally connected in Europe. Proof of this is the final roadshow of top startups in Boston, New York, London and São Paulo.

Beta-i has been able to aggregate and attract many state and private stakeholders to its mission of innovating entrepreneurship and create a visible startup culture.

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   Clusterland Accelerator

Clusterland Sweden has more than 10 years of experience in cluster management, based on the former cluster Øresund IT and Cluster 55, founded in 1999. The organisation have built up a regional and international network and experience that they share with SME:s and Start Ups in IT and Telecom. With collaborations across boarders – as well industry sectors as geographical – the organisation has helped hundreds of companies to grow internationally.

Clusterland Sweden specialize within internationalization, match-making and fundraising. The organisation act as a bridge between businesses and academia and operate as an open arena for innovations within IT and its cross areas. Clusterland Sweden’s belief is that through working in a structured way with continuous change within and across sectors it will help companies, regions and individuals to grow.

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   F6S Platform

F6S is the largest social network for startups and startup founders With over 700,000 users and more than 120,000 Startups, it currently supports the majority of the Startup/SME ecosystem through deal flow/applications, jobs listings, free services, communication forms and other areas.

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This Is Our Awesome Team

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 644847