“The biggest weak point, despite what has been said by members of the current Government, which shocks me because they have the obligation of knowing how it was won – this process is all documented, it was not invented by me – (…) and members of the entities that are working with the Web Summit,” the largest summit technologies “came to Portugal because of the ecosystem Portuguese start-ups. Now this was exactly our biggest weak point,” he said, in an interview to Lusa Leonardo Mathias.
The former Deputy secretary of State and of the Economy, which led to the application of the Portuguese, explained that, “in terms of the ecosystem of what is called the digital city, Portugal is 17th in Europe” and in the “document of the European Union ‘I Startups & Technology’, Portugal is in 13th position”.
in terms of connectivity for start-ups and connection to new ideas, “Portugal is below the european average, in 18,” he added.
“our biggest problem was that Amsterdam was second in all of these areas and Berlin were in third,” he explained.
These cities were in the race for the attainment of the highest summit technologies of the world, considered as the Davos of the technology.
“We have an ecosystem interesting, embryonic, if so much,” pointed out the former ruler.
“I would like to make it clear that the Web Summit comes to Portugal not because of the ecosystem of start-ups that exist, but in spite of the system venture capital, start-ups, digital growth, that is clear and that there is not the slightest doubt”, stressed Leonardo Mathias.
“The second weak point and that we had a resolution that is quite difficult: we didn’t have direct flights between san Francisco and Los Angeles to Lisbon” and “for the organizers was extremely relevant because this community of ‘venture capital’, start-ups, new ideas is fundamental to feeding all of the Web Summit” and make it “an event of truly global and not a regional event-the european or the Northern hemisphere,” he said.
The third weak point of application of Lisbon was that Portugal “had no ‘track record’ [history]“.
that is, “we never had organized, as a country, an event of this magnitude,” he said, being that the comparison is more approximate had been the annual event of the rotary [Rotary Club], which brought 25,000 people on a weekend and there weren’t so many requirements of the organization.
Before this, Leonardo Mathias, supported by the Agency for Investment and Trade of Portugal (AICEP), the Tourism of Portugal and Tourism of Lisbon, pinned up the sleeves and presented a proposal with four positive points.
“The point a has been and continues to be the infrastructure,” he said, recalling the quality of the infrastructure that has been assembled by FIL and Meo/Arena, which considers the extraordinary and unique, as well as the fact that the airport is relatively near, there is public transport and hotel capacity.
“The point two was what I call the creativity of our proposal in time,” he said.
“it Was a proposal for three years, two more. The other proposals [from other cities] were proposals for a year, have given the notion of continuity, of the relevance that this has for them as us,” said Leonardo Mathias.
on the other hand, “the whole spirit of the Web Summit is: I know that comes the banker in his private jet, or the billionaire of Facebook in his private jet, which rents out the entire Ritz hotel, but also want in my event, the kind that comes out of the backpack, on the train, or that comes from Easyjet, I do not know where.”
For this, “I have to have the capacity to accommodate the billionaire, but I want to accommodate the kind that comes with the money contadinho, but that maybe his idea is the best idea and is one that will change the mentality of the business world,” he explained.
“We were able to ensure, even before the event if you carry out, a pre-reservation of 10 thousand rooms, with control of price inflation in three years. It was a very hard work of the Tourism of Portugal and Tourism of Lisbon”, he added.
“They [the organization] felt, and I hope that is so today also, a strong support at the level of the whole government, I was able to raise the awareness of all my colleagues, particularly the colleagues in the Internal Administration, to the importance of the Public Security Police, Judiciary Police, SEF, because you’re going to get to 5,000 or 7,000 americans, the traffic is going to be changed, there will be events, there is a VIP that never ends,” he said.
“Then, with all the modesty, there was clearly an empathy” with the team, he added, citing themes such as “ladies night”, the theme of the schools, involving high school students, and the faculty, the attempt to “seek an alternative”.
For example, “terms of a voucher, I don’t know if you followed, to public transport for when the participants arrived”.
“The infrastructure, the creativity of the proposal, an empathy, and a foundation of trust and, finally, I must say, saw kindness there is a stability team”, as the bodies continue to function regardless of who is in Government at the time, he explained, were the four strong points that brought the Web Summit for the Portuguese capital.