By Sofia Fernandes

2020, a curious year. The economy will undoubtedly be very affected, especially when we look at Portugal, a country whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – money that Portugal produces annually –depends on about 13% of Tourism , being from the countries of the world with this higher value. And we know that tourism has been affected. Hotels that are closing, tourist activities that decrease their affluence. And even domestic tourism, of Portuguese who travel through Portugal, will not be able to make up for the loss of the millions of tourists who visit our country every year. It is for this reason that it is readily apparent that technologies linked to this area have also suffered great losses. However, it is necessary to look at opportunities, and I would like to start by focusing on health. We all know that it is a difficult area to enter. Not only for all the necessary certifications, but also for the culture and attitude that is experienced in this industry. It is still difficult to enliven health professionals to implement digital systems and make them a recurring use. It is difficult to convince these entities to use new equipment. Because let’s face it, in the introduction of new technologies in the market health in Portugal has been in the quadrant of late majority or laggards

(see graph 1). Opinion Charts 1 ” title=”Opinion Charts 1″/>

Opinion Charts 1

Graph 1 – Adoption to Innovation Innovators are out there, in other more mature markets, like the United States. And this is very clearwhen we look at the behavior of our startups, which quickly fly to other markets to be able to grow

. Interesting that 2020 made the health market update. Looking at one of the most pioneering hospital groups in Portugal, the José de Mello Group, if you go to CUF today for consultation or examination, you will find that little interaction with assistants. The whole process is done digitally. Looking at theChampalimaud , which is a leader in innovation in the areas of oncology and neuroscience, has had a virtual assistant via mobile phone for years to guide the patient to his appointment. What we have not seen so far is the good practices of the private to pass on to the public. But COVID-19 has changed this paradigm. We are faced with mass scanning to use tools for the COVID-19. We see systems being implemented by the sector. And very interesting opportunities quickly appear for startups likeSworth Health , which was considered the best performing startup in the last 5 years according to Scaleup Report

EIT Digital and BGI, among others that are emerging and successful in the national and international markets. Following this digitization, it is also possible to verify the increase, which in months was 80% in the digital retail market.

A country that lived from physical purchases in stores, which initiates a new pattern of consumption. Once again, companies that live on online commerce gain new interest and market adherence like never before. 2021 presents itself as a continuity for these opportunities, in the digital world, and many more opportunities in the area of ​​climate change, with funds like those of Portugal Ventures CALL INNOV-ID with 17.7 million euros invested in 59 startups, plus all the possibilities with the fundsEuropean Green Deal. It is true that large companies will probably reduce investment in acceleration programs and reallocate them to their “core business”, but without a doubt, the digitization of all industries, from education to entertainment, is inevitable and irreversible. So, let Portugal get ready, because it starts cooking a perfect environment for startups, combining from “ mindset ”

needed by customers to use them, up to the living conditions and access to irresistible talent for any startup CEO. 2021 may arrive, that the startups are ready to face the COVID-19 head on!

Business Development Director at


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