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Madeira tries to promote itself both as a tourist and a start-up destination

Madeira connects the dots between tourism and start-ups

Madeira connects the dots between tourism and start-ups

The regional authorities organized the 4th edition of the Madeira Startup Retreat

Madeira wants to be more than a cliché island destination, known for nature, gastronomy and good weather escapades. In recent times, and even more so in the wake of the COVID pandemic, the local government has been searching for ways to make the Atlantic archipelago an attractive place for digital nomads and those who are innovatively minded.

In that context, 34 entrepreneurs from 13 nationalities are participating in the 4th edition of the Madeira Startup Retreat, an international acceleration program for startups developed by Startup Madeira and Turismo de Portugal, in partnership with the Nova School of Business and Economics (Nova SBE).

Go there to relax and to innovate

The Madeira authorities are clearly wishful of doing away with the image of Southern Europe and island destinations as only being worthy as tourism hotspots. There is, indeed, a dichotomy (often unacknowledged) that work and innovation happen in the north of the continent, whereas for fun and relaxation one should head to the South.

The President of the Regional Government, Miguel Albuquerque, defended today, speaking on the sidelines of the 4th edition of the Madeira Startup Retreat, that the island has all the conditions to assert itself as a technological hub, not only nationally, but also internationally.

The President reiterated that the Region is in an accelerated transition to the digital economy, both due to the attractiveness and growth of technology based in Madeira, and because of the public sector's commitment to the digitalization of education and research centres. Not forgetting the important work of incubation and implementation of startups carried out by Startup Madeira either.

Albuquerque recalled that in 2019 the turnover of technology companies reached 211 million euros, adding that even in 2020, despite the pandemic, there was a growth of companies in the sector. "These are companies that while based in Madeira work for the whole world, with great added value", said the leader of the Executive.

Within the framework of the Startup Retreat, for six weeks, entrepreneurs will explore, share and leverage their businesses from the island. And, for that purpose, they will benefit from an agenda structured by themes and objectives, involving workshops, mentoring sessions, lectures and a demo-day.

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