Startups play an important role in the current digital ecosystem as they push for change and grow through adaptation. Meanwhile, legislation changes, too. New legislation arrives and everyone is affected by them. As startups can be a key change to Europe’s future, recovery, and growth, they tend to be underestimated and understated when new laws are designed. This is where Portugal Tech League steps in – to better the systemic changes in the legislative field.
What is the Portugal Tech League?
The Portugal Tech League is a neutral initiative created by the Lisbon-based collaborative innovation consultancy Beta-i. The project aims to connect entities linked to the EU digital economy and the startups’ community to assure their representation in regulatory discussions. It has created a platform for discussions and collaborations in the debate of the most relevant issues to present a common position.
The first work topic is Artificial Intelligence. Outcomes will be shared through collaborative papers presented to policymakers in Lisbon and Brussels.
In this first year, the project already brings together 15 organisations that are aligned with the principle of reinforcing the presence of startups in regulatory discussions. Sponsors include Google, Microsoft, alongside Portuguese unicorns and organisations such as Allied for Startups, AWS – Amazon Web Services, CIP – Confederation of Portuguese Business, Eupportunity, European Startup Network, FDUCP – Universidade Católica Portuguesa Faculty of Law, GeSI – Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative, Investors Portugal, Startup Portugal, Startup Sesame, Sapo Tek, Talkdesk, and VdA.
According to the group, “any organisation is welcome to join in too, as long as it is aligned with our guiding principle: defending systemic gains for the tech & innovation ecosystem, while assuming the need of startups representation in the business debate around digital transformation in Europe.”
Founding partners mention in a collective statement, “Legislative proposals are time-consuming for people to process and are often difficult to understand, especially concerning future implications. In addition, they are prepared with technical language that tends to alienate ones without knowledge on the subject. In the end, these proposals gain the attention of startups, digital-oriented SMEs, and the tech community in general when it is too late to contribute and give perspective because they are already in compliance mode.”
“That’s why the Portugal Tech League approach is a response to a key challenge: startups, SMEs, and the digital community as a whole, who do not always have the quality time to understand, reflect, and voice their opinions on these issues. We want to fill the gap that exists in this process of clarification, reflection, and proposition,” as per the statement.
The platform will provide content available through its website, that will be then distributed by its partners and the community on social media and PR, and shared directly with policy representatives.
The Portugal Tech League is organised in cycles with a theme in focus every two months:
- The first cycle will focus on the European Regime on Artificial Intelligence, assumed by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
- With the Law on Services and Digital Markets (DSA and DMA or Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act), the 2030 Digital Compass and Startup Nation Standards are aligned as the next topics to be explored.
After explaining the topic’s relevance “through easy-to-understand content” and its potential impact on European innovation entrepreneurs, the matter will be more thoroughly explored using secondary & reliable sources and through a podcast launch. The cycle then ends with an open call for the community to share its opinion and recommendations, to prepare an official document, alongside the PTL’s partners’ inputs, with proposed measures.
At the end of the cycle, this document will be available for download and will be shared with European policymakers.