The recent acquisition of ShiftForward by Velocidi comes with an extra: our company has a new office in Porto, Portugal. Part of our Product, Development and Marketing teams now have a sunny new place to keep working on building our best-of-breed solution.
Our office in Porto features a dog (Baco), an aquarium (we didn’t name the fishes), and a bunch of experienced and fun people who are as eager to learn new stuff as they are to defeat one another in MarioKart.
The company formerly known as ShiftForward was known for being persnickety in its recruitment efforts. That’s because we want everybody that crosses the door as a collaborator to be equal parts sharp, witty, cooperative and resourceful. In return, we offer a completely open environment where everyone gets to weigh in on any decision that is to be made. That sometimes makes it hard to choose where we are going for lunch but other than that it is a choice we stand by and one that has brought us many happy moments and brilliant ideas.
Now that you have gotten to know the team, let us tell you about the city. Porto is one of the most ancient cities in Portugal. It is known for its fabulous fortified wine (ever heard of Port wine? Yeah, that’s us) and for its lively and driven people.
The combination of cool people, good weather and a highly skilled Software Development community makes Porto (and Portugal) very attractive to startups (and a few giants).
From small communities like Founders Founders, who connect startups like ShiftForward and alike, to the high-end fashion ecommerce unicorn Farfetch, Porto is bubbling with a new group of companies.
Blip, the powerhouse of the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, Critical Software, who has been developing – you guessed it – critical software for NASA and the European Space Agency for years now, and Prozis, the European champion in the sports nutrition retail sector, have chosen Porto either to launch or develop its products.
On the even bigger players list, Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is about to open the doors of Google and Zalando’s most recent European offices, joining Uber and Daimler, while Porto houses Euronext and Fujitsu (and the ongoing talks with Amazon are the worst kept secret in the entire city).
We are pretty sure that our almost-perfect weather had something to do with the transference of Web Summit, “Davos for geeks” as Bloomberg puts it, from Dublin to Lisbon. The fact that they now have a Surf Summit only reinforces this assumption. But the truth is, for the past few years, the dynamic startup community takes Lisbon by storm every November and the city practically stops.
The lively community is strongly supported by the Portuguese government, that quickly understood the importance of making this new kind of entrepreneurship feel at home, and the major Portuguese venture capitalist, Portugal Ventures, who backs and guides early-stage companies.
The confluence of all these factors is definitely changing the way Portugal is perceived by other countries. That kind of responsibility might make someone else feel scared, but we are the kind of people who once decided to risk their lives trotting the globe in ships so frail we wouldn’t use them to cross a river nowadays, so we just keep welcoming these new projects, people and ideas with a smile and a glass of Port.