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27 February 2024·12 min read

Aleksandra Wirth

Vestbee

Top 50 Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Portugal

As we delve into the European startup and venture capital landscape (having explored countries including FranceItalyFinlandDenmarkBelgiumAustria, and many more) our focus shifts to the female entrepreneurs shaping Portugal's innovation ecosystem. Noteworthy is the fact that approximately 22% of startups in Portugal are founded by women, while the nation boasts a significant achievement with 51% of its scientific community comprised of women, positioning it among the leading European Union member countries in gender diversity within scientific fields. However, there has been a growing emphasis on fostering gender diversity and inclusion in recent years, including new government initiatives, several startup accelerators and incubator programs, and a growing recognition among investors of the untapped potential and value of diverse and female-led founding teams.

So, without further ado let’s meet the top female market players that play a pivotal role in the startup  and VC ecosystem in Portugal.

Rita Vilas-Boas

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LP Founder, Shilling VC

Rita Vilas-Boas, the LP Founder of Shilling VC, is dedicated to supporting and nurturing the growth of promising startups, contributing to the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and fostering entrepreneurial success across diverse industries. Furthermore, she serves as a business mentor and investor, backing several companies such as Intuitivo, Mellody, and CurveCatch.

Ana Paula Reis

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Co-Founder, BridgeWhat

With a track record of co-founding, leading, and successfully exiting several companies such as SelPlus, Seldata, and BridgeWhat, Ana Paula Reis has also made significant contributions as an investor and mentor for numerous startups across diverse sectors, stages, and geographies.

Maria Semedo

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Executive Director, Vega Ventures

Maria Semedo is an experienced entrepreneur with several years of expertise in supporting startup and VC ecosystem development. Currently, she holds an Executive Director position at Vega Ventures, an investment vehicle, supporting startups during their first years of growth by providing access to financing, mentoring, and networking.

Ana Lobo Xavier

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Investment Manager, Portugal Ventures

Ana Lobo Xavier brings over 15 years of expertise in catalyzing the Private Equity and Venture Capital landscape in Portugal. Currently, she holds the role of Investment Manager at Portugal Ventures, a VC firm dedicated to nurturing startups in the pre-seed, seed, and series A stages. The firm focuses on fostering innovative solutions in the digital & technology, industry & technology, therapeutics & health tech, and tourism sectors for the global market.

Cintia Mano

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CEO, COREangels

Cintia Mano boasts more than 10 years of experience in the startup arena, having co-founded a startup and mentored numerous individuals in both private and public programs. Due to her fervent interest in investing in and mentoring startups, she became a member of COREangels in 2020, where she aids seasoned angels in establishing their funds globally.

Cristina Fonseca

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General Partner, Indico Capital Partners

Cristina Fonseca is a renowned Portuguese tech entrepreneur, angel investor, and engineer. She co-founded Talkdesk, a cloud-based help desk software, which became Portugal's third "unicorn" after raising over $100M in series B funding. Additionally, she is a General Partner at Indico Capital Partners, the first Portuguese private venture capital fund focusing on early-stage, tech-focused startups.

Lurdes Gramaxo

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Partner, Bynd Venture Capital

Lurdes Gramaxo is a Partner at Bynd Venture Capital, with a focus on early-stage investments in the IT/digital and sustainability sectors across Portugal and Spain. With a background in management and a multinational family-owned group, she brings over 20 years of experience to her role, contributing significantly to the startup ecosystem.

Maria Costeira

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Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Kildare Innovation

Maria Costeira is the Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at Kildare Innovation Campus. With a strong background in technology and innovation, she leads strategic initiatives and drives innovation efforts, positioning Kildare as a hub for cutting-edge technological advancements.

Marta Palmeiro

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Co-Founder & CFO, StudentFinance

Marta Palmeiro, the Co-Founder and CFO at StudentFinance, is dedicated to upskilling the global workforce and fostering career development. With a background in Fintech and a passion for financial innovation, she utilizes AI to match individuals with education programs and employers, contributing to the future of work.

Sofia Santos

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Partner, Faber Ventures

Sofia Santos, a Partner at Faber Ventures, is an esteemed investor with a focus on early-stage investments in medical devices and AI. With a proven track record, she has been involved in notable investments, including iLoF and Nostos Genomics, contributing to the growth of innovative startups.

Marta Sousa Monteiro

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Manager, AWS Startup Loft Accelerator

Marta Sousa Monteiro is an accomplished manager with a passion for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. As the driving force behind the AWS Startup Loft Accelerator, she orchestrates programs to empower emerging businesses to leverage cloud technology. With a keen eye for talent and a dedication to nurturing the startup ecosystem, Marta continually shapes the landscape of tech entrepreneurship.

Liliana Castro

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Co-Founder, of Portuguese Women in Tech 

Liliana Castro serves as a Co-Founder of Portuguese Women in Tech, and has been instrumental in empowering and supporting women in the Portuguese tech industry, fostering a more inclusive and diverse tech community in Portugal.

Beatriz Oliviera

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Founder & CEO, BindTuning 

Beatriz Oliviera is an active female entrepreneur on the Portugal business scene. She is a Founder and the CEO of BindTuning, a provider of governance, provisioning, and intranet solutions tailored for Microsoft 365.

Inês Santos Silva

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Co-Founder, Portuguese Women in Tech

Inês Santos Silva, a Co-Founder of Portuguese Women in Tech, has played a key role in fostering gender diversity and inclusion within the Portuguese tech community, advocating for equal opportunities and representation for women in technology.

Sofia Pessanha

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Co-Founder, CareRev

Sofia Pessanha is a Co-Founder of CareRev has been dedicated to revolutionizing the healthcare industry by connecting healthcare professionals with flexible job opportunities, contributing to the advancement of healthcare staffing solutions.

Natalia Catarina

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CEO, BEAM Wallet

Natalia Catarina has been assuming the CEO  position at BEAM Wallet, a platform that provides a seamless digital payment experience, revolutionizing how consumers engage with merchants and manage their transactions effortlessly.

Joana Rafael

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Co-Founder, Sensei

Joana Rafael, as a Co-Founder of Sensei, has been driving advancements in AI technology to enhance personalized learning experiences and educational outcomes, contributing to the evolution of educational technology and personalized learning solutions.

Teresa Fiuza

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Executive Vice President, Portugal Ventures

Teresa Fiuza is an esteemed Executive Vice President at Portugal Ventures, renowned for her visionary leadership in driving investment strategies and fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems. With a wealth of experience and a commitment to supporting innovative ventures, she plays a pivotal role in shaping Portugal's startup landscape.

Helena Taveira

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VC Investment Manager, Portugal Ventures

Helena Taveira, a VC Investment Manager at Portugal Ventures, has a diverse background in marketing, communication, and investment management, contributing to the growth of startups in Portugal. 

Adelina Figuiredo

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Investment Manager, Portugal Ventures

Adelina Figuiredo, an Investment Manager at Portugal Ventures, has been actively supporting and nurturing the growth of promising startups in Portugal.

Joanna Rocha

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Investment Manager, Portugal Ventures

Joanna Rocha, an Investment Manager at Portugal Ventures, has been instrumental in identifying and investing in high-potential startups, contributing to the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Portugal, and fostering innovation and growth.

Sílvia Silva

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Investment Manager, Portugal Ventures 

Silvia Silva is a seasoned investment manager at Portugal Ventures, dedicated to fueling the growth of promising startups in Portugal.

Andrea Hajdu Howe

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Global Partner & Co-Head, Antler Capital

Andrea Hajdu Howe, serves as the Global Partner and Co-Head of Antler Capital, a global startup generator and early-stage venture capital firm, empowering entrepreneurs to build impactful businesses through mentorship, funding, and a supportive network. What is more, Andrea brings extensive experience in venture capital and entrepreneurship, driving the growth of innovative startups globally and fostering entrepreneurial success across diverse industries.

Sonia Fernandez

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Partner, Kibo Ventures

Sonia Fernandez as a Partner at Kibo Ventures, plays a pivotal role in identifying and investing in high-potential startups, contributing to the growth of innovative ventures in the technology sector.

Covadonga García – Valdés

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Investment Manager, Kibo Ventures

Covadonga García – Valdés serves as an Investment Manager at Kibo Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology companies with high growth potential, providing strategic support and resources to help them succeed.

Rita Sousa

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Partner, Faber Ventures

Rita Sousa, a Partner at Faber, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on backing ambitious founders and disruptive technology startups, driving innovation and growth in the digital economy.

Elisangela Souza

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CEO & Founder, IDE Social Hub

Elisangela Souza serves as the CEO and Founder of IDE Social Hub, a collaborative platform empowering social innovators to connect, share resources, and catalyze positive change in communities worldwide.

Nancy Brito

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General Partner, GROUND CAPITAL

Nancy Brito, General Partner at GROUND CAPITAL, brings extensive expertise in venture capital and entrepreneurship to drive strategic investments in groundbreaking startups. GROUND CAPITAL is a venture capital firm dedicated to fueling innovation and growth in emerging technologies.

 

Elisa Tarzia

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Co-Founder & Vice President, 351 Portuguese Startup Association

Elisa Tarzia is a Co-Founder and Vice President of the 351 Portuguese Startup Association, an essential hub for Portugal's entrepreneurial ecosystem, providing invaluable support, resources, and connections to drive startup success and economic growth.  

Doreen Toutikian

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Founder & CEO, omgyno

Doreen Toutikian, the Founder & CEO of omgyno, is committed to revolutionizing women's healthcare through innovative technologies, reshaping the landscape of women's wellness and empowerment.

Simone Franke

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Co-Founder, SheSapiens

Simone Franke is a Co-Founder of SheSapiens, a platform dedicated to empowering and educating women through engaging content, community support, and resources for personal and professional development.

Hélène Guillaume Pabis

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Founder & CEO, Wild.AI

Hélène Guillaume Pabis, the Founder & CEO of Wild.AI, is dedicated to leveraging technology to empower women in health and wellness, driving advancements in personalized health and fitness solutions, and contributing to the advancement of women's health and wellness through innovative technology.

Joana Morais

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Founder & CEO, Xelidoni

Joana Morais is the visionary Founder and CEO of Xelidoni, a startup that  develops AI software that assesses damages from home or car rentals, using deep learning to analyze images and estimate repair costs.

Fahima Farahi

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Co-Founder & CEO, WiseWorld.ai

Fahima Farahi, Co-Founder and CEO of WiseWorld.ai, a company that supports employees in daily soft skill practice, while equipping managers with objective data to make informed decisions about their team's human skill development.

Maria Freitas

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Co-Founder & CEO, uMore

Maria Freitas, Co-Founder and CEO of uMore, a tech company specializing in mental health and well-being, providing digital platforms and personalized tools to support individuals in managing and improving their mental wellness.

Mariana Lourenço

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Co-Founder, Stories Collective 

Mariana Lourenço, Co-Founder of Stories Collective, offering a captivating digital space where creatives converge to showcase their artistic narratives and inspire a global community.

Mafalda Ricca

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Founder & CEO, X-Plora

Mafalda Ricca, Founder and CEO of X-Plora, drives innovation in technology, empowering young learners, tourists, and gamers to explore and discover the world around them through immersive experiences.

Marília Santos

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Incubators & Accelerators, Startup Portugal

Marília Santos is responsible for incubators and accelerators programs at Startup Portugal, an organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in Portugal, providing support, resources, and guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs and startups.

Filipa Neto

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Co-Founder, Chick by Choice

Filipa Neto, Co-Founder of Chick by Choice, a dress-rental platform that revolutionizes high fashion through the sharing economy.

Lara Vidreiro

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Managing Partner, Binomial Ventures

Lara Vidreiro, Managing Partner at Binomial Ventures, guides emerging startups to success through strategic investment and mentorship, fueling innovation and growth in the startup ecosystem.

Susana Sargento

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Co-Founder, Veniam

Susana Sargento, Co-Founder of Veniam, creates intelligent networking solutions for connected vehicles and smart cities, enhancing mobility, safety, and efficiency through innovative technology.

Daniela Seixas

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Founder & CEO, Tonic App

Daniela Seixas, Founder & CEO of Tonic App, is the go-to platform for medical professionals. It boosts clinical efficiency by enabling quick and secure patient case discussions, team collaboration, and providing essential tools for daily use.

Catarina Pessoa-Lopes

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Co-Founder, UP Desenvolvimento

Catarina Pessoa-Lopes, Co-Founder of UP Desenvolvimento, spearheads initiatives to foster positive social impact and empower communities through education, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Liliana Rosário

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Founder, Circular Closet

Liliana Rosário is the visionary founder of Circular Closet, a sustainable fashion platform dedicated to promoting circular economy principles through clothing rental and resale.

Mariama Injai

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Ceo & Founder, Nô bai

Mariama Injai leads Nô bai as its CEO and Founder, a tech-driven startup empowering African artisans by connecting them directly with global markets, fostering economic growth and cultural exchange.

Joana Pinto

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Co-founder and CEO, Clynx Health

Joana Pinto drives innovation as the Co-founder and CEO of Clynx Health, a healthcare technology company revolutionizing patient care coordination through advanced digital solutions.

Irina Leca

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Co-Founder, NewTowner App

Irina Leca co-founded NewTowner App, a mobile app, designed specifically to facilitate connections for newcomers in town, simplifying the process of meeting others through social gatherings.

Assuncao Loureiro

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Managing Director, SeaTheFuture

Assuncao Loureiro serves as the Managing Director of SeaTheFuture, a sustainability-focused organization leveraging technology and marine science to protect and preserve ocean ecosystems while promoting responsible oceanic development.

Jwana Godinho

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Co-Founder, Access Lab

Jwana Godinho is the Co-Founder of Access Lab, a social enterprise committed to fostering digital inclusion and accessibility by providing technology education and resources to marginalized communities.

Beatriz Azevedo

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Co-Founder, Ccrave

Beatriz Azevedo, Co-Founder of Ccrave, crafts sustainable fashion solutions, blending style with environmental consciousness to reshape the industry's landscape.

Ana Mikaela Silva

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Founder & CEO, Pleasy Play 

Ana Mikaela Silva, Founder and CEO of Pleasy Play, a startup focused on a digital wellness designed for couples. 

Daniela Braga

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Founder & CEO, Defined.ai

Daniela Braga, Founder and CEO of Defined.ai, a company developing a marketplace  for ethical, high-quality AI training data.


*Undoubtedly, the startup and VC ecosystem in Portugal is powered by many inspiring and impactful women, which is why our list is definitely not closed, and we appreciate every involvement! So if you have any insights about the article, drop us a line.

Related Posts:

Top 100 Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem in Ireland (by Aleksandra Wirth, Vestbee)

Top 100 Women in VC in CEE (by Aleksandra Wirth, Vestbee)

Top Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In France (by Aleksandra Wirth, Vestbee)



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