Lisbon Foras Programme 2023

Deadline: 25th of August, 2023

Foras is excited to announce the female-focused 2023 Lisbon Foras Programme, in partnership with The Scottish Government.

After the success of excursions to Silicon Valley, Helsinki and New York, Foras plans to take 20 founders and startup leaders, (15 female-led, 5 male-led), on a funded programme to Lisbon to coincide with the Web Summit conference, 11–18 November 2023.

This November, they are hosting a fully-funded journey to Web Summit, one of the biggest conferences in the world. Becoming a global business is no easy task on a tight budget, so they’re handling the bills so participants can focus on doing what they do best.

Foras excited to partner with The Scottish Government, Scottish Development International, Portuguese ecosystem builders and some excellent sponsors (TBA) to bring the participants this opportunity.

The Lisbon ecosystem is now worth £20bn, a 26x growth since 2016. Lisbon’s two unicorns Out Systems and Talk desk are two of the most valuable companies in Southern Europe. Lisbon boasts a rich abundance of investors, incubators and accelerators.

The trip will coincide with Web Summit, one of the biggest conferences in the world. 71,000+ founders, investors and ecosystem builders will gather for 3 days of networking, learning and sessions with world-leading experts from Y-Combinator, Microsoft and Google.

It is Foras’s aim to ensure that innovative Scotland-based startup businesses, and the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem, are well represented during the conference.

What can the participants expect from the programme?

The term ‘Foras’ means growth, abroad, “for us”. They can see this as going forth, to look outwards, together, to meet and create a forum for discussion. Those values and intentions are at the root of the design of this programme.

This programme will build on recent successful cohort visits from the Foras team to Silicon Valley in April 2022, the Slush conference in Helsinki in Nov 2022 and NYC in April 2023.

This opportunity will be useful for Scotland-based businesses considering international market entry, raising capital from international investors, and establishing international partnership opportunities in Europe. In addition, this programme will foster peer relationships, founder education and break down barriers for some of Scotland’s most promising startup businesses who want to crack the next stage of their growth.

Expect to experience the vibrant culture of Lisbon, have quality time with established global startup success stories and Scottish diaspora businesses, visit world-class accelerators and be part of unique networking opportunities with entrepreneurial representatives and investors from around the world at Web Summit. The week will come to a close with a unique opportunity to pitch businesses at an exclusive investor and ecosystem mixer event.


Foras will be paying for:

  • Return flights from Edinburgh to Lisbon.
  • Twin-share hotel accommodation in Lisbon with breakfast (subsidized upgrades upon request and availability).
  • Tickets to the 3-day Web Summit conference.
  • Activities, workshops and professional visits including invite-only investor event.
  • Subsidy for partner/children thanks to our sponsors.


Participants’ requirements:

  • Founder, Director or C-Suite Leader in a Scotland-based startup or scaleup. Applications are welcome from any industry, so long as they are a high-growth potential/scalable business.
  • Meet Portuguese travel/entry requirements.
  • Can commit fully to the programme (11–18 Nov) and the two mandatory pre-programme events (13 Sep & 27 Sep).
  • Excited to be part of this cohort and connect with the best and brightest from the global entrepreneurship scene.




  • To apply participants, have to fill out a Google form, which they can find by clicking the ‘Apply Now’ section below.

Click here to apply

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