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Tech incentive schemes are strategic initiatives implemented by countries worldwide to foster technological innovation and growth within their borders. These schemes often combine immigration incentives for skilled professionals, financial incentives for startups and established tech companies, and supportive ecosystems to encourage both investment in and development of the tech sector. Portugal, various countries in Latin America (LATAM), and Spain provide interesting case studies on how such schemes are implemented and their outcomes.

Portugal has emerged as a notable European example for attracting tech talent and investment through initiatives like the Startup Visa for entrepreneurs and the Tech Visa for skilled tech professionals, contributing to vibrant tech hubs in Lisbon and Porto. The country’s mild climate, low cost of living, and high quality of life add to its appeal, despite bureaucratic hurdles and the need for faster visa approvals. Similarly, Latin American countries are recognizing the value of tech talent, with Chile’s Start-Up Chile offering equity-free investment and work visas to international startups, positioning it as a leading startup hub in LATAM. Mexico’s Tech Visa and Argentina’s Knowledge Economy Law aim to boost their tech sectors, although political instability and varying bureaucratic efficiency pose challenges. Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa seeks to attract international remote workers, offering a rich culture and high quality of life, yet improvements are needed in bureaucratic navigation and integrating foreign tech professionals into the local ecosystem.

Several tech summits and conferences around the world stand out for their scale, influence, and the opportunities they offer for networking, investment, and exposure to the latest innovations. While the landscape can change from year to year, the following are some of the biggest and most prestigious tech summits that attract companies looking for potential investment:

  • CES (Consumer Electronics Show): Held annually in Las Vegas, CES is one of the largest and most influential tech events in the world, showcasing new products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry.
  • Web Summit: This is one of the largest tech conferences globally, held annually in Lisbon, Portugal. It covers a range of topics from AI to big data, bringing together CEOs, startups, investors, and journalists from around the world.
  • Mobile World Congress (MWC): Hosted in Barcelona, Spain, MWC is the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, featuring prominent executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, and content owners.
  • TechCrunch Disrupt: Known for spotlighting startups with potential, TechCrunch Disrupt includes competitions for startups, talks by industry leaders, and opportunities for networking with investors in San Francisco, Berlin, and other cities.
  • SXSW (South by Southwest): Although known for its film and music festivals, SXSW also hosts an influential tech conference in Austin, Texas, focusing on emerging technology.
  • Collision: Dubbed the “fastest growing tech conference in North America,” Collision takes place in Toronto, Canada, and brings together the people and companies redefining the global tech industry.
  • GITEX Technology Week: Held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, GITEX is one of the most significant tech events in the world, showcasing global technology and innovations that are converging sectors and industries.
  • The Next Web Conference (TNW): Based in Amsterdam, this conference focuses on new technology and startups in Europe, offering insights into future trends and opportunities for networking with investors.
  • Slush: Originating from Helsinki, Finland, Slush has grown into a significant event focused on connecting startups with investors, executives, and the media in a unique atmosphere.
  • Viva Technology (VivaTech): Hosted in Paris, France, VivaTech is a global meeting of startups and leaders to celebrate innovation. It’s a gathering of the world’s brightest minds, talents, and products.

To conclude on Tech Incentive Schemes Around the World, let’s discuss the key pros and cons that entrepreneurs evaluate when considering these various global tech incentive schemes? Additionally, what are the true differences between these schemes that can significantly impact an entrepreneur’s decision to relocate or expand their business in a particular country?

 Entrepreneurs evaluate several key pros and cons when considering various global tech incentive schemes:


  1. Access to Talent: Incentive schemes that facilitate access to skilled talent can help entrepreneurs build diverse and capable teams to drive innovation and growth.
  2. Financial Incentives: Programs that offer financial incentives such as grants, tax credits, or subsidies can help startups reduce costs and accelerate their development.
  3. Supportive Ecosystem: Entrepreneurial ecosystems with comprehensive support networks, including mentorship, incubators, and accelerators, can provide valuable resources and connections to help startups succeed.
  4. Market Access: Incentive schemes that provide access to new markets or facilitate international expansion can help startups scale their businesses more effectively.
  5. Innovation and Research Opportunities: Schemes that encourage innovation and research can help entrepreneurs develop cutting-edge technologies and solutions.
  6. Quality of Life: Factors such as quality of life, cost of living, and cultural amenities can contribute to a favourable work-life balance and attract entrepreneurs to certain locations.


  1. Regulatory Complexity: Some tech incentive schemes may be accompanied by complex regulatory requirements or administrative burdens that can be challenging for entrepreneurs to navigate.
  2. Uncertain Outcomes: Entrepreneurs may face uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of incentive schemes and their impact on business outcomes.
  3. Competition: In highly competitive markets, entrepreneurs may face challenges in accessing resources or standing out among competitors.
  4. Limited Resources: Incentive schemes may have limited resources or eligibility criteria that restrict access for certain entrepreneurs or startups.
  5. Dependency on Government Support: Entrepreneurs relying heavily on government support may face risks if funding or support programs are discontinued or reduced.
  6. Cultural and Language Barriers: Entrepreneurs relocating to new countries may encounter cultural and language barriers that can pose challenges in building relationships and conducting business.

The true differences between tech incentive schemes can significantly impact an entrepreneur’s decision to relocate or expand their business in a particular country. These differences may include:

  • Specific eligibility criteria and requirements for participation in the scheme.
  • The scope and nature of financial incentives or support provided to entrepreneurs.
  • The level of government involvement and commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • The quality and accessibility of support services and resources available within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • The overall business environment, including regulatory stability, ease of doing business, and legal protections for entrepreneurs and investors.

Entrepreneurs carefully weigh these factors when evaluating tech incentive schemes to determine the best fit for their business goals and growth strategy.

As the global landscape for tech innovation continues to evolve, understanding the various factors that make tech incentive schemes attractive is crucial for both entrepreneurs and policymakers. Beyond the essential aspects of timelines, tax benefits, and streamlined processes, elements such as access to talent, supportive ecosystems, innovation opportunities, market access, quality of life, and a favourable regulatory environment play pivotal roles in shaping successful tech hubs.

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