Last Friday the 2015 UP AWARDS Gala took place at Pavilhão do Conhecimento. We got to know the winners of each one of the 10 categories, all related to the Portuguese Startup Ecosystem.

It all started with David Trayford, the host of the whole ceremony, jumping on stage introducing PortugalStartups.com and the UP AWARDS.

Fernando Medina
Fernando Medina, Lisbon City Council Mayor

Right after that, we had the pleasure to hear from Fernando Medina, the Lisbon City Council Mayor, welcoming the community and delivering a clear message about his belief in the growth potential of our community: “Let things happen, let things grow, use the opportunities”.

Daniela Monteiro
Daniela Monteiro

Daniela Monteiro, from PortugalStartups.com, followed the Lisbon City Council Mayor to present a brief overview on the evolution of the Portuguese Startup Ecosystem in the last years. From a position where international journalists couldn’t name Portuguese Startups, till a place where we are being recognized internationally in the press, getting big investment rounds, exits and attracting the Web Summit to Portugal.

To wrap up the presentation, Daniela mentioned some numbers from the first report on Portuguese ICT Scale-ups, published in that same day by Startup Europe Partnership together with Microsoft Portugal and Ativar Portugal Startups:

It identifies in Portugal 40 ICT scale-ups, and an additional 24 other startups lined up to follow in their path. The report also says Portugal has produced 9 exits on this kind of companies since 2010. Numbers may seem modest, but the doors are open.

The time to start delivering awards finally arrived:

The first one was the Most Entrepreneurial University, delivered by Fernando Medina to ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa.

Gonçalo Pernas, ISCTE
Gonçalo Pernas, ISCTE

The Most Promising Technology followed. It was delivered by Caroline Phillips, from Ativar Portugal at Microsoft, and it went to Sphere Ultrafast Photonics.

Caroline Phillips, Helder Crespo and Rosa Romero
Caroline Phillips, Helder Crespo and Rosa Romero

The third one was the Startup Accelerator of the Year. Delivered by Arnoldas Abramavičius, Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions and Member of the CoR Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture, to Act by Cotec.

Arnoldas Abramavičius, Marisa Loureiro
Arnoldas Abramavičius, Marisa Loureiro

The B2B Startup of the Year was delivered by Isália Barata, Head of Startup & Small Business at SAGE and went to PaperVault.

Isália Barata and Orlando Ribas Fernandes
Isália Barata and Orlando Ribas Fernandes

And the the last of the first part of the ceremony was the Startup Journalist of the Year. Delivered by me, it went to Ana Pimentel, from Observador.

Ana Pimentel
Ana Pimentel

One of the goals of this event was also to get the community together to network, share experiences and explore collaborations. That was what happened during the break.

5 awards were delivered, 5 to go. The second part started with the Coworking Space of the Year delivered by Inês Silva, from PortugalStartups.com. The big winner was UnOffice!

Inês Silva, Paulo Mendes and Elsa Couraça
Inês Silva, Paulo Mendes,  Elsa Couraça and António Lourenço

The B2C Startup of the Year, was delivered by Miguel Vicente, from Ativar Portugal at Microsoft, and it went to musicyou.

Miguel Vicente and Rui Lopes
Miguel Vicente and Rui Lopes

The Startup Incubator of the Year, was delivered by Ana Almeida, from PortugalStartups.com, to CEIM – Centro de Empresas e Inovação da Madeira.

Patricia Dantas de Caires
Patricia Dantas de Caires

The Investment Firm of the Year, was delivered by Maria Antónia Costa, Country Manager at SAGE, to 2bpartner.

Maria Antónia Costa and João Matos
Maria Antónia Costa and João Matos

For the last category, Founder of the Yearwe had a small surprise planed. A golden ticket was hidden in the audience and the person who got it was the one delivering this award. This was our way to bring the community on stage. Tiago Pereira was the one with the ticket a delivered the award to Vasco Pedro from Unbabel.

Tiago Pereira
Tiago Pereira
Vasco Pedro
Vasco Pedro

When it looked like everything was over, two extra prizes appeared. Our team decided to give a special recognition to 2 individuals that were essential for the whole UP AWARDS organization:

Outstanding UP AWARDS Believer – Isália Barata

Daniela Monteiro, Ana Almeida, Isália Barata, Rafael Pires and Inês Silva
Daniela Monteiro, Ana Almeida, Isália Barata, Rafael Pires and Inês Silva

Outstanding Supporting Person – Miguel Vicente

Daniela Monteiro, Ana Almeida, Miguel Vicente, Rafael Pires and Inês Silva
Daniela Monteiro, Ana Almeida, Miguel Vicente, Rafael Pires and Inês Silva

It all ended up with a final networking moment with a glass of champagne to celebrate the achievements of the Portuguese Startup Ecosystem.

Photo Credits: Miguel Quesada. The full album is available here.