10 highlights of 2023: Looking back and looking ahead

3 min read
09 Jan 2024

The dawn of a new year holds a unique significance for me. 

It's a period of reflection. 

As 2024 begins, I dedicated some time to revisiting the projects and achievements that the Startup Guide team and I had the pleasure of working on, while laying the groundwork for exciting new things coming this year.

Here are my 10 personal highlights from the Startup Guide in 2023!

Venturing into Latin America:

We kicked off 2023 with the exciting announcement of our foray into Latin America, unveiling the inaugural book in Brazil, about the Rio Grande do Sul region. The journey took us to Porto Alegre for the South Summit, where, alongside esteemed partners WISE, Sebrea, and Instituto Caldeira, we embarked on a road tour across the region. The warmth and enthusiasm we encountered everywhere fueled our excitement for the upcoming year, with plans to announce more cities in collaboration with our community partner WISE.

The Explorer Series:

The birth of the Explorer Series marked a significant milestone in the Startup Guide evolution. This new print product, designed for the avid traveler, puts a spotlight on the essence of each city. Launched with Copenhagen at Tech BBQ in collaboration with Lunar Bank and later Oslo with Oslo Business Region, we are already on the lookout for our third city — your suggestions are most welcome.

Digital Ecosystem:

Simultaneously, as we shaped the Explorer Series, our focus extended to upgrading our website and crafting a robust digital ecosystem. Born out of the pandemic's challenges, the digital ecosystem aims to make our content more accessible to a wider audience. With the first nine ecosystems already in place, we invite cities to join this dynamic platform and share their unique stories.

Startup Guide for Linz:

In 2023, we unveiled the Startup Guide for Linz, delving into the unique Austrian city and its vibrant ecosystem. Featuring over 50 startups and organizations, it became a captivating exploration of the city's entrepreneurial spirit.

Startup Guide Summit:

2023 marked the 10th anniversary of Startup Guide, a milestone celebrated with the inaugural Startup Guide Summit in Lisbon. Bringing together over 300 individuals, 27 speakers, and hosting 10 workshops in partnership with Impact Shakers at Casa Do Impacto, it was a memorable day that we aspire to turn into a tradition.

Startup Guide Summit, photo by Arianne Thrall


City Solutions:

At the Startup Guide Summit, we revealed our new direction and heart project — City Solutions. Having spent a decade mapping innovation in over 60 cities, we now aim to facilitate the implementation of innovation through a platform fostering collaboration between cities and scalable solutions for sustainable urban environments. The City of Cascais is set to be the pilot, and we eagerly anticipate sharing more details soon!

[ Visit the link city.solutions ]


Impact the Future 2.0:

Alongside rethinking Startup Guide's purpose, we revisited the mission of Impact the Future, a project initiated in 2020 with Culture Works. The launch of Future Living in Copenhagen is just the beginning, we have some more exciting developments to be announced soon. So stay tuned here.

[ Visit the link impactthefuture.co ]

Water Worlds:

An unexpected yet rewarding project emerged when Redbull publishing house Benevento approached us to collaborate on a book about the importance of water. Drawing on our global network of researchers, experts, writers, photographers, and partners, we proudly launched Water Worlds after two years of dedicated effort. With over 20 inspiring personalities featured and 12 thought-provoking chapters, we challenge the drivers of degradation, destruction and devastation, and explore a future with healthy and healed waters. You can buy it here (German language).

Partners & Collaborators:

Overwhelmed by the support from our incredible partners — close collaborators, partners, and supporters — this year reaffirmed that tackling complex global issues requires collective efforts. We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with numerous outstanding organizations.

The Team:

Last but unequivocally the most crucial highlight of the year is our team. To the incredible individuals worldwide who contribute to making these projects a reality, a heartfelt thank you. Your dedication is the driving force behind our accomplishments, and after a decade, it is your passion that inspires us to continue this journey. Thank you!

Photo by Arianne Thrall