Inês Santos Silva

Inês Santos Silva

Profile

Time in tech 7 years
Current role Special Advisor @ Secretary of State of Industry
Place of origin Porto, Portugal

Tell us more about you:

Early years and where you came from?

I was born in a small village close to Porto and at 18 I went to the University of Porto to study Management. Back then, I dreamt with a job at Goldman Sachs in New York, but life changed dramatically and I ended up falling in love with startups.

How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?

I always knew I was somehow geeky. I was always looking for new gadgets and in my teenage years, I spent more hours than I like to admit playing PlayStation, GameBoy and computer. My summer holidays and weekends were spent between books (I love to read) and video games.

However, my real introduction to tech happen when I was in college. In 2007, I joined FEP Junior Consulting (student-led organization that does consultancy work) and I had my first contact with incubators and startups. Then, through a series of lucky moments, I ended up organizing Barcamp Porto in 2010 and that’s where I fell in love with technology and entrepreneurship. Since then, everything I’ve done has been driven by curiosity and a deep passion for connecting people and ideas.

Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.

After 7 years, promoting entrepreneurship in Portugal and abroad with Startup Pirates, Startup Tour, Startup Exchange Programa and PortugalStartups.com and after a year and a half working with startups (TOPDOX & Platforme) and big companies I’m now a Special Advisor to the Secretary of State of Industry.

What part of what you do, you love the most?

I love connecting people and ideas.

How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?

Because of my non-technical background, it’s easier for me to put aside the technicalities of building a product and focus on the impact that product will have in the user’s life.

What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?

Start attending tech meetups like Porto/Minho/Coimbra Startup Coffee, BREAK, Girls Lean in or Portugal Girl Geek Dinners. Get actively involved by adding value to the other participants and by helping out the organizers. After that, things will just happen.

Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese women in tech.

I wake up at 8:00am full of energy. No matter at what time I went to sleep or how many hours of sleep I had, I always wake up energized. At 9:00am I arrive at the office and usually work until 7pm or 8pm. I spend a lot of time traveling around the country to meet with entrepreneurs, startups, investors and incubators. When I arrive home, I have dinner, catch up on the news and do one hour of reading.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that a lot of what I am was influenced by the examples of my parents and grandmother. Since a young age, I was incentive to work hard, stay curious and never give up.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

On a very practical level I can’t live without Outlook for iPhone, Overcast and Messaging apps. These 3 apps run my life. Outlook to connect with people and make sure I don’t forget any appointments. Overcast to listen to my podcasts. Messaging apps (Whatsapp, Slack, Telegram and Messenger) to engage with people.

I really recommend a google chrome extension called Strict Pomodoro. If you get distracted easily by social networks this is a great way to ensure you don’t.

Links that you want to share?

Startup Pirates - www.startuppirates.org

PortugalStartups.com - www.portugalstartups.com

Trojan Horse was a Unicorn - www.trojan-unicorn.com

Techfugees - www.techfugees.com