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AddVolt – WeTruck: Strengthening Customer Research in the U.S.

AddVolt – WeTruck
Strengthening Customer Research in the U.S.

addvolt we truck AddVolt team has been accelerating in Pittsburgh and at CMU, in the scope of the 2014 edition of the inRes Program, offered by the CMU Portugal Program, funded by FCT. In 27 days of immersion in the U.S., Bruno Azevedo and Ricardo Soares, among other experiences, had the opportunity to visit and meet the leadership of numerous companies in different sectors related with their market.

One of the most enthusiastic meetings they had was “with the CEO of a company that works in the transport field, and that knows very well the refrigerator systems,” they said adding that “the highlights and advices he gave us are very important, and furthermore he has shown his availability to connect us to transport companies here in Pittsburgh.”

As next steps, the AddVolt team has been scheduling interviews with different companies to enhance and strengthen the customer research process.

CMU Portugal: How do you comment on the last two weeks?
Bruno Azevedo and Ricardo Soares [BA and RS]: During the last two weeks we have been through a lot regarding lectures in CMU, Duquesne University and Catalyst Connection. For sure, the Essentials of Innovation Management in Manufacturing course that started on the week of October 15 is one of the most important courses for the group and specifically for WeTruck. The topic of product development and manufacturing planning and management is a key point in our business. The workshops regarding communication and financial skills were very important for us as well, and the workshops are led normally with real examples given from experienced lecturers.

CMU Portugal: What were the main challenges and achievements?
BA and RS: The main challenge is without any doubt reaching out contacts for meetings. A lot of work is being done in that part and since we are not an established company in the U.S., the job gets even harder. However, we could reach some important contacts here. We believe the main achievements in contacts were in first place the visit to a company of wind turbines, with a very interesting concept where our technology fits their needs. In second place, we visited two companies here in Pittsburgh, which design and manufacture an important component in our system. We have met with them and we believe that a contract supply can be born from this. In third place, we met a CEO of a company that works in the transport field who knows very well the refrigerator systems. The highlights and advice from him are very important to consider, furthermore he has shown his availability to connect us to transport companies here in Pittsburgh.
addvolt we truck 2

CMU Portugal: We know that you also have been participating in some cultural and social events in Pittsburgh, namely visits to the Steelers stadium, Andy Warhol Museum, among others. How do you comment on this cultural part of the agenda?
BA and RS: We have visit the Steelers Stadium during the Three River Venture Fair, and we know we will be able to watch a game at the Stadium, it will be for sure a cultural experience. The Andy Warhol Museum was very interesting as well, Andy has done a huge art job during his time, and we actually didn’t know he was from Pittsburgh. All of the cultural events are very interesting and important to absorb other kinds of knowledge and mainly to activate creativity. But combining our work here with the work we have still to do in Portugal, and integrate it with the rest of the members there is not easy and most of the times we have to spend more time working.

October 2014


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inRes, short for “in Residence,” is a very early stage acceleration program for entrepreneurial teams working in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in Portugal, offered by the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program.