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CMU Portugal Program Presents inRes to Portuguese Entrepreneurs

2015 Edition of inRes CMU Portugal Program Presents inRes to Portuguese Entrepreneurs
UPTEC inRes Presentation

The 2015 Edition of inRes is on the road, and the CMU Portugal Program went to Startup Lisboa, UPTEC in Porto, and IPN in Coimbra, to present the initiative. Fully dedicated to entrepreneurs in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the initiative has the support of Caixa Capital for this year’s edition. The investor has a full committment to helping entrepreneurs, and will provide to the most promising project a funding round of up to 150k, with the participation in the “Caixa Empreender Award.”

The launch of the 2015 Edition of inRes was held in Startup Lisboa, on April 9 th , 2015, with the presence of Vasco Pedro, CEO of Unbabel, and Vasco Moreira and Gonçalo Mendes, from the 2014 inRes team Followprice. João Vasconcelos, executive director of Startup Lisboa, was the host of this session. “It is a pleasure for Startup Lisboa to receive inRes for this session, and to see that Portuguese entrepreneurs are being offered these opportunities to be better prepared to address global markets,” said João Vasconcelos. “Startup Lisboa is growing fast and this is a sign that its concept is helpful for entrepreneurs, who benefit greatly from the experience of being part of the Startup Lisboa community.”

Lessons Learned of an Entrepreneur

Vasco Pedro’s keynote was rich in lessons learned from his experience in launching several projects, with different degree of difficulty. He had his first experience as an entrepreneur when he was a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). This project came to an end prematurely, but Vasco Pedro’s persistence and will to create innovative businesses set himon a path, which in looking back, taught him valuable lessons that helped him to be better prepared to launch and lead Unbabel. This very promising startup, created a platform that joins a machine translation engine and a crowd of human editors. Currently, Unbabel has more than 25 thousand editors, and more than 20 million words translated in 15 languages. The service provided by Unbabel is simple: the company takes each translation request, runs it through machine translation, and provides the output to human editors who polish it up as appropriate. Vasco Pedro explained that “this service provides the quality of a human translation at a much lower cost,” adding that “a number of studies show that post-editing machine-translated texts increases their quality when compared to translating from scratch.”

/uploadedImages/inRes_Program/inRes_Program_2015/P4094205_edited.jpg/uploadedImages/inRes_Program/inRes_Program_2015/P4094211_edited.jpg Vasco Pedro left several words of advice for entrepreneurs: “know your customer in order to develop your product (…); it is difficult to focus when we have a startup, so be prepared and learn how to overcome that challenge (…); the CMU brand may be an important asset to succeed in the U.S. (…) team building is crucial to have a resilient startup able to move forward when problems come.” Vasco Pedro had the privilege to experience YCombinator, a experience that he will never forget.

Vasco Moreira and Gonçalo Mendes, from Followprice, talked about their recent participation in the 2014 Edition of inRes. Through inRes, these two young entrepreneurs had the opportunity to receive training in customer development, and to contact with internationally renowned entrepreneurs and experts in their market and industry, which led them to introduce significant changes to their business model. Since the participation in the inRes initiative, Followprice has been developing fast, and in the beginning of 2015 the startup announced a round of funding led by Portugal Ventures.

AddVolt, Displr and Xhockware in the Porto Session

The presentation session at UPTEC in Porto took place on April 10 th , 2015. The audience saw three presentations by the other three teams that participated in the 2014 Edition of inRes: AddVolt, Displr and Xhockware. They shared “war stories” and insights from their experience, especially from the immersion at CMU, and Pittsburgh (U.S.).