2015 Edition of inRes Cross-fertilization within the inRes Workshops in Portugal
On June 24-25, 2015, the CMU Portugal Program held the 1 st workshop of the 2015 edition of inRes with the four teams of entrepreneurs selected this year: Adapttech, Playsktech, Sceelix and Scraim. The art of pitching, value proposition, customer development and bootstrapping market research, were the themes heightened at this workshop that took place at INESC TEC, in Porto, Portugal.
|The first day started with introductions of the participants, followed by a presentation from João Claro, national director of the CMU Portugal Program, about the Program’s goals and achievements, and how inRes fits as an enabler for innovation, talent development on tech based companies, and internationalization. Alípio Torre, business consultant and program coordinator of COHiTEC from COTEC, was introduced as the new member of the inRes core team of experts.|
As part of the agenda for the first day, the teams had the opportunity to meet two entrepreneurs of the 2014 edition of inRes: Ricardo Soares, from Addvolt, and David Sobrinho, from Xhockware. Both emphasized the importance of their path during inRes on the development of their business plans and products, highlighting the availability of both experts teams in Portugal and in the United States, in Pittsburgh and at CMU, to help when needed. Ricardo Soares talked about the experience he had with Bruno Azevedo, his colleague at Addvolt: “One day we went to the street and started knocking on doors of potential customers and partners, to get their feedback on our project,” says Ricardo Soares adding “it was an amazing experience, because we had the opportunity to speak with several high-level professionals that, without a scheduled meeting, were available to talk with us and to provide valuable feedback.” David Sobrinho, on the other hand, talked about Xhockware’s experience at Project Olympus, the quality of training and the importance of CMU in the world, and about the entrepreneurial and cultural environment created for and by the inRes teams.
During the two-day workshop, the teams gave two pitches, one on each day. After the first pitch from each team, the other participants, along with João Claro and Alípio Torre, provided feedback. “On this workshop we received a very positive sign from the teams related with their commitment to inRes,” says João Claro adding “we provided feedback after the first pitch, and it was very rewarding to see that all the teams implemented very constructive changes to the second pitch.”
The first day’s workshop ended with a networking dinner with the researcher and entrepreneur João Paulo Cunha, who talked about several challenges he faced during his experience as an entrepreneur. He shared lessons learned that he feels were very enriching to understand: that world-class research is what really moves him, and that technology transfer and commercialization is best left to experts.
|The two-day workshop was very intensive, challenging and full of activities: presentations given by João Claro and Alípio Torre, pitches given by the teams, meetings with the inRes alumni Addvolt and Xhockware, a dinner with a researcher entrepreneur, and one-on-one meetings. At the end of these two days, the teams seemed pleased with what was accomplished so far and very curious on how the next workshops will be. João Claro emphasizes, “inRes workshops are a way to exchange ideas, to do cross-fertilization.”|
The 2 nd workshop will be held at Porto Business School, on July 14 th -15 th , 2015, with the presence of Dave Mawhinney, co-director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of Carnegie Mellon University. The 3 rd workshop will take place at INESC TEC, on July 28-29, 2015, and will have the presence of Tara Branstad, associate director of the Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC) at CMU. The training in Portugal will finish on August 31 to September 1, with a workshop at Instituto Pedro Nunes, in Coimbra. The teams will start the immersion in Pittsburgh, anchored at CMU, in September 21, and will finish in November, 2015.