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InRes Teams Start Immersion Adventure in Pittsburgh

InRes Teams Start Immersion Adventure in Pittsburgh
On October 1, 2014, the four teams of the 2014 edition of the inRes Program will set foot on U.S. soil, namely in Pittsburgh, to begin the final stretch of their immersion adventure. For eight weeks, the Portuguese entrepreneurial teams – DISPLR, Followprice, Xhockware and WeTruck – will undergo an immersion period in which they will have the unique opportunity to access global networks of entrepreneurs, partners, potential clients and investors.

Project Olympus Logo While in Pittsburgh, the inRes teams will settle their office at Project Olympus, an initiative of the School of Computer Science at CMU that works collaboratively with all members of the university’s innovation ecosystem. Olympus provides startup advice, micro-grants, incubator space, and connections for faculty and students across campus and with the wider regional, national and global business communities.

The agenda of the immersion will be focused on three streams of work: Orientation and Follow-up, where the teams will meet with and receive feedback from the core team both in Pittsburgh and in Portugal; Networking and Business Development, which will give the teams the opportunity to participate in networking events and establish contacts; and Training Program, in which the teams will work on key aspects of business development, entrepreneurship and high-tech startup management. The inRes teams will participate, right from the beginning, in several workshops organized by the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), the Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC), and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA).

In week one, after a tour to the CMU Campus, the teams will get to meet faculty members, researchers, dual degree master and doctoral students, alumni and visiting faculty related to the CMU Portugal Program. As part of the networking and business development moments, the teams will be exposed, right from the beginning, to several entrepreneurial events. On October 3, the inRes teams will be at LaunchCMU – A Technology Startup and Research Showcase to participate in the demo and poster session, and in showcase talks. In week two, between October 7 and 8, the inRes teams will attend the 3 Rivers Venture Fair, an annual event to foster the commercialization of promising technology innovations through investment. One of the highlights of this event is the University Technology Schowcase, in which Xhockware will have the opportunity to pitch their startup.

The training program will focus on different aspects of entrepreneurship, such as managing startups, fundraising, financial models, the power of social networks, raising capital, innovation management, communication, business plans, intellectual property, agile product development or pitches. Other topics to be addressed during the intensive immersion include pitching to customers, customer development, executing and selling, budgeting, personal management, hiring and developing a team, building and leading a board, and establishing a corporation.

The training program is anchored on the CONNECTS series, organised every year by CIE to “enhance the experiential education of any individual interested in starting a company,” as stated on the website of the initiative. Some of the events the inRes teams will attend are organized in the scope of the NSF I-Corps Site at CMU, which builds upon Carnegie Mellon’s demonstrated strengths in combining technology and entrepreneurship, in broadening participation for underrepresented groups and in collaborating with regional stakeholders.

The immersion period will finish with the presence at the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week at Carnegie Mellon University, which celebrates the innovative culture at CMU.

The core team of experts involved in the program includes Tara Branstad and Reed McManigle, associate director and senior manager of CMU’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC), respectively; Dave Mawhinney, co-director of CMU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and director of the i6 Agile Innovation System; Suzi Pegg, vice-president of global marketing at Pittsburgh Regional Alliance; as well as João Claro, national director of the CMU Portugal Program.

September 2014


inRes, short for “in Residence,” is a very early stage acceleration program for entrepreneurial teams working in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in Portugal. inRes is a new initiative promoted by the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, funded by the FCT (Portuguese funding agency) and supported by the Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Portuguesas (CRUP), in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and UTEN Portugal.


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