inRes 2015 inRes Teams Start Structured Immersion in Pittsburgh
The inRes 2015 teams – AdaptTech, Playsketch, Sceelix and Scraim – started on September 21 st , an intensive training and networking agenda in Pittsburgh and at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), in the United States.
In the United States, the teams will be exposed to a highly competitive international environment, which will allow them to reinforce their leadership and project management skills in a technological framework. João Claro, national director of the CMU Portugal Program, stresses the potential of the teams participating in this edition, and explains how they can benefit from the experience in the American market: “ All of the teams are talented in management and technological innovation. They are at a time in their lifecycle in which the realization of their potential depends entirely on their ability to refine and validate their product concepts and business models, by successively contacting with potential users, partners, investors, and several other specialists in their fields of expertise .”
Pioneering in its focus and in the way the schedule is structured, with a preparation period in Portugal followed by seven weeks in the United States, the inRes was designed and is led by a joint team of experts in Portugal and at CMU. “ During the inRes, we follow the teams closely so that they make the most of all opportunities available to them. In Portugal, we organized four workshops, with group sessions and individual tasks for the teams, where we consolidate fundamental concepts, work intensively on product concepts and business models, and design strategies for their immersion period, ” says João Claro.
In addition to adopting international reference methods to support the new businesses, the program also features innovative aspects, including the development of specific management skills for emerging technology-based businesses. “ This type of business is managed very differently than mature businesses, or businesses without a technological innovation base, and is commonly not addressed in the syllabus of most business and engineering schools. Moreover, entrepreneurial training and support programs usually focus on articulating business opportunities rather than the actually managing new businesses. This is a clear gap and it is one of the priorities of inRes .”
The four 2015 inRes teams have a workspace at Project Olympus , a CMU business accelerator. Furthermore, they will be participating in several relevant entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives, such as LaunchCMU, promoted by CMU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). Here, the inRes teams will not only showcase their projects at a trade fair, but also pitch their business. João Claro emphasizes that in the 2014 edition of inRes “besides the scheduled appearances, the teams also had the opportunity to participate in unscheduled events with prominent people. For instance, last year Addvolt won a pitch competition that unexpectedly came about.”
“The inRes teams have privileged access to an ‘augmented reality’ in their business context, which is crucial for them to find their place and grow in the market. This facilitated and supported presence in the field gives them the proper knowledge and skills to better manage their startups today and in the future” – João Claro
João Claro also highlights the “good results” of the previous edition, which involved the teams Addvolt, DISPLR, Followprice and Xhockware: “The 2014 edition of inRes was very positive for the teams, which, in turn, reflected the level of maturity and credibility of the startups, and improved their capacity to attract investment, or to establish partnerships with businesses and experts contacted during the immersion.”
This year, the inRes is also supported by Caixa Capital, which will provide a 50,000€ prize to one of the projects participating in the 2015 edition. The winner may also access an additional 100,000€ investment, in the scope of the “Caixa Empreender Award.”
inRes is an initiative of the CMU Portugal Program, funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) and supported by the Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Portuguesas (CRUP), in partnership with CMU, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA), Caixa Capital, UTEN Portugal and INESC TEC.
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