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The Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program (CMU Portugal) has provided conditions and opportunities for some of the faculty members, students or alumni to launch their own entrepreneurial initiatives. The Program has supported the creation and development of 12 startups which have attracted more than $200 million in venture capital investment, and created over 1000 highly qualified jobs.

Among these 12 startups are companies that are already references in their sector. As an example, Feedzai, which is involved in fraud prevention in electronic payments and Veniam, which connects vehicles to each other and to the Internet using vehicular mesh networking technologies.

Here are the 12 startups created under the scope of the Program:


Launch date: 2010
Founders: Mário Zenha-Rela,  Francisco Rente (FCTUC)
Industry: Computer & Network Security
Company Size: 11
Core Business: Dognaedis focus in three major activity areas within Information Security: Security Audit and Consultancy, Software Assurance and Business Continuity Support. Dognædis became part of the worldwide leader in the Security Services sector Prosegur in March 2016.By the end of 2018, the Group made another major acquisition with Cipher, a global cybersecurity company with offices located in North America, Europe and Latin America and in 2019 all companies within the Prosegur Cybersecurity Division including Dognaedis, transitioned towards the global brand Cipher, a Prosegur Company. Mário Zenha-Rela was a visiting faculty at CMU under the CMU Portugal Program and benefited from the CMU Portugal  Entrepreneurship in Residence, a business acceleration program for entrepreneurial teams in the area of ICT. He was one of the professors involved in the dual degree professional master in Software Engineering (MSE), taught at FCTUC and Carnegie Mellon University.


Launch date: 2010
Founders: Paulo Marques, Pedro Bizarroand Nuno Sebastião
Industry: Information Technology & Services
Company size: 456
Total funding: €1b
Core Business: Feedzai is the market leader in fighting financial crime, providing today’s most advanced cloud-based risk management platform powered by artificial intelligence and big data. Founded and developed by data scientists and aerospace engineers, Feedzai has one critical mission: make commerce safe. The world’s largest banks, payment providers and retailers use Feedzai’s machine learning technology to manage risks associated with banking and shopping, whether it’s in person, online or via mobile devices. The company is now valued at well above $1billion that is a clear acknowledgment of the Program’s outcomes and a proof of the impact that the partnership has in supporting strong and innovative ICT initiatives.
The partnership with Carnegie Mellon University was very important in the company’s early days. Both Paulo Marques and Pedro Bizarro were Visiting Faculty at CMU under the scope of CMU Portugal and adjunct professors at Carnegie Mellon University, which granted the company a high degree of credibility. Since then, they have been engaged in a series of initiatives promoted by the Program in the US which opened Feedzai to new markets.


Launch date: 2007
Founders: Michel Ferreira (FCUP)
Industry: Information Technology & Services
Core Business: Geolink has specialized in the optimization of the operation of automotive fleets, involving mobile computing devices that communicate in real-time with central servers that permanently monitor and optimize the operation of vehicles. Call center solutions that tightly integrate with the fleet management services are also a fundamental component of the technological architectures developed by Geolink. They partner with major telecommunication operators for setting up our advanced solutions in terms of fixed and mobile communications and with NDrive to power the GPS navigation installed in the mobile terminals. Geolink was heavily involved with the CMU Portugal project DRIVE-IN (Distributed Routing and Infotainment through VEhicular Inter-Networking) research project, deploying a 500 nodes vehicular network in the city of Porto, in the north of Portugal.


Launch date: 2011
Founders: Sofia Nunes, Eugene Danilkis and Frederick Pfisfered (Universidade da Madeira)
Industry: Information Technology & Services
Company Size: 501
Total funding: €1.7b
Core Business: Mambu is a startup company established by three alumni of the Master in Human Computer Interaction that is now worth over €1.7 billion. The three company founders met while attending the CMU Portugal Master’s program in HCI at Madeira. They developed the company’s idea as their Master Project – a year-long microfinance research project with a focus on Mozambique – which was their first step towards creating Mambu, a company operating in the microfinance sector that developed the banking platform “SaaS” (Software as a Service) that is today the leader market share. Mambu’s platform is used by traditional banks, fintech startups, financial institutions, nonprofits and other businesses to power their financial products and services. Their customer list includes fintech start-ups, telcos and top tier banks, operate on six continents and help customers constantly change the way financial institutions operate and innovate, service more than 180 customers with over 33M end users.

Orange Bird

Launch date: 2011
Founders: Paulo Silva Pereira, Pedro Domingos ,Yoann Nesme (International Lisbon MBA) and Pedro Oliveira (CLSBE)
Industry: Information Services
Core Business: Orange Bird promotes crowdsourcing in Portugal and abroad through its several initiatives, including PPL, the main reward-based crowdsourcing platform in Portugal. The goal of this startup is to promote the concept of crowdfunding (collective finance) in Portugal and to boost entrepreneurship and social development within the country. Unprecedented forms of cooperation and communication were made possible by  technological advances. Virtual networks can capture a collective knowledge and experience that surpasses those of an individual. The same applies to the collective effort and creativity of the masses. Another promising potential is the ability to collectively choose the best for a community, and ultimately donate or invest in meaningful and impactful ideas, projects and institutions. One of the co-founders, Pedro Oliveira, while he was conducting research on the role of users in developing innovative financial services, including crowdfunding and director of the dual degree doctoral program in Technology Change and Entrepreneurship offered by Católica-Lisbon, Técnico  and CMU in the scope of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program.


Launch date: 2015
Founders: Lucas Pereira, Mary Barreto , Filipe Quintal, Paulo Brazão, Nuno Nunes (M-ITI)
Industry: Energy Sensing and Feedback Services
Company Size: 6
Total funding: €50k
Core Business: Prsma is a company created by a M-ITI team associated with an entrepreneur from the electronics industry, to commercialize EnergySpectrum. The sensing system is capable of disaggregating home energy consumption using a low-cost and effective non-intrusive approach. The sensing system is coupled with a middleware web system that supports novel eco-feedback strategies that are meaningful and compelling for families and households. EnergySpectrum is one of the outcomes of the research project Sustainable Interaction with social Networks, context Awareness and Innovative Services (SINAIS), carried out in the scope of the CMU Portugal Program. This project allowed testing of cost-effective solutions for disaggregation of electrical signals in a partnership with Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira (EEM).


Launch date: 2013
Founders: Mário Zenha-Rela , Miguel Antunes, Tony Gonçalves (FCTUC)
Industry: Information Technology & Services
Company Size: 18
Core Business: RedLight Software is a process-driven software company providing solutions for the health sector in Europe, from product specification and early design concepts to product launch and maintenance. It is a technological startup originated from the Carnegie Mellon Portugal initiative as a direct outcome of the multidisciplinary partnership in software engineering, quality processes (CMMI) and human-computer interaction.


Launch date: 2013
Founders: Bruno Cabral and Jorge Granjal (Universidade de Coimbra)
Company Size: 7
Core Business: Sentilant develops innovative and secure software solutions that use sensorial data collected from mobile devices to provide users and clients with disruptive applications and unparalleled real-time decision support information for vehicle road telematics and field service optimization businesses. The startup beneficiated from the results achieved during the CMU Portugal research project Æminium – Freeing Programmers from the Shackles of Sequentiality, co-lead by Bruno Cabral. The know-how and technology developed with Æminium were essential to plan, design and develop Sentilant’s infrastructure.


Launch date: 2012
Founders: João Barros, Rui Costa, Paulo Oliveira (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto)
Industry: Telecommunications
Company Size: 11
Total funding: €1.3m
Core Business: Streambolico technologies offer enhanced quality of experience for real-time data streaming over wireless networks. The Company solutions combine wireless multicasting, interactive apps and the power of network coding, to deliver the right data packets to the right customer at the right time. The key challenge, which its technology is able to overcome, is caused by the typically poor quality of the wireless link, which causes loss of critical data packets and strong deterioration of the perceived video quality. The Company technology allows all users to recover lost packets with very limited delay. Streambolico’s team has a large experience in developing and prototyping multimedia platforms for wireless communications, including communication software, communication protocols, security mechanisms and coding algorithms. The company was founded by João Barros, former national director of the CMU Portugal Program, and Paulo Oliveira, a Ph.D student that spent several periods at Carnegie Mellon University. Streambolico was acquired by Codavel in 2018.


Founders: João Barros (FEUP), Susana Sargento (Universidade de Aveiro), Robin Chase and Roy Russell.
Industry: Automotive
Company Size: 48
Total funding: $26.9M
Core Business: Veniam is a tech startup accelerating the future of mobility by delivering the Internet of Moving Things. With an IP portfolio of 150+ patents, Veniam’s Intelligent Networking platform enables connected cars and autonomous vehicles to move massive amounts of data between vehicles and the cloud, at a fraction of the cost, using advanced simulation software. This startup is able to deliver detailed studies on the expected quality of service, bandwidth, latency and coverage for different cities, vehicle densities and traffic scenarios. VeniamWorks is a spin-off company of the Instituto de Telecomunicações and the Universities of Aveiro and Porto based on technology developed under the CMU Portugal Project: DRIVE‐IN ‐ Distributed Routing and Infotainment through Vehicular Inter‐Networking. The company was founded by pioneering technology researchers including João Barros, former CMU Portugal National Director and Susana Sargento, CMU Portugal Scientific director and faculty member. Veniam is a global company with its headquarters in Mountain View, California, an Engineering Center in Porto (Portugal) and sales offices in Detroit, Munich and Tokyo.

Virtual Traffic Lights

Launch date: 2010
Founders: Ozan Tonguz (CMU), Michel Ferreira and Luis Damas (Universidade do Porto)
Industry: Computer Networking
Company Size: 11
Core Business: VTL patented a disruptive technology that provides for the advancement in Traffic Management. This advancement substantially improves traffic efficiency and safety by using V2V and V2I communications whereby vehicles communicate with each other and traffic infrastructure. Helping to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities, reduce commute times, and improve the overall safety of drivers. Virtual Traffic Lights (VTL), was founded based on technology developed under the CMU Portugal Project: DRIVE‐IN ‐ Distributed Routing and Infotainment through Vehicular Inter‐Networking


Launch date: 2013
Founders: Bruno Prezado, Hugo Silva, João Graça, Sofia Pessanha, Vasco Pedro
Industry: Information Technology & Services
Company Size: 200 / 507
Total funding: $ 91.2M
Core Business: Unbabel’s Customer Service Solution allows modern enterprises to understand and be understood by their customers in dozens of languages by combining human expertise and artificial intelligence (AI). Powered by AI and refined by a global community of translators, Unbabel combines the speed and scale of machine translation with the authenticity that can come only from a native speaker. Based in San Francisco, California, Unbabel works with leading customer support teams at brands such as Facebook, Microsoft,, and Uber, to communicate effortlessly with customers around the world, no matter what language they speak. Unbabel was founded by Vasco Pedro, a graduate from CMU’s Language Technology Institute (LTI) and CMU Portugal project post-doctoral fellow. André Martins, CMU Portugal alumni, is the VP of Artificial Intelligence Research