6th August 2018
U. Porto is part of Portugal Ventures’ Ignition Partner Network (IPN)
Incubators and accelerators play a decisive role in the development of start-ups. Their relationship with these companies is born out of their ability to transform scientific research into new innovative technologies, especially when combining academic and business skills. Maria Oliveira, an Innovation Coordinator for University of Porto, one of the RIS Hub partners, gives a brief interview about support for start-ups through the university and the Ignition Partners Network.
Q: What major benefits does an acceleration/incubation programme such as the one offered by the University of Porto offer start-ups?
A: The University of Porto (U.Porto) is part of the most diverse innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Portugal. We generate 25% of all science and technology produced in the country and, as such, ideas, projects, companies and organisations from across the globe find a vibrant community at U.Porto and a qualified innovation ecosystem that is ready to address the demands of a global, open and competitive society.
Entrepreneurs and companies have access to resources and competences to create value at this institution, including: national and international intellectual property protection, with support from the University of Porto Innovation technicians; capacity-building, the fostering of entrepreneurship and iteration of business models in programmess such as the Business Ignition Programme; incubation in Portugal’s biggest Technopole – UPTEC –; creation of University of Porto spin-offs and their inclusion in the exclusive group The Circle, among other initiatives.
Q: What role does the Ignition Partners Network play when an entrepreneur first approaches investors?
A: The first impression is the only impression (as we usually say, jokingly, but not). The first interaction with U.Porto’s IPN helps exclude less feasible scenarios. The main purpose of the IPN is to support the creation of a sustainable and active journey, in which various U.Porto entities, specialised in the entrepreneurial process, engage multiple Portuguese and international players from the ecosystem. Portugal Ventures is on this journey with us. We’ve been involved in the life cycle of projects and have supported thousands of entrepreneurs and hundreds of companies created in the U.Porto ecosystem.
The wealth of experience we have accumulated together with Portugal Ventures allows us to improve and empower the entire process. The resulting collaborative and results-oriented relationship has led to better and more projects being developed and the emergence of a more mature and robust innovation ecosystem.
About the U.Porto Spin-off Circle:
The U.Porto Spin-off Circle is a business club created within the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem of the University of Porto. Many of the companies that are part of this group are licence holders of the “U.Porto Spin-off” brand, in other words, they are recognised as having resulted from Innovation and Research & Development.
The Circle brings U.Porto spin-offs together in forums, where they discuss the main challenges company’s face on a daily basis. Through these forums, entrepreneurs share experiences and help each other create value for their businesses in a truly dynamic network.