Organization: Universidade do Minho (University of Minho), PT
Project name: Portuguese Strategy for Young Entrepreneurship - AVEPARK
Program Action: Programa Operacional da Região Norte – CCDRN (Operational Programme of the North Region)
Description of the action:
The university of Minho supports innovative and knowledge intensive companies (spin-off entrepreneurs) by cooperating with facilities such as the Spinpark (technology-based incubator). The facilities provide an integrated set of services to support companies through their evolutionary process, providing physical space, consulting, training, networking and access to seed capital. The close link to Avepark, park of science and technology also allows enterprises at a more mature stage to enter into a community of business owners, entrepreneurs, researchers and university students accessing networking, training and internationalization. The Portuguese government provides further programmes for young entrepreneurs, which are available also through the cooperation with Avepark and the University of Minho. The Avepark, with the support of FNABA (Portuguese National Federation of Business Angels) and Invicta Angels, launched the Business Angels Club of Guimaraes. This club brings together individual investors who invest in a professional manner in the capital of small and medium enterprises with high growth potential, giving management expertise to business projects, as well as networking. The users of Avepark and Spinpark have access to this financial club that is more oriented to invest in the early stages of business development. This is a club of professional investors who have extensive experience in management and business. The club is an extensive network of contacts, with capacity to invest in new projects.
Organization: IAPMEI (Agency for the Competitiveness and Innovation), PT
Project: Rede Nacional de Mentores (National Network of Mentors)
Program Action: Programa Estratégico para o Empreendedorismo e a Inovação – QREN (NSRF)
Description of the action: The National Network of Mentors (RNM in Portuguese) is an initiative of the Strategic Programme for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Programa Estrategico +E+I), managed by IAPMEI “ Agency for the Competitiveness and Innovation, Public Institute (IAPMEI - Agencia para a Competitividade e inovação, I.P.), which is available to the entire entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem, and aims at supporting entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and projects, based on a mentoring process. The RNM depends on the involvement of all stakeholders of the entrepreneurial experts with motivation to share their knowledge (Mentors) and of the entrepreneurs with determination to achieve success. The RNM offers the connection and the establishment of contact between persons, based on a specific program of Mentoring. Mentors and entrepreneurs adjust their relationship according to the guiding principles leading the RNM. These guiding principles define the general conditions of the mentoring relationship, the process of matching between mentors and entrepreneurs and the behaviour of mentors and entrepreneurs in the mentoring relationship.
Organization: INOVA+, PT
Project: SOCIAL INNOVATION CAMPUS CIS-M
Description of the action:
The Social Innovation Campus was presented as a training of social innovation ideas programme (training award for the finalist idea of the CIS-M contest), which promoted collaboration and creativity to the finalist ideas of Phase 1 of the competition. It was a place of sharing knowledge and building relationships that guided the innovative/social entrepreneurs to develop ideas in business. The Social Innovation Campus was mainly presented as an extensive development programme, lasting two days, where entrepreneurs could systematically develop their own social idea and transform it into a project with sustainability. It was based on key actions, thematic workshops chaired by the areas of entrepreneurship experts and social innovation and working sessions with mentors. Through these two workshops, intended to be a reflection on the process of creativity and innovation, the different techniques that convert creativity and innovation into a sustainable source of competitive advantage were gathered. Within the Social Innovation Campus, several challenges were launched to the participants, leading them through know-how and tools acquired to develop their ideas based on three factors: Creativity, Innovation and Knowledge. Above all, it was intended that the potential social entrepreneurs were able to transform the social entrepreneurial vision, in the form of a real and sustainable design. During the Social Innovation Campus, social entrepreneurs had the opportunity to receive guidance and create their idea into a sustainable project. The programme was limited in time, two days, and consisted of a set of thematic workshops and extra activities to stimulate creativity and team spirit. This form of workshops focused on action plans. The Social Innovation Campus was presented as a training tool to promote finalist ideas and as a form in which the potential social entrepreneurs would live, experience and have access to the pre-incubation of technological start-ups.
Organization: ANJE, PT
Project: Academia dos Empreendedores (Entrepreneurs Academy)
Program Action: With the support of IEFP - Employment and Professional Training Institute
Description of the action: The Entrepreneurs Academy was created by ANJE in 1997 and, since then, it has developed an evangelizing mission towards entrepreneurship. This mission consisted on the awareness of young Portuguese to the need for a culture of initiative and risk. The Young Entrepreneur Award, the Entrepreneur Fair, the Ideas Competition and the Road-Shows are some of the initiatives launched by this project developed with the support of IEFP - Employment and Professional Training Institute. Thanks to the knowledge regarding the main limitation of the Portuguese entrepreneur movement, the qualification of its central characters, the Academy has been focusing its action in promoting the so-called "qualified entrepreneurship." This means joining the national effort to provide young Portuguese the necessary skills to embrace, consistently, the business activity. In this sense, the Academy developed the PIAE Integrated Plan to Support Entrepreneurship (IPSE). This strategic orientation programme includes 19 initiatives currently undertaken by the Academy. The Entrepreneurs Academy Project is developed with the support of IEFP - Employment and Professional Training Institute and has, over its 16 years of existence, mobilized hundreds of partnerships with public and private entities from various sectors, which, recognizing the public service and the value generated by the project in the national entrepreneurial ecosystem, are associated in different ways to promoted initiatives, collaborating in its implementation and promotion.
Organization: Inova + and Aveiro University, PT
Project: Acelera +
Program Action: COMPETE – Programa Operacional Fatores de Competitividade (Competitiveness Factors Operational Pro)
Description of the action: Workshops for start-ups and young entrepreneurs, is a package of training and specialized consulting for young entrepreneurs (25-35 years old), graduates, with a business idea/plan well defined and matured, who wish to move forward to the market. These workshops are integrated in the ACELERA+, a programme of the Unit of Technological Transference of the University of Aveiro (UATEC - Unidade de TransferΓncia de Tecnologia da Universidade de Aveiro) under the Programme for the Acceleration of Entrepreneurial Projects. The main focus of these workshops is not on the exploration of a business idea, but on the acceleration and maturation of an existent business idea/plan or enterprise, promoting its development and market entry.
Thus, the objectives of the Acelera+ programme are:
- Provide basic knowledge, skills and competences to young entrepreneurs to support the promotion and development of their business ideas and enterprises, in its different phases, having as focus the launch of the business/enterprise at the market
- Deliver adequate support and consultancy for the definition and validation of business ideas/services/products of young entrepreneurs in a context of the global market
- Potentiate the setting-up and survival of businesses and start-ups promoted by young entrepreneurs in a highly competitive market.
The Workshops for start-ups and young entrepreneurs is following concepts and methodologies from the lean startup approach (including the business model canvas and the minimum viable product) and involves a team of high specialized and experienced consultants in business models design using the business model canvas, on the definition of services/products using the MVP concept, business development, interaction with the market, fund raising and pitch skills, which will train and advise the young entrepreneurs under their business plan/enterprise, using methods of experienced-based consulting and training.