Semifinalists from the 1st edition of ISCTE-IUL MIT Portugal Venture competition raise over €4,3M in investment


In the year following the 1st Edition of the ISCTE-IUL MIT Portugal Venture Competition, an international entrepreneurship and innovation initiative, the investment raised by semi-finalists exceeds €4,3 million euro, with a potential to raise an additional €1,1 million of committed  investments.


  • Venture Competition accelerates 15 innovative technology startup companies
  • Start-ups worldwide sales exceed €700 000 in FY 2011.
  • 35 knowledge-based jobs created in FY2011.

The 19 semi-finalists of Venture Competition’s 1st Edition have developed international value propositions in Life Sciences, Sustainable Energy and Transportation Systems, Technology Information and Internet, and Products and Services. 60% of the raised funding comes from business angels, venture capital or corporate venturing.

The investment facilitated the creation of 35 new knowledge-based jobs in 15 start-ups. Of the 19 semi-finalists, 15 companies are active, 5 incorporated in 2010, and 3 have established international presence (2 in the USA and 1 at the UK).

Beyond the financial support of up to 1 million euros from the Caixa Empreender+ Awards of the Venture Competition,   founders received over 500+ hours of training and coaching with seasoned entrepreneurs in Portugal and the US (Catalysts), and received opportunities to pitch to Angels and VCs in Portugal and at MIT’s IdeaStream.                                                       

International Competition promotes entrepreneurship and innovation from and to Portugal since 2010, the 2 editions of ISCTE-IUL MIT-Portugal Venture Competition received 155 applications from technology based businesses propositions (51.4%) and already incorporated start-ups less than 5 years old (48,6%). These come from a large array emerging from an international community of students, researchers and professionals in a number of  specialist fields.

Luís Reto, ISCTE-IUL's Dean, adds  " we believe that ISCTE-IUL, Caixa Capital and MIT-Portugal can be pioneers, creating the foundations of an international technological hub in Portugal, from this major entrepreneurship & innovation competition, international in scope. Through the first edition in 2010, we validated the model. Since then we met highly entrepreneurial, qualified people, with the right ambition, as showed by the results attained thus far. In the current scenario of tough financial and economic constraints that we are facing, this initiative unleashes knowledge-driven innovation that converts into economic value such as highly qualified jobs, welfare and competitiveness for our nations. We now have the challenge of scaling even more this initiative beyond our horizons that was only possible due to the combined work of all stakeholders involved".

The competition is part of the ongoing cooperation established in 2010 between the ISCTE- IUL, Caixa Capital and the MIT Portugal Program, in cooperation with MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation and the Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, to create a knowledge-based ecosystem in Portugal and facilitate tech-based startups growth and global reach.

The Caixa Empreender+ Awards were created to reward projects of a technological nature, originating in any country, driven by teams with hands-on approaches, innovative business models and business skills with an eye to potential global markets. Annually, 4 start-ups are financially supported with up to €1million. This competition is part of the MIT Portugal Program.

For additional Information visit the ISCTE-IUL MIT Portugal Venture Competition website and also the competition rules and regulations

The date for the second grand finale is already approaching (February 28th). 

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