A new component of the MIT Portugal Program – the MIT Portugal Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (IEI) – has been launched to support Portugal’s goal to strengthen its capacity in business education, technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

The initiative is a collaboration between the Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL); MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation; MIT Entrepreneurship Center; and MIT’s School of Engineering.

”The IEI will adapt elements of MIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem into the MIT Portugal Program to expose participants to challenges and opportunities associated with technology commercialization, and is a natural complement to the MIT Portugal Program’s education initiatives,” says Prof. Daniel Roos, Director of the MIT Portugal Program at MIT. “We are excited to add ISCTE-IUL to the growing list of leading Portuguese institutions involved with MIT Portugal, and are pleased to welcome the MIT Deshpande Center and MIT Entrepreneurship Center to the team.”

An International “Ventures Competition”

The IEI is established with three aims: create new business ventures from emerging technologies (the “New Technology Ventures Competition”); support the “Entrepreneurship Teams” approach across the MIT Portugal Program; and design and implement a series of meetings and events to showcase technological innovation in Portugal.

This Venture Competition will help identify and reward global projects that are at an embryonic stage – projects with high-level technological content, or products or services that are able to demonstrate a highly innovative approach. Finalists from other national Portuguese competitions (e.g., Start, BES Inovação, EDP/Richard Branson, Audax, CoHitec, etc) will be encouraged to participate.

Deadline for submissions is June 18, 2010.

A distinguished academic and professional multi-disciplinary jury will judge the venture finalists, in a televised event. Among other members, the panel will include Professor José Paulo Esperança, Professor of Finance and Dean of International Relations at ISCTE-IUL, Founder and Chairman of the Audax Centre for Entrepreneurship; Professor Edward B. Roberts, David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology, MIT Sloan School of Management, Founder and Chair of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center; and Professor Charles L. Cooney, Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, and Founder and Faculty Director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT.

Technology showcase events will be designed to complement the venture competition.

Expanding the Reach of i-Teams and Bio-Teams

The IEI will adapt and expand the successful MIT i-Teams and MIT Portugal BioTeams curricula to Venture Competition participants by supporting the design and launch of an interactive Go-to-Market workshop for Track Finalists. Professor Fiona Murray, Sarofim Family Career Development Professor, Associate Professor MIT Sloan School of Management, Associate Director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, and Dr. Luis Perez-Breva, Research Scientist – co-Faculty Directors of i-Teams - are collaborating with ISCTE-IUL faculty to adapt curriculum across the competition.

The IEI is led by ISCTE-IUL Professor José Paulo Esperança, MIT Professor Charles L. Cooney, MIT Professor Edward B. Roberts, and MIT Professor Daniel Roos, MIT Director of the MIT Portugal Program. José Estabil, IEI Program Director at MIT (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Gonçalo Amorim, Project Director at Audax / ISCTE-IUL (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), oversee day-to-day activities.

More information about the IEI Venture Competition is available at http://www.mitportugal-iei.org.