The 20 Semi-finalists of BGI’s 4th Edition

The judges for the 4th Edition of Building Global Innovators (BGI) have selected the 20 semi-finalist teams. These will now compete for the Track Finalist and Grand Finalists awards, which includes the Caixa Empreender+ Awards:  four awards to individual teams worth up to 1million Euros (€1M) in financial support plus in-kind support, experienced Catalyst mentors, and introduction and connection to the start-up ecosystem of Kendall Square, US.

The projects were valued by their innovative nature, potential impact in the global market, experience and international character of the entrepreneurs. This truly unique, technology-based Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative of the MIT Portugal Program is fast establishing itself as one of the most significant international venture competitions in terms of tangible results.

Semi-finalists include talented teams coming from Brazil, Italy, Russia, Spain, UK and Portugal. Five have international co-founders and advisors from Greece, Israel, the Netherlands and Russia. International teams represent 40% of the group's participant's – affording immediate entrepreneurial networking and business co-development opportunities at a global level for the participants- and 55% are already incorporated as start-ups or spin-outs.

The five (5) semi-finalists, in each market track, are as follows:

I) Health Tech:

  •  Endeavour Lab (Portugal, The Netherlands) - 3D capture sensing device for motor rehabilitation of stoke patients.
  •  Expertus (Portugal) - In vivo drug screening assays using the chick embryo (egg) as animal model.
  • GlucoPal (UK, Greece, Portugal) - Non-invasive electronic device for type 1 & 2 diabetics glucose sensing.
  •  RoPlaVac (Portugal) – High efficacy vaccine against malaria.
  •  Smart Freez (Portugal) - Freeze-thawing technology/tool to optimize storage and production processes of biopharmaceuticals.

II) Smart Cities:

  • Bike Emotion (Portugal) - 4th generation bike sharing system.
  •  Connect (Portugal) – Air quality sensing grid for urban spaces.
  •  Moviq (Italy, Israel) - Web-service platform to manage planning & electronic payment of transportation tickets.
  • Sensefinity (Portugal) - M2M sensing enabling platform for SMEs to benefit from IoT.
  • Water Quality Assessment (Portugal, The Netherlands) - Multi-parameter sensor for smart water grids

III) IT, Web & Mobile:

  • Avalingua (Spain) - SaaS language technology metrics for competence and performance enhancement.
  •  Bewarket (Portugal) - Cloud-based social shopping platform.
  •  Cucco (Brazil) - Online professional services booking engine.
  • Muzzley (Portugal) - Mobile UI development platform for internet-connected devices.
  • Software with Emotion (Portugal) - Social media retail marketing analytics solution.

IV) Consumer Products and Services:

  •  2Izzy (Portugal) - Multi-Platform Mobile Payments B2B Application.
  • MeshApp (Portugal) - An all in one aggregator and organizer.
  •  Octodon (Russia) - 10-Finger Keyboard for smartphone, handheld devices.
  • Paymel (Portugal) – Bringing intelligence to city parking.
  • Smart Tongue (Portugal, Russia) – Electrochemical sensors with reproducible crosssensitivity for beverages and foodstuffs.

Semi-finalists will now compete for monetary and in-kind awards:

  • A €1,000,000 purse comprised of four (4) €100,000 Track Finalist awards, a Grand Finale €100,000 additional award; all with the potential to double (an additional €500,000) during the Venture Phase if venture milestones are met. Awards are underwritten by Caixa Empreender+, the venture capital arm of Caixa Geral de Depósitos; International, seasoned Catalysts & mentors;
  •  An opportunity to participate in e-Teams intensive Go-to-Market bootcamp in Lisbon ;
  • An opportunity to participate in e-Teams III, an Entrepreneurial Marketing, Sales & Networking 2-week launch,held at M.I.T. Kendall Square in Spring 2014.

This year’s competition candidate pool is consistent with the prior three editions, attracting a broad range of participants from experienced co-founders and advisors, to first-time entrepreneurs, scientists and technologists and emerging companies and early stage ventures poised for further traction on customer acquisition and acceleration of product revenue, contributing to the economic development in Portugal and select international markets commented members of the jury Luis Barros, co-Director, Industry, entrepreneurship and Innovation, MIT-Portugal Program and José Estabil, Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Skolkovo Tech / MIT Initiative, and Advisor, MIT-Portugal Program.

The selection of five semifinalists by each of the tracks was a huge challenge, considering the high quality and record number of submissions received, making the job of the jury ever more stringent – the jury had to conduct 50 interviews to make sure that BGI was picking the strongest teams notes Prof. José Paulo Esperança, Pro-Rector for Entrepreneurship for ISCTE-IUL and also 2013 Venture Competition Judge.

In the last three editions Semi-finalists were introduced to over 300 US and Portuguese VCs, angels and strategic investors, over 300 founders of start-ups and have collectively raised or been offered close to € 16.0 million in early stage financing, half of it coming from angel and venture capitalists.

Stephan Morais, Executive Director of Caixa Capital, representing the Award Partner of the Competition, reaffirmed the CGD Group’s commitment towards supporting the 4th Ed. candidates of MIT Portugal’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, promoted by ISCTE-IUL. This support will be operated through the special investment vehicle celebrated between Caixa Capital and ISCTE-IUL last March that ensures the financial support provided to BGI finalists for the next 5 years.

The ultimate goal of this international venture competition is to support the launch of innovative, global product or services early stage companies that can contribute to the growing knowledge-based economy in Portugal.

The competition is sponsored by ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon and the MIT Portugal Program, in cooperation with the MIT Deshpande Center for Innovation, The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and Caixa Capital (Caixa Geral de Depósitos).

BGI's Partners and Promotors: 

BGI logos


In the Media: 

Canal Superior ; MIT news

Bio-Teams: from the laboratory to the market

6th Edition of the Bio-Innovation Teams

For the 6th consecutive year, the MIT Portugal Bioengineering PhD Students take the stage to present their go-to-market strategy for breakthrough technologies emerging form Portuguese research labs. This year the presentations will take place at the Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência, Lisboa. The event is open to the community, including invited business developers and investors.

[Nota de agenda em pdf Português ]

The Bio-Innovation Teams project is an initiative of the MIT-Portugal Program Bioengineering focus area and it is part of the MIT Portugal Program aim to promote innovation and entrepreneurship within academia.  Based on the MIT ecosystems, this course was developed and refined to the Portuguese reality, working on examples from the Portuguese laboratories, and recognized as a vital enrichment for Portuguese engineering formal education at the Graduate level.

Each team works with a selected technology emerging from a diversify array of Portuguese universities and research institutes laboratories.  The main focus is to develop a go-to-market strategy (identifying the best path). During this process, the PhD students count with the input of their tutors and external experts. The final output will be present this Friday, July 12th, at Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência, Lisboa, 2:00 p.m. 

Program and further information at our website

bt 2013 2

In the media: 

Canal Superior; EurekAlert ; Dinheiro Vivo ; Visão ; OJE ; Expresso ; Diário de Aveiro

E3 Forum - A new generation of professionals talks about Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship on a Global context

E3 Forum - 26th June, Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Lisboa

A new generation of professionals talks about Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship on a Global context

[Comunicado de imprensa em  pdf Português ]

2013E31E3 Forum Initiative

Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship will be the topics under discussion during the E3 Forum, Pavilhão do Conhecimento, 26th June. For the third consecutive year, this will be a unique event for debate, interaction and sharing of experiences among members of Academy, Business, Educators, Entrepreneurs, Innovators, Policy-makers and Masters and PhD students. Confirmed speakers: Elisa Martín Garijo (IBM South Europe), Chris Zegras (MIT), Mike de Leeuw (Branching Tree) and Mary O'Donovan (Hovione), among others. E3 Forum - Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship is an international conference organized by PhD students from the MIT Portugal Program.

E3 Forum Pre-Events

To stimulate the interest in the event and prepare participants for the conference, the Free Pre‑E3 Event Series, will take place across the country. The exhibition and discussion of a movie about the creation of Silicon Valley and its innovative culture, but also debates and lectures via video conference with speakers like Dr. Douglas Terrier (NASA) and Dr. Richard Frackowiak (Human Brain Project), will take place in various locations: IST (Lisbon), University of Minho (Braga) and INESC TEC (Porto). The pre‑E3 events will take place the week before the conference, 18-25 June.

Why E3 Forum Conference?

Taking into account the socio-economic situation, E3 Forum is an initiative that aims to contribute to the creation of a new generation of professionals, based on innovation and technological knowledge, and demonstrate that investment in training highly qualified professionals has a direct impact in society and that these professionals can take active participation in social and economic development of the country.

What will be discussed in E3 Forum?

E3 Forum 2013 aims to discuss the position of highly trained graduates in Portuguese society. Thus, it is intended to discuss and reveal the hidden virtues and pitfalls of careers in Academia or Industry, but also address the opportunities and challenges of those who stay or leave Portugal seeking employment. To achieve this, panels will have representatives with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, in order to contribute to the debate, but also to answer questions from the audience.

2013E32Poster Competition

In addition to seminars and roundtables that will have the contribution of key figures, a poster and prototypes competition will also take place in three categories: "Most Innovative Product/Technology", "Best Go-to-Market Strategy" and "Scientific Breakthrough".

Why participate in E3 Forum?

The two previous editions of E3 Forum received an enthusiastic feedback from the audience, and the general public, having received a total of 500 participants, 100 speakers and 60 business representatives. Now on its 3rd edition, E3 Forum will continue to build a dynamic and interactive environment, featuring Inspiring Talks, Debate Sessions, Parallel Seminars, Working Sessions and a Poster Competition, in order to promote networking among all participants.

Submission of papers for the posters competition (until June 21)

Registration for E3 Forum

Pre-events – Free entrance, registration required here:

19th June, 19h-21h – “American Experience: Silicon Valley” + debate; IST – Lisboa

20th June, 14h30-17h - “American Experience: Silicon Valley” + debate; INESC TEC – Porto

 20th June, 19h-21h – Dr. Douglas Terrier, NASA Johnson Space Center – video-conference; IST – Lisboa; Universidade do Minho – Braga

 24th June, 15h – Dr. Richard Frackowiak, Human Brain Project – video-conference;  Lisboa

25th June – “American Experience: Silicon Valley” + debate; University of Minho – Braga

26th June Main Event - Full program is available here.

In the Media 

EurekAlert Physorg ; Canal Superior ;

A Portuguese fast transcutaneous non-invasive battery recharger and energy feeder for electronic implants

António Abreu, a Sustainable Energy Systems PhD Student under the MIT Portugal Program, currently developing research work at LNEG (Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia I.P.) has developed a non-invasive battery recharger system for electronic implants that allows a longer life for the internal implantable devices in the human body such as, pacemakers, defibrillators, electric heart, delaying considerable the usual customary surgery intervention for replacement.

[Comunicado de imprensa em pdf Português ]

According to the world health organization, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of deaths. On a last resource, patients with cardiovascular disease have to be aided through surgery and medical devices to help them perform the basic functions. Nevertheless medical devices, such as pacemaker that sends electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate and rhythm, need a source of energy and once the battery has run out they required a surgical procedure similar to the initial implantation to replace the device.

Veniam is the winner of BGI 3rd Edition!

ISCTE -IUL MIT Portugal Venture Competition

Building Global Innovators

Press Release

Veniam is the winner of the major Portuguese Venture Competition “Builidng Global Innovators” – an initiative promoted by ISCTE –IUL and MIT Portugal Program

Veniam winnerVeniam wins the 3rd edition of Building Global Innovators Venture Competition. The seamless low-cost vehicle-based internet infrastructure developed by the founding members João Barros, Susana Sargento, Robin Chase and Roy Russell, dramatically lowers cost infrastructure solution to the Telecommunications company providers, and opens up a new world of connected vehicle applications. VENIAM sells a low-cost box that once plugged into existing vehicles can turn cars, taxis, buses, and trucks into mobile hotspots. The market is as large as the world's one billion cars. The international competition for entrepreneurship and innovation hosted by ISCTE - Lisbon University Institute, in partnership with the MIT Portugal Program, the Deshpande Center for Technical Innovation and The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship Center.