The I&E Course is a MIT Portugal Program´s initiative designed for students to learn and experience innovation and entrepreneurship in a mix of team, individual and class work. This year´s edition took place between February 6th and 10th at the Instituto Superior Técnico and assembled over 60 MPP students from the four Program educational areas.. The event was organized this year by Frederico Ferreira, João Bigotte, Nuno Arantes-Oliveira and Douglas Hart but counted also with special keynote lectures by Christina Chase (MIT), Ana Casaca (CUF, Director of Innovation), Rui Paiva (WeDo, CEO), João Pereira (Magnomics, CEO ), David Marçal (Associação Viver a Ciência), David Cristina (Portugal Ventures), Nuno Faria (MPP alumnus) and Paulo Pereira Silva (Renova, CEO).
The workshop exposes students to different approaches, views and philosophies on Innovation and Entrepreneurship allowing them to foster a creative, critical, dynamic and entrepreneurial spirit. The course is run as a boot-camp from 9.00am to 8.00pm in mix of team, individual and class work. During this week, students are expected to gather information from peers and faculty, establish contacts and finally develop a business project which will be presented and put up to discussion. The challenge launched this year by the MPP Faculty members was to develop an innovative idea and build a strategic plan for a new technology by answering to questions such as: how does the technology work, what´s the problem it solves, how can it become available, what skills must the team have, who are the consumers, buyers and competitors and how will you make money out of it. The nine groups were divided regardless of their educational area so they could take profit of their different experiences and know-how, to build an innovative project.
The event was a success and by the end of the week the participants had acquired essential skills such has:
- Engage effectively with others to refine ideas;
- Realize the potential of innovation beyond conventional research boundaries;
- Use critical and systems thinking and acquired skills to devise how to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship;
- Empower future innovators and replace a subjective ideal of innovation and entrepreneurship with an actionable approach to create something new and fun;
- Learn how to navigate an innovation ecosystem;
- Appreciate the value of cross-disciplinary work and different skill-sets.
It is expected that these tools serve as an important contribute for future research and ventures.