The MIT Portugal Program (MPP) sent more than twenty Portuguese entrepreneurs to participate in this year´s edition of the “International Workshop on Innovating – IWI 2017.” The event took place from June 12th to 16th at the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, specifically at the famous Stata Center.
During this intensive week, participants, including aspiring entrepreneurs, who are either planning to start or are in the process of starting their businesses, and young entrepreneurs, who have already companies, were immersed in a residential, hands-on program planned at MIT. This workshop has been designed for participants to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship, and will be led by MIT and Portuguese faculty members, including Bruce Tidor (MIT), Christina Chase (MIT), Douglas Hart (MIT), João Bigotte (University of Coimbra), and Nuno Arantes-Oliveira (IST, University of Lisbon). The initiative is also supported by the MIT Portugal Program.
Throughout the week, instructors and participants jointly transformed the classroom into a space for innovating and for combining theory and practice through interactive lectures, in-class exercises, hands-on out-of-classroom experience, and selected guest lectures.
This edition of IWI has attracted participation of aspiring and young entrepreneurs from 8 different nations, representing more than twenty emerging companies and new start-ups. More than twenty of the participants were from Portugal and MPP, including current MPP students and alumni. MPP has been connected to the foundation of more than 25 start-ups, created by students, alumni, and faculty, a number that demonstrates the program´s continued effort to reinforce ties between academia and industry. Tiago Cunha Reis, MIT Portugal PhD alumni, is one of the founders of Mater Dynamics, a start-up dedicated to the development of sensors for monitoring the quality of food products, created by FCT-NOVA and MPP. He participated in last year´s edition of IWI, stating that “The International Workshop on Innovating provided a top-of-the-notch training towards innovation understanding and implantation, reshaping Mater Dynamics way to address and tackle our client problems.”
Luís Grossinho Dias da Silva, Bioengineering PhD Student, was also one of the participants and added that “IWI is a great opportunity to learn the way MIT understands and implements innovation. You get to feel the culture, space, ecosystem and best practices they have been optimising and consciously implementing over the years, and apply that to your individual project. Many people say things about innovation, but these guys actually know what they are talking about and they can show it, so take the opportunity!".
The “International Workshop on Innovating” is one of the many annual initiatives supported by the MIT Portugal Program to strengthen Portugal’s innovation ecosystem and jumpstart new entrepreneurial initiatives by providing participants an understanding of innovation with the strategic purpose of solving real-world problems.