The Sciencepreneur program is aimed at NOVA scientists who are seeking to create value from their research activities. It focuses on the acquisition of the basic concepts and understanding on how to generate value from research activities into a wider context, namely their benefits to the economy and society at large.
The program started in 2020 and runs annually. It aims to developed skills and competences in the Entrepreneurship area and to understand how to commercialize the technology/service or scientific breakthrough and to develop a go-to-market strategy. It is also open to scientists who want to understand how to create value out of their research (e.g. public policies, etc.).
The program culminates with a final pitch presentation and an award of 1.000€ to the best project.
Comprising theoretical lectures, case studies and discussion sessions with successful science-based entrepreneurs, investors and corporate CEOs, this course will provide insights and an hands-on approach into the process of knowledge-driven innovation and science valorization, besides creating awareness of the impact that scientists can have from an economical and societal perspective, as well as of protecting intellectual property rights. It aims to accelerate knowledge transfer at NOVA, supporting scientists with a technological or scientific breakthrough to identify the best path for its commercialization, through guidance on how to build a go-to-market strategy, or to value the research towards impact.
The Sciencepreneur is organized by the NOVA Impact office in articulation with The Lisbon MBA and NOVA SBE, but also with renowned Venture Capital firms and with the support of a network of experts and mentors in several areas of knowledge.
Sciencepreneur aims to accelerate knowledge transfer at NOVA, supporting scientists who want to understand how to create value from their research and have a technological or scientific breakthrough to identify the best path for its commercialization, through a one-on-one guidance on how to build a go-to-market strategy, from research results to impact.
Participants will have access to:
- Support and follow-up by experts from NOVA and program partners, with experience in knowledge and technology transfer and business development;
- Regular meetings with selected coaches/mentors, who will closely follow the evolution of the participants/teams and facilitate networking opportunities;
- Feedback/guidance from venture capitalists and science-based entrepreneurs;
- NOVA Mentor Network and other resources;
- Connection with different schools and other research labs, depending on specific needs.
This initiative is promoted by the NOVA Impact office.
- Explore, identify and analyze the best path for commercializing a lab’s emerging technology or scientific breakthrough (licensing vs. spin-off), including IP protection or how to value the research (e.g. public policies);
- Generate new science-based business opportunities;
- Identify the best market opportunities for the proposed technology or scientific breakthrough and its scalability;
- Promote the conversion of NOVA technologies or scientific breakthroughs into economic and social value;
- Provide the participants with the mindset to create socioeconomic value out of their research.
Workload and Activities:
The Program will take place in blended format, through a period of about 7 weeks. The estimated availability is of 8 hours per week.
Selected applicants will be attributed a mentor to support in the process and there will be a clearly defined list of milestones to achieve throughout the program, towards the desired goal. Teams must comply with these milestones.
Teams/individual will produce a business case, and in the end will pitch their project to a panel of investors and experienced entrepreneurs. The best project will earn a prize of 1.000€.
Criteria for pitch assessment:
- Innovative or Disruptive project and its impact on the society;
- Quality of the idea presented, translated through the arguments presented by the team (or individual) in relation to the necessity in the market or in the society that the solution (technological product or service) is able to satisfy;
- Quality of the Business Case report;
- Quality of the presented go-to-market strategy (if applicable);
- Quality of team skills /individual to develop the project;
- Adequacy of the presented financial structure.
During this program the participants will:
- Write a Business Case with an analysis of the technology or scientific breakthrough status, the intellectual property landscape, if applicable, a consideration of the competition, an overview of an appropriate business model, and recommendations for next steps – Please note that the final conclusion might be three way: 1) Create a spin-off; 2) Find a licensee/partnership; or 3) Go back to the lab and improve the technology;
- Find business-oriented members to join the team (in case of individual applications or teams lacking this background) – if applicable;
- Pitch the outcomes to a group of experts from business and venture capital contexts.
Who can apply?
- Teams or individuals that are working in a technological or scientific project. Teams will be valued over individual applications but both are encouraged to apply.
- Teams must have at least one member from NOVA University Lisbon and the technology/scientific breakthrough must have been developed in part or in total at NOVA.
- Individuals must have a relation to NOVA University Lisbon (Ph.D. students, Professors, Researchers, Post-Doc, etc.).
To participate in Sciencepreneur, you must have any technology or scientific breakthrough you would like to explore. This is an action-based program where you will mainly learn by doing, focused on practicing the learned theory.
Projects are welcome in any field of knowledge, as long as they have a strong scientific component, are innovative or disruptive, have some discernible economic value, and have not yet been funded by market-oriented investors.
Deadline for application – EXTENDED
April 20th, 2023
From 27th April to 20th June.
Personalized mentorship: once every week with assigned mentor;
Facilitated access to all experts from NOVA Mentor Network and other NOVA Impact partners.
Venue: Online/Face to Face:
- Every Tuesday from 5 to 8 pm, online classes (via zoom)
- Every Thursday from 6 to 8 pm, face-to-face classes (Rectorate NOVA University – tbc): We will have guest speaker and time to hands-on work