Carnegie Mellon Portugal Takes Four Entrepreneurial Teams To The U.S. To Accelerate Their Businesses

DISPLR, Followprice, WeTruck and Xhockware are the four startups selected to be part of the 2014 edition of the inRes Program  a very early stage acceleration program for entrepreneurial teams working in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in Portugal, offered by the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program. inRes will provide a training period in Portugal, followed by a six-week structured immersion period in Pittsburgh, in the U.S., anchored at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
 
 
2014 inRes 1st Workshop
 
  
The four entrepreneurial teams were chosen through a competitive selection process, which included a personal interview with each of the 14 teams that submitted an application. After a careful analysis, the evaluation panel selected four solid projects that aim to commercialize products and services in the area of ICT. “The four teams selected presented business ideas focused on technological solutions that can be competitive and add value to businesses and end-users,” stated João Claro, national director of the CMU Portugal Program.
 
João Claro is confident that “inRes will help strengthen and consolidate the management skills of entrepreneurial teams leading technology-based startups, by exposing them to highly competitive international environments.” According to the national director, this initiative is “a natural step for the CMU Portugal Program,” which has helped create 10 startups in seven years of partnership between Portuguese universities and research institutions, companies and CMU.
 
Projects and Teams 
The four inRes teams and projects that are participating in the first edition of inRes 2014 are the following:
DISPLR (www.displr.com) is a spinoff from the Universidade do Minho, which introduces a new social media service, inspired by the concept of open display networks, that aims to reshape the role of digital public displays as a situated communications medium. The inRes team in composed by Rui José, researcher at the Universidade do Minho and co-founder of DISPLR, and Miguel Corais, chief business development officer at DISPLR.
Followprice (https://followprice.co) is a startup, supported by Portugal Telecom’s Bluestart program, which provides an advanced digital marketing tool for e-commerce stores. This tool allows clients to track their favorite products and price changes. Gonçalo Mendes and Vasco Moreira, both chief marketing officers, are the inRes team members.
WeTruck – Empower Trucks (www.wetruck.pt), currently pre-incubated at UPTEC, is developing an innovative system to recover energy in refrigeration trucks. The inRes team in composed by Bruno Azevedo Costa, financial manager, and José Ricardo Soares, project manager.
Xhockware (www.xhockware.com) is a startup incubated at UPTEC, whose main focus is to create innovative retail solutions. Its goal is to solve the most common complaints about grocery/supermarket shopping in a natural way, increasing the quality of the experience for consumers and saving money to retailers. The inRes team in composed by João Paulo Rodrigues, CEO, and David Sobrinho, chief marketing officer, of Xhockware.
 
The Teams Expectations more 

 
The Workshops

2014 inRes 1st Workshop 32014 inRes 2nd Workshop2014 inRes 2nd Workshop 1  inRes started with a kick-off workshop, held on June 12, 2014, at Instituto Superior Técnico of the Universidade de Lisboa (IST-UL), in Portugal. The day started with introductions and insights on the CMU Portugal Program and inRes, presented by João Claro. In the afternoon, the inRes teams pitched their value propositions to the group, and received feedback. The workshop finished with an introduction to the Business Model Canvas and the Customer Discovery process.

Value propositions, pitching and market research were the main topics discussed on the second workshop, which took place on June 19 and 20, 2014, at INESC TEC, in Porto, Portugal. João Claro also covered topics in strategic and financial assessment, aiming at better preparing the teams for their immersion period in the U.S..

On June 19, the inRes teams had one-on-one meetings with João Claro and Sara Brandão, executive director of the CMU Portugal Program, and on Friday with Tara Branstad and Reed McManigle, from CMU’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC), through videoconference. During this two-day workshop, the teams gave improved pitches, incorporating earlier feedback. The workshop finished with a seminar on market research by Tara Branstad.

The next workshops are scheduled for July 17 and 18, 2014, with the presence in Portugal of Dave Mawhinney, from CMU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), and for September, with the presence of Suzi Pegg, from Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA). inRes teams will start their six-week immersion period on October, 2014.


July 2014

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inRes, short for “in Residence,” is a very early stage acceleration program for entrepreneurial teams working in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in Portugal, offered by the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program.