COHiTEC - Stimulating the creation of high-tech ventures - PT
COHiTEC is a programme that aims at stimulating the creation of high-tech /high-growth ventures from the knowledge created by researchers from Portuguese universities and at inducing in science and engineering researchers and MBA students the skills required to start-up high-tech / high growth ventures.
COHiTEC is a comprehensive programme on the teaching of technology-based entrepreneurship, and technology commercialisation. The programme uses a project base approach that uses real technologies to develop new-to-the-world products that can sustain the creation of a new venture.
The first phase of the programme each year is a 3 month long course which follows a proprietary training methodology developed by the HiTEC team of North Carolina State University, called the "TEC algorithm". The second phase of the programme aims at generating “investment ready” business proposals from selected business projects from the first phase. For that purpose a ‘virtual company’ is the set for each of the selected projects and a ‘working capital’ of 75,000 euros is granted to each.
The underlying training model for the first phase, "TEC algorithm", maps the decision process for high-tech venture creation to teach participants how to assess the business opportunity that can be created from a technology's unique advantages.
The second phase starts with a meeting in which the promoters present the business project to a panel of executives. This panel analyses the projects and contributes towards the definition of the business model for the start-up. A go/ no-go decision is then made by the panel. A ‘virtual company’ is then set for each of the selected projects and a ‘working capital’ is granted to each.
The ‘virtual companies’ have a lifespan of six months during which they have to develop the business plan to be presented to investors and conduct activities aiming at reducing the investment risk on the start-up venture and thus increasing the value of the underlying IP.
The results so far:
- Number of researchers trained each year: around 50
- Number of MBA students trained each year: around 30
- Number of technologies analysed each year: around 30
- Number of business projects generated at th e end of phase one each year: around 12
- Number of business projects expected to turn business ventures at the end of phase 2 each year: 2
Two projects are now in the final stages of the business plan development and are expected to be presented to investors within one month.
COHiTEC was awarded the Price Institute Innovative Entrepreneurship Educators Award in 2006 by the Stanford Ventures Technology Program. This award is designed to acknowledge schools that are crafting new ways to teach entrepreneurship to scientists and engineers.
The main beneficiaries are researchers from Portuguese universities and MBA students from business schools.
- Executives from COTEC member companies working on a pro-bono basis
- Staff from COTEC executive team
- Faculty from the HiTEC team of North Carolina State Univerity
- Faculty from the Porto Business School and the Universidade Nova de Lisboa business school.
Pedro Manuel Vilarinho
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