Campus and Community

“Being an entrepreneur is so hard that, at the very least, it ends up being fun”

This was one of several lessons shared by the two alumni who attended the first edition of the Alumni E. Stories.

The first edition of Alumni E. Stories took place this Wednesday, October 25 and brought together two entrepreneurs who shared their experiences and entertained the audience. The event was organised by the Student Support Unit at Técnico (NAPE-IST) in partnership with Técnico Alumni Network and welcomed the alumni Rodrigo Carvalho and Pedro Oliveira as guest speakers. Without a script, but with much to tell, the two entrepreneurs shared their stories and lessons learnt.

Rodrigo and Pedro obtained their degrees in different times, they had different backgrounds and didn’t know each other until this event, but their common ideas made the conversation flow easier. Madness, passion and a sense of mission are words that fit perfectly on what it means to be an entrepreneur. “Being an entrepreneur is so hard that, at the very least, it ends up being fun” said Rodrigo, and Pedro promptly agreed.

Rodrigo Carvalho attended the first class of Aerospace Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico and he always wanted to get a job in F1. “I really wanted to get a job in this area but, a few years later, I realised that it wasn’t for me”. After two successful jobs that didn’t make him fulfilled, he realised that he wanted to do something related to social responsibility. In 2010 he co-founded Nutri Ventures Corporation AS, the first children’s entertainment brand in the world developed exclusively to promote healthy eating. Currently he is Managing Partner at Nutri Ventures Corporation AS and Watermelon, and he is already thinking of a new business idea. “An entrepreneur is someone who manages the lack of resources in order to create value”, he says. This was something he learnt from “the feeling of frustration that we often feel, but we have to know how to overcome it quickly”, shares the alumnus.

Pedro Oliveira found the same obstacles. He studied computer engineering at Técnico and worked at EDP, but he wanted more. The opportunities came up and, even after a failed startup, he didn’t gave up. He turned out great proposals to follow the dream of creating something of his own. He is the co-founder of, Europe’s best tech jobs marketplace. “We change the lives of many people every day. Is it all good? “No it isn’t, not at all”, he says. But they have changed the lives of many people. “When things are bad think that they will get even worse”, he advises. According to Pedro Oliveira choosing the right partners is very important: “Finding the right partner is key. A partner should be someone who shares your values and principles and, at the same time, additional skills.”

At the end, the audience was well aware of both alumni achievements. Rodrigo Carvalho said jokingly that “our goal is to make everyone here give up of being entrepreneurs”. However, after their speeches and by the smile on people’s faces, their goal was not achieved.