Science and Technology

Partnership between Técnico and Faber creates free entrepreneurship program for students

The Entrepreneurship Program included talks by investors and CEOs, and an internship at a tech start-up.

The closing session of the first edition of the Faber Entrepreneurship Program took place on September 12, in the Main Building’s meeting room, as a result of a partnership between Técnico and the venture capital fund.

The president of Técnico, Rogério Colaço, stressed the growing importance of recent PhD graduates knowing how to value their work and putting their research at the service of society in a viable way.

Free of charge and running since March, the entrepreneurship program allowed the participating students to contact with investors and entrepreneurs to learn how to turn their ideas into viable businesses. The program did not require students to have an innovative idea already conceived, requiring only a will to develop entrepreneurial skills.

Fifteen master’s and doctoral students from nine different areas attended the program, which was divided into two phases. The first, lasting 12 weeks, consisted of formative lectures during which basic concepts of entrepreneurship were discussed. It included presentations by 37 speakers linked to business activity, eight of whom were CEOs. The second phase allowed students to optionally take up an internship at a tech start-up.

Inês Soares, a Biological Engineering Master’s student, has been attending one of these internships since May. “Entrepreneurship is a subject that has always captivated me,” she explains. “It is, of course, difficult to build a start-up from scratch, but this program has shown me that it’s possible – it was so easy to ask questions, the people were really friendly,” she adds.

“It was an opportunity to get to know new companies and expand my network of contacts”, said Sofia Fernandes, a Materials Engineering PhD student. The effort proved successful, judging by the number of people who arrived at the event and wanted to say hello to her. She also highlights the importance of the internship phase, “interning at a start-up has a lot of benefits. You are exposed to all aspects of that kind of business”, and not just research.

The next edition of the Faber Entrepreneurship Program will take place in 2024.