pixel Sciencepreneur - Curso de Empreendedorismo de base científica [Entrepreneurship and Science] | Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Sciencepreneur - Curso de Empreendedorismo de base científica [Entrepreneurship and Science]


Course Description

This course is designed for scientists seeking to broaden the idea of what innovation is and to know how to create value from their research activities. Particularly, this course aims to provide PhD students, young scientists and even more senior researchers with proper tools needed to put their research and ideas into a wider context, namely on the valorization of research results and their benefits to society. This will stimulate the transfer of scientific results to the general public, contributing to enhanced innovation and cooperation between academia, industry, investors and society as a whole.

Comprising theoretical lectures, case studies and discussion sessions with successful science-based entrepreneurs, investors and corporate CEOs, this course will provide insights into the process of knowledge-driven innovation and idea generation, besides creating awareness of the impact that scientists can have from an economical and societal perspective, as well as of protecting intellectual property rights.

This course also intends to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at NOVA, although participants do not need to have any business idea to apply for it. Every session will have real case studies and classes will end with an invited speaker who will talk about her/his experience and reflect on the subject of the class.

Key Topics

• The Innovation and Value Creation Processes
• Evaluating Market Needs: Market Analysis and Segmentation
• Protecting your ideas: IP Protection, Patent strategy, Licensing
• Action for a better and more sustainable world: Creating Social Impact
• Business Development and Fundraising

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course the participants should be able to:
• Recognize the business opportunities that lie ahead their research activities.
• Use tools and frameworks to evaluate the commercial potential of their ideas and research.
• Understand how to protect their IP and create value out of it.
• Be more enabled to bring new ideas, patents, technologies or innovative services to the market.
• Understand what is needed to turn knowledge into a revenue stream or how to create social impact with their research.
• Know how to position and select the right market(s).
• Know what investors look for in a new venture.



PhD students at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
PhD holders working at NOVA (Professors, researchers,...)



3rd edition: From January 11th, 18th, 25th; February 1th, 8th, 15th, 22th; March 7th, 15th, 22th and March 29, 2022, | FACE-TO-FACE / (ONLINE if circumstances require)| 17h-20h.


11 weeks | 1 module/week | 3h/module | 11 modules + 1 presentation

Course Sessions


Lecturers (TBI) 

Suggested Guest Speaker (TBI) 

Session Date 

1. Getting started: Science, Innovation and Value Creation 

Isabel Rocha (Rectorate NOVA) 

José Epifânio da Franca (IST) 


2. Customer value proposition and marketing strategy 

António Marinho Torres (NOVA SBE)  

Marta Palmeiro (Student finance)


3. Business models and marketing tactics 

António Marinho Torres (NOVA SBE) 

Nuno Arantes-Oliveira 



4. Creating and capturing value from technology 

Fernanda Llussá  (NOVA FCT) 

Pedro Saraiva  (NOVA IMS) 


5. Product Design, Development and Manufacturing 

António Grilo 


Hugo Silva 



6. Intellectual Property and Patents Protection 

Susana Armário  


Dina Chaves
(Clarke, Modet & Co.)


7. Licensing, Regulation and Legal Considerations 

Sérgio Henriques   (Meight) 

Nuno Prego Ramos (Cellmabs) 


8. Venture Financing and Growth Management 

Paulo Soares de Pinho  (NOVA SBE) 

Cristina Fonseca (IndicoCapital)


9. Creating Social Impact 

Joana Castro e Costa (NOVA SBE) 

Francisca Henriques (Ass Pão a Pão | Mezze)


10. Managing Teams 

Pedro Neves (NOVA SBE) 

Sara do Ó (Grupo Your)


11. Mastering the Pitch 

Nadim Habib (NOVA SBE) 

Daniela Braga (Defined.ai)



Session Description

1. Getting Started: Science, Innovation and Value Creation (Isabel Rocha)
This session introduces the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E), the different types of I&E and their importance as a survival and growth imperative in a knowledge-based economy. In this session, we will also explore the process by which entrepreneurs develop their thinking from science-based ideas to business development, while addressing key challenges and common pitfalls that need to be overcome, from early-stage start-up to later-stage scaling, illustrated by real-life examples.

2. Customer value proposition and marketing strategy (António Marinho Torres)
Innovation is a customer-centric process. This session focuses on leveraging customer understanding to create a clear customer value proposition and develop a solid marketing strategy. Topics discussed include customer insight and its sources (market research and experiments), job-to-be-done, consumer decision journey, competitive differentiation, segmentation, targeting, positioning, and branding.

3. Business models and marketing tactics (António Marinho Torres)
Business model is the integrated array of distinctive choices specifying how a company creates, accesses, delivers, and captures value. This session focuses on understanding and balancing these choices to develop a high-potential business model supported by effective marketing tactics. Topics discussed include customer value proposition, go-to-market strategy, technology & operations, profit formula, customer lifetime value, and marketing mix.

4. Creating and capturing value from technology (Fernanda Llussá)
In this session, we will study strategic challenges and opportunities that companies face in competing with their innovations. Students will learn how companies create and capture value, as we cover the concept of uniqueness and complementary assets, network externalities, open and closed standards, and how firms lock-in customers to their technology.

5. Product design, development and manufacturing (António Grilo)
In this session we will make reference to some of the stages and leading methodologies in new product development and design projects.
• Identification of the essential stages in new product development.
• Addressing the different steps that do integrate a new product development project.
• Getting acquainted with some of the tools that can provide appropriate support for carrying out each of the product development stages and steps.
• Optimization of the (product + manufacturing process) binomial.

6. Intellectual Property and Patents Protection (Susana Armário)
This session will address how to protect your ideas and why patent information is important for the scientific community, as well as how to best use it for promoting innovation and collaboration. Topics include:
• Intellectual property (IP) rights.
• Different types of protection.
• Patent strategy.
• Patent search.

7. Licensing, Regulation and Legal Considerations (Sérgio Coimbra Henriques)
This session covers several issues involved in management of IP and presents the legal context of licensing situations, regulatory issues and other legal considerations an entrepreneur should be aware of. From legal aspects related to the creation of the company to the importance of solid agreements with potential licensees or business partners to avoid traps and defend the company’s business, this session intends to provide the students with strategic decision making tools for exploring and developing knowledge-based ventures.

8. Venture Financing and Growth Management (Paulo Soares de Pinho)
This session covers the different stages of new venture evolution and the financing alternatives at each phase. It will discuss bootstrapping, relations with suppliers and clients and the management of working capital, strategic partnerships with corporate investors, leasing, factoring and bank financing, crowdfunding, business angels and venture capital. This session will also address several difficulties of managing growth and morphing the venture into a full-fledged, structured business corporation.

9. Creating Social Impact (Joana Castro e Costa)
Topics: Social entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, impact business models and organizational performance.

10. Managing Teams (Pedro Neves)
This session covers the essential issues involved in creating, managing, evolving and motivating entrepreneurial teams.

11. Mastering the Pitch (Nadim Habib)
This session will help participants understand how to build a solid pitch for their ventures, based on what investors often look for in a new venture. Understanding the market, how the business fits into the opportunities and how to build a solid case for the business, the team, the opportunity and the evolution and challenges over time are some of the aspects to account for when pitching.



Course Coordinators

Paulo Soares de Pinho (pjpinho@novasbe.pt)
Isabel Rocha (irocha@unl.pt)


Assessment Methodologies

Business case and final Pitch presentation.

Attendance: Students are expected to attend at least 80% of the modules in order to get the certification.

2 ECTS | 11 sessions | 56 hours


Main Bibliography

• Stokes, D., & Wilson, N. (2006). Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship (5th ed.). London: Thomson Learning.
• Article: “Pinpointing That Critical Entrepreneurial Spark” by Joe Hadzima, Boston Business Journal. Available at: http://www.mitef.org/s/1314/interior-2-col.aspx?sid=1314&gid=5&pgid=5818)
• Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. John Wiley and Sons.
• Hirsch, R.D., Peters, M.P., Shepherd, D.A. (2013). Entrepreneurship (9th ed.), Part 4, Chapter 11: Sources of capital (pp. 289-290). New York: McGraw Hill.
• The Technology Entrepreneurs Handbook. Nasdaq; Indian CEO High Tech Council, US Chamber of Commerce. Available at: http://nutsandbolts.mit.edu/resources/Guidebook.pdf
• Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs - U.S Basics and Strategy (Video). Available at https://youtu.be/-pbz_MLngR8