Science-Based Entrepreneurship and Innovation


The crucial role of startups and entrepreneurship in modern societies is well understood. However, entrepreneurial projects differ greatly depending of various factors, notably in terms of the added value of the products or services they aim to bring to the market. Many of the most valuable business breakthroughs of the last few decades were brought about by companies built  upon cutting-­??edge  science and  technology.  In  this  course  students  will  be exposed to the specificities of businesses that are born out of research and development (R&D) in areas – such as biotech, biomedicine, cleantech, foodtech and nanotech – and they will learn how to build a value proposition in such complex technological fields.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Nuno Arantes Oliveira


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


EU IPR Helpdesk: Introduction to IP
Bill Aulet: Disciplined Entrepreneurship Alexander Osterwalder: Value Proposition Design
Vítor Verdelho Vieira and Susana Costa e Silva: The Business Case Roadmap (BCR) Executive Summaries and slide decks of Startups presented during the course

Teaching method

Students   will   hear   from   Faculty   and   from   invited   speakers   –   scientist-­??entrepreneurs, investors,  startup  mentors,  etc.  –  about  specific  cases  of  science-­??based  entrepreneurship.
Thus learning will be mostly based on real entrepreneurial cases and on the direct interaction with key players in those cases.

Evaluation method

Assessment will be based on individual and group presentations, as well as on  a 1-­??page Value Proposition for an innovative business or initiative based (directly or indirectly) in science –
e.g. a new startup, a new investment vehicle, or a new solution for the support of startup creation – and finally an exam with questions related to the same business or initiative.
Value Propositions will take into account the following questions:
•    What is the idea behind the Business; how can be it taken from the idea/research stage to the market, what critical steps are required for its implementation;
•    Why should funds and/or labor be applied to develop the Business; what return will entrepreneurs and investors have; what impact will the Solution make on society and on the economy;
•    Who are the clients, buyers and investors for the Business, what is the market and how it is evolving, who will benefit from its existence;
•    What type and scale of financing is needed to achieve certain selected milestones in the development or implementation of the Business;
•    Why is the Business unique; what are competing solutions and what are their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Assessment will be made throughout the semester, looking at the evolution of the Value Proposition as presented by students, as well as through the evaluation of the final document.

Subject matter

Students will learn about, and be able to elaborate on, topics including capital requirements and funding strategies, the importance of intellectual property, product development cycles, regulatory hurdles, and critical skills needed to bring revolutionary, science-­??based products and services to the market. Emphasis will be given to the early (startup) stages of company creation and growth.


Programs where the course is taught: