Science-Based Entrepreneurship and Innovation


The aim of this course is to show how new global business ventures based on real scientific breakthroughs are planned and built. 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 various ifields of knowledge - such as biotech, biomedicine, cleantech, foodtech and nanotech - and they will learn how to build a value proposition in such complex technological areas. 

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Nuno Arantes Oliveira


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





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 4-6 invited speakers ¿ namely scientist-entrepreneurs, venture capital 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. Open discussions will be promoted in order to make learning as interactive as possible. 

Evaluation method

Assessment will be based on (a) a final exam (50% of grade), and (b) a group presentations at the end of the term (50%). A very good performance on mid-term group presentations or an positive class participation may lead to the award of bonus points (0.5 each). Both the presentations and the exam questions will focus on a 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. 

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.