They are informal and open talks organised by the InnoEnergy CommUnity. These feature professionals from the energy sector who want to share their innovations and experiences with a large InnoEnergy community made up of entrepreneurs, researchers, alumni and students, and encouraging a networking environment.
On April 3rd, 2017, the organised a Speaker Series with the InnoEnergy Office in Lisbon. Both sides gathered together for an informal talk about InnoEnergy’s innovation projects, its educational programmes - Master’s and PhD Schools - and also about business creation. The students were joined by, and, the Portugal Country Manager, Business Creation Manager and Office Assistant, respectively.
Overall, 17 students showed up to hear more about what InnoEnergy had to offer and the three speakers didn’t disappoint. Andreia kicked off the Speaker Series with the question we all are so used to hear: "What is innovation?". From “new competitive products”, to “disruptive and behaviour-changing technologies” and “impact”, everyone echoed their own personal definition of innovation. With this mindset, the participants were presented with the current InnoEnergy innovation projects and programmes. The company is divided into different sectors: Energy Storage, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Nuclear & Renewable Convergence, Smart & Efficient Cities & Buildings, Clean Coal Technologies, Energy from Chemical Fuels and Smart Electrical Grid. Keeping this in mind, any person with a proven concept and business can contact InnoEnergy for support and be assigned with a supervisor from the sectors above, depending on the field the project fits in. Furthermore, on a more academic note, two of the most innovative energy companies in Portugal, Energias de Portugal (EDP) and Galp Energia, are offering trainee programmes and internships to which any student can apply.
With the curiosity set high, it was time to know exactly how to start a business and who is fit to do so. Renato followed with a conversation about business creation, giving the attendees a good insight of his experience as an entrepreneur. He is a valuable example for anyone wishing to give the entrepreneurial world a try as he shared two stories; one of a success and another of a failure. Renato founded two companies which, curiously enough, were in two completely different markets: the IT and apparel businesses. He was able to sell part of his first company’s shares and, even though he is not part of the startup anymore, it is still operating quite well. The latter, however, did not survive. Renato commented that he believes that the main reason for the failure was because both him and his colleague did not put their mind and soul 100% on the project due to their full-time jobs. Nevertheless, he encouraged the CommUnity to dream and consider giving entrepreneurship a try. As the Business Creation Manager in the InnoEnergy Office of Lisbon, he is available to listen to students’ ideas and offer his help. Picking up from where Andreia left off, Renato clarified two of InnoEnergy’s programmes: the “Highway” for entrepreneurs & startups and the “Boostway” for well-established companies that want to grow their business. These are two programmes for anyone who is seeking for tutorship from InnoEnergy in a new energy related business. For that, one needs to apply by pitching the idea - problem, solutions, added value. The expected results are access to capital, seed-funding, networking, expertise and technical knowledge in the sustainable area which will enable a quick and successful growth of the project.
The final topic of the night was up to Diana as she came with clarifications about the path some of the students inside the room were considering taking - the InnoEnergy PhD School. The topic proved to be hot among the group. This opportunity and high added value InnoEnergy delivers to PhD programmes is well-suited for highly innovative minds who are looking for a true hands-on experience in the energy sector.
The Speaker Series was well-received by the attendees. It served to strengthen the ties with the InnoEnergy Office and the final networking allowed students to clarify their doubts about the event’s topic. All in all, this enables students to obtain more information about their future, whether it be a thesis, internship, job or business creation opportunities.
The three speakers and students share a laugh (Photo by Rafael Martins)
Andreia Fernandes explaining InnoEnergy’s innovation projects (photo by Rafael Martins)
By Rafael Martins - Lisbon CommUnity
Published on 7 May 2017