Entrepreneurship training in São Paulo, Brazil

15 November 2016

Following on from the workshop in 2009, the IOP ran a five-day joint workshop with ICTP-SAIRF on entrepreneurial skills for scientists and engineers throughout the region, with participants coming from as far as Guatemala to attend.

The workshop was sponsored by São Paulo State University, the Brazilian Physical Society, American Physical Society, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science, Brazilian Chemistry Society, ET Cube International, Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers, and Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE). The IOEE will also support several participants through associate membership, which will assist their future careers.

The workshop centred on participant-led activities with sessions focusing on the important skills and considerations for an aspiring entrepreneur. The workshop ended with participants combining the knowledge learned throughout the week into a business-pitch presentation. Participants were asked to pitch as though to real investors, with time restrictions followed by a question-and-answer session, with the intention of being as realistic as possible.

They tackled topics and questions around marketing, customer relations, financials, technology development and presenting to truly utilise the information taught throughout the week. A small number of participants had business ventures up and running. To most of them, however, these topics were unknown, making the workshop all the more valuable.

Feedback has been positive, with participants stating that, as a result of the workshop, they’ll think more about financial aspects, the importance of communication and pitching, and creating business plans. Participants also reported that heightened confidence, increased motivation and enthusiasm, and the importance of planning and forming teams were all learned throughout the workshop.

The workshops are designed to impart as much knowledge as possible through a series of interactive sessions and lectures, so feedback such as this is a fantastic outcome and we hope to run further training in Brazil in the future.

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