Created as part of Start-up Portugal’s strategy, NNI aims to increase the competitiveness of Portuguese entrepreneurship, promote the sharing of physical resources and know-how, and promote greater professionalism of the teams and services offered to entrepreneurs and incubator companies. Bringing together over 70 incubators across Portugal, NNI wants every start-up, regardless of its location, to have access to the same services and facilities available in major urban centres.
This concern with decentralisation is shared by Vodafone and this partnership between NNI and Vodafone Power Lab will enable the dozens of organisations that will form part of the Network to attend the training and mentoring sessions organised by Vodafone’s accelerator (either in person or via live streaming) and attend two physical centres in Lisbon (Lisbon Labs, AUDAX – ISCTE) and Porto (UPTEC). Alongside this, Vodafone Power Lab will select two technology start-ups a year from other NNI incubators that are seeking go-to-market support.
This partnership was made public yesterday at the end of the Final of the 4th edition of the BIG Smart Cities entrepreneurship and innovation competition, the winner of which was the Parqly, a start-up that aims to solve parking problems in large urban centres (see attachment).
According to the CEO of Vodafone Portugal, Mário Vaz, “With this partnership Vodafone wants to take further the role of driver of economic development and entrepreneurship in Portugal. “We want to contribute to the greater professionalisation of the teams, services and competitive international growth of these assets. Only by combining forces, sharing knowledge and fostering creation and innovation can we become truly relevant in this area worldwide”, he added.
About Vodafone Power Lab
Vodafone Power Lab is a programme designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship initiated by Vodafone in 2009. Its aim is to encourage the creation of technology projects in the telecommunications sector through support for incubation, mentoring, workshops and training, and providing the working facilities to enable new companies to develop.
Every year, Vodafone Power Lab receives between 300 and 400 applications seeking support, with the largest share coming through the acceleration programmes it has in Lisbon (Lisbon Labs AUDAX – ISCTE) and Porto (UPTEC) and through its annual pre- acceleration competition BIG Smart Cities, one of the main Vodafone Power Lab initiatives which illustrates how the support provided by this programme can be instrumental in the realisation, development and successful launch of a business idea in the market.
In addition to leasing co-working space and supporting start-ups with mentoring and training, Vodafone Power Lab also promotes contacts with investors and supports the launch and promotion of their products on the market. Vodafone Power Lab’s various initiatives have so far helped 83 projects and contributed to the creation of over 200 new jobs.
About the National Network of Incubators
The National Network of Incubators aims to identify, map and link the more than 70 incubators in Portugal created on the initiative of universities, science and technology centres, local authorities, private companies or foreign organisations. NNI’s main activities include promoting cooperation and sharing of physical resources and know-how among its members, fostering links with networks of mentors and investors and helping to promote the training of entrepreneurs and their managers, so contributing to increasing the competence and quality of Portuguese incubators and the services to provided to entrepreneurs.