BOSTON, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Portugal Capital Ventures ("Portugal Ventures") (http://www.portugalventures.pt), a public Venture Capital and Private Equity firm with over euro 600 million in assets under management, announces its partnership with LB Ventures ("LBV"), a venture formation and acceleration entity, to establish a Center in Boston to complement the already established West Coast – Bay Area location in San Francisco. The Center will cater for the needs of the growing portfolio of knowledge-based companies "born global" that are emerging in Portugal in various technology sectors, and will be of particular relevance for Life Sciences and Medical Technology businesses, as well as for ICT and Internet applications.
This initiative is part of Portugal Ventures' Acceleration and Innovation Hubs in the World program, which is one of the 4 pillars of its Ignition Program. The Ignition Program was launched in 2012 with the purpose of spearheading the development of a modern and competitive economy open to the world, based on advanced knowledge, a strong capacity for innovation, and highly qualified human capital. Portugal Ventures expects to invest around euro 20 million per year in the creation of new tech-based startups, as the result of the periodic Call For Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Jose Franca, Chairman and CEO of Portugal Ventures, commented, "We are pleased to form a partnership with LBV, as it is led by an experienced entrepreneur, an investor whose track record includes venturing in the public and private sectors, and current management of the well regarded Industry and Venture Competition activities of MIT Portugal Program (MPP) . In addition, we look forward to a most fruitful set of collaborations in Boston, immersing in the cultural environment of Kendall Square and CIC, leveraging the vast presence of world-class startups in its ecosystem, and capturing the strong drive for entrepreneurship that is ingrained in the MIT culture."
Dr. Franca has a 40-year career as a professor, entrepreneur and business executive. He is a Full Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at IST (the Engineering School of the University of Lisbon) and was Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of CHIPIDEA, a microelectronics startup company acquired by MIPS Technologies Inc. in 2007. His distinguished set of honors include being an IEEE Fellow since 1997, recipient of its Circuits and Systems Society Golden Jubilee Medal as well as its Industrial Pioneer Award; Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Macau; Ernst & Young International Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Portugal); "Grand Officer of the Order of Merit" of Portugal. In addition to his current role, he is the Chairman of PME Investimentos, Non-Executive Director of PVCi (Portugal Venture Capital Initiative), and member of the Portuguese National Council for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Some of his former roles include: State Secretary for Education in the Government of Portugal and Non-Executive Member of the Board of Banco Espirito Santo S.A., as well as of several technology-based start-up companies, both in Portugal and abroad.
With 20 venture funds under management, and 100+ co's in its portfolio, Portugal Ventures' startups and its Ignition Program Partners will work with LBV to have access to the vibrant entrepreneurial, knowledge-based ecosystem in Massachusetts to accelerate their development as global tech-based businesses. LBV's founder and Partner, Mr. Luis Barros is a serial entrepreneur including co's respectively acquired by TIBCO and Microsoft. He was on management teams which architected and implemented investment programs such as: $1B Fund of Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), Eli Lilly Ventures, and I.C. Sciences Corp, which was established by co-founding family of Boston Scientific.
In addition to his entity's relationship with Portugal Ventures, Mr. Barros will maintain his role as Co-Director of Industry and Innovation at MPP, a large-scale international collaboration involving MIT, Government, Academia, and Industry in Portugal to develop education and research programs.
Dr. Charles Cooney, MIT's Robert T. Haslam (1911) Professor of Chemical Engineering, Faculty Director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation as well as MPP's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program comments, "Cambridge's environment is ideally suited to promote cross-Atlantic synergies rooted in education, research and its commercialization. Further, Luis' concurrent roles and capabilities in setting up venture development processes, education and ecosystem management, gives him unique perspectives to develop strategies and tactics to stimulate this effort."
Luis Barros, said, "We are humbled by the opportunity to be associated with an initiative of such high importance to Portugal's economic prosperity, competitiveness and employment. The current leadership has put together a visionary business model yielding companies that have great promise, and we look forward to building on the pillars of the Ignition Program."
Tim Rowe, Founder and CEO of CIC, commented "We are pleased that Portugal Ventures has chosen CIC to be a strategic location for its outbound commercialization efforts, and we welcome them to our community. Sidi Gomes, CIC's Lead Architectural Designer, who is from Lusophone country Cabo Verde, was recently in Portugal at the Emigrant Social Entrepreneurship Conference, and CIC has sponsored the IUL MIT Portugal Caixa Capital Venture Competition. We're excited through the presence of Portugal Ventures to deepen our connections to this innovative country."
Teresa Fernandes, Board Member of Portugal Ventures, commented, "Lisbon has been highlighted as an entrepreneurial hotspot in a recent article published by 'Entrepreneur,' entitled 'Emerging Tech: 9 International Start-up Hubs to Watch.' Our Cambridge location will be an important outpost to deliver on rise on the nation's entrepreneurial environment, support the heated startup climate throughout Portugal, and provide the teams the best chance to realize the full potential of their companies."
Portugal Ventures' launch event, list of portfolio companies that will locate in the Center, and other news related to its Center will be announced in subsequent press releases and can be found on its website.
About Portugal Capital Ventures
Portugal Ventures (http://www.portugalventures.pt) is the public Venture Capital and Private Equity firm, focusing its investments in innovative, scientific and technology-based companies as well as in companies from the more traditional Portuguese economic sectors.
About MIT Portugal Program (MPP)
The MIT Portugal Program (http://www.mitportugal.org/), launched in October 2006, is a strategic investment in science, technology and higher education, supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia).
About IUL MIT Portugal Caixa Capital Venture Competition
Building Global Innovators (BGI), The IUL MIT Portugal Caixa Capital Venture Competition (http://mitportugal-iei.org/), is part of a five year effort between IUL and MIT designed as a national competition to attract university spin-outs and new ventures with international product potential and to reinforce the transatlantic link between Portugal and Cambridge fostered by the MIT Portugal Program.
About LB Ventures (LBV)
LB Ventures, LLC (http://lbventures.us) is a venture formation and acceleration entity. LBV combines strategy, marketing commercialization "de-risking" processes and methodologies with access to entrepreneurial & non-dilutive financing to impact companies' business model validation, customer acquisition, and enterprise valuation.
About Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)
CIC Cambridge (http://cic.us) is the largest cluster of startups in the world. Founded in 1999, CIC Cambridge currently houses approximately 600 companies across 207,000 square feet in two adjacent office towers next to MIT. Called "the most important building in Greater Boston, and for that matter the entire state" by the Boston Globe, CIC is perceived as an integral part of the innovation ecosystem in Massachusetts.
SOURCE Portugal Ventures