The biotech startup Exogenus Therapeutics, which was created after the participation of the project Nanoinspire in COHiTEC 2014, was the winner of the 17th edition of the Prize Young Entrepreneur, awarded by the National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE).


The award was announced on the 18th of November 2015, at the Alfândega building in Oporto, during the gala dinner of the 2015 Entrepreneur Fair. More than 150 applications competed for the award, among which the juri selected six finalists. The prize awards for the winner are 20,000 Euros in cash and 10,000 Euros in support.

Exogenus Therapeutics operates in the sector of regenerative medicine and is developing a product for the treatment of chronic wounds, which are wounds that are caused by diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The company has already performed lab tests on mice, showing that the treatment does not cause rejections and, after 10 days of application, is 50% more efficient than competing therapies.

The investigation which led to the startup relies on the regenerative capability of the umbilical cord blood and was developed in collaboration between the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra, the company Crioestaminal and the Biocant Park. The promoters of the company are the researchers Joana Simões Correia and Ricardo Neves and the manager Luisa Marques.

In 2014, the promoters participated in COHiTEC 2014 by COTEC Portugal, where they developed a business project that led to an investment from Caixa Capital. Currently, the company is being incubated at Biocant Park and is being supported by COHiTEC’s executive team.

An Honorable Mention was also attributed, to the startup DoctorGummy. This company has developed an alternative process for administering medication to children. They produce gums that don’t have sugar, gluten, lactose, artificial colors or preservatives, and which contain the active principle of medicines.

The Prize Young Entrepreneur is an initiative by ANJE, supported by the Portuguese Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP) and it is the oldest award in the country in the field of entrepreneurship.


COTEC’s Technology Commercialization Accelerator (Act by COTEC) is the winner of the ‘Startup Accelerator of the Year’ Award, which was attributed on the 27th of November by Up Awards, the prizes organized by the website Portugal Startups in order to distinguish the best institutions and people in the Portuguese entrepreneurial ecosystem.

ACT BY COTEC AWARDED STARTUP ACCELERATOR OF THE YEARAct is a nationwide initiative organized by COTEC Portugal and its mission is to support the valorization of the tech-based knowledge generated in Portugal through the creation of technology-based startups with global vocation.

Created in 2009 from the expansion of the COHiTEC initiative, which dates from 2004, Act supports project promoters in the evaluation of the commercial potential of their technologies, and selects the most promising projects to support the development of the technological proof of concept, the writing of a plan business and the attraction of funding.

This initiative is sponsored by CGD Group and has the partnership of Porto Business School and Nova School of Business and Economics, as well as the support of the American universities of Brown, North Carolina State and Rutgers. Every year, two projects that successfully complete the first phase of the initiative (the COHiTEC Program) receive an investment of 100,000 euros each by Caixa Capital, which is the management company of the venture capital funds of CGD Group.

In total, over 700 participants were supported by Act by COTEC and 151 projects were presented, which resulted in 26 high potential startups, which have attracted so far, investment worth more than 35 million euros.

The Up Awards are an initiative by Portugal Startups, in partnership with the Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Microsoft Portugal and the Getaway Van. The winners of the ten categories in the competition were chosen through online voting. The ten categories in the competition were:


The startup Exogenus Therapeutics, which was created with the support COHiTEC 2014, has raised a second round of funding worth 800 thousand euros, led by Caixa Capital.


The funding will enable the company to advance the development of its innovative treatment for chronic wounds and was assured by the venture capital companies Caixa Capital and Change Partners.

Exogenus Therapeutics had already received a proof-of-concept investment of 100 thousand euros from Caixa Capital, which was raised in the sequence of the selection of the project as one of the most promising of the year at COHiTEC.

Exogenus Therapeutics is a biotechnology startup that results from investigation carried out by the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology from the University of Coimbra, the company Crioestaminal and the Biocant Park.

The project participated in COHiTEC 2014 by COTEC Portugal, continues to receive the support of COTEC’s executive team and is being physically incubated in Biocant.

The company’s first product will be Exo-Wound, an umbilical cord blood derived therapy that enables an effective treatment of chronic wounds, which are wounds that do not heal for at least six weeks and which are common in patients with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and bedridden people.

Exogenus Therapeutics has already made animal tests in which they showed that the therapy does not cause rejections and that after 10 days of application it is 50% more efficient than competing therapies. The startup expects that in the year 2019 the product can enter the clinical trials phase.

Last November, Exogenus Therapeutics had been the winner of the Prize Young Entrepreneur, awarded by ANJE.

In a statement, Joana Correia, researcher and one of the company’s founders, said that «This funding is crucial to continue the development of Exo-Wound, and we must acknowledge the leadership of Caixa Capital in raising this seed round executed with Change Partners as a co-investor. We now have conditions to take Exo-Wound one step closer to the clinical tests.».

Stephan Morais, Caixa Capital Executive Director, revealed that the venture capital company is looking forward «to continue working with the Exo-T’s team to help bring this innovative solution to the millions of patients affected by chronic wounds».


Two projects that participated in COHiTEC Program will receive an investment of 100,000 euros each by Caixa Capital, the venture capital company of CGD Group. The projects, entitled Charge2Change and Permeability, will develop, respectively, a new generation of batteries for industrial vehicles and a simple test for the diagnosis of intestinal permeability.


The investment comes in the sequence of a partnership established between COHiTEC and Caixa Capital, which establishes that Caixa Capital will invest anually 200,000 euros, shared equally by two projects supported by COHiTEC. This is a pre-seed investment, which supports technology-based projects in the initial development of the technology that is the basis for the products to be commercialized.

Charge2Change is a startup dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of a new generation of batteries for industrial vehicles, which will allow faster charging, longer life time and the possibility of opportunity charges. The first batteries ito be developed by the team will equip electric forklifts, replacing lead batteries, which, besides being highly polluting, take about 8 hours to fully charge. The technology that lies at the source of the project has been developed by researchers from Instituto Superior Técnico, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa and tInstituto Politécnico de Setúbal, based on a grant from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) to study alloys for energy storage. Currently, Charge2Change promoters are Rui Pedro Silva and André Mão de Ferro and four teachers who were involved in the investigation that led to the project. Charge2Change has participated in the 2014 edition of the COHiTEC Program by COTEC Portugal. With the 100,000 euros to be invested, the startup will perform the technology proof-of-concept by developing a full scale prototype battery, which will be tested in electric forklifts.

Permeability team is developing a medical kit for the analysis of the intestinal permeability, a biomarker for early disease states, in particular metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. The kit will allow a simple, accurate and non-invasive analysis of intestinal permeability, possible through the ingestion of a probe and the collection of urine for analysis. The project is being developed by the researchers João Silva and Fátima Martins, and was born in the context of science held in the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the Universidade de Coimbra, in Biocant Park and CEDOC – Chronic Diseases Research Center at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Permeability team has participated in COHiTEC 2015, where the business proposal of the startup was drawn up, resulting in the project selection for funding from Caixa Capital. The team has alread carried out tests on animals, and will allocate the 100,000 euros to pilot human trials, in order to define the test parameters of use.


COHiTEC Program by COTEC Portugal has participated at the event Caixa Entrepreender Award, that took place last 3rd of February at Culturgest in Lisbon. The event gathered 51 startups and more than 20 investors in order to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in Portugal.


The one-day event, with approximately 700 participants, was organized by Caixa Geral de Depósitos and Caixa Capital, in partnership with the acceleration and incubation programs supported by these entities, namely COHiTEC Program by COTEC Portugal, Building Global Innovators by ISCTE-IUL in partnership with MIT Portugal, InRes by CMU Portugal, Lisbon Challenge by Beta-i, Startup Braga and Lisbon Startup Boost by Caixa Capital. An dditional presence was Startup Next Lisbon by TechStars.

At the event, COHiTEC presented eleven technology-based projects, including: BioMimetx, Exogenus Therapeutics, Thelial Technologies, bOptimum, InovCarbon, MicroTec, B2S, Extremochem, MDID Lab, Charge2Change and PermeAbility.

The day closed with the attribution of Caixa Empreender Award 2016 to Prodsmart, a technology startup that is developing a complete analysis, management and optimization system for production lines and industrial shops, which is being incubated at Startup Lisboa. The prize, worth 100,000 euros, is an addition to the 100,000 euros of investment that the company had already received when it was selected by Lisbon Startup Boost by Caixa Capital.

The path “walked” by the projects awarded at Caixa Empreender Award 2015

During the morning of the 3rd of February, the five projects that received funding in 2015 by Caixa Capital made a presentation in order to share their experience and the path “walked” since the funding was attributed.

The path "walked" by the projects awarded at Caixa Empreender Award 2015
BioMimetx, a COHiTEC 2013 participant, is developing an anti-fouling solution of natural origin to be applied in paints for sea submerged structures. 
The project received last year an investment of 200,000 euros, by Caixa Capital and Intercapital, which is  being applied to the protection of the industrial property, to the design and incorporation of the biocide compound in paints and to the conduction of preliminary sea tests.

DoDOC, that participated in Building Global Innovators, is developing a platform to support the document and report submission process of new drugs by pharmaceutical companies. Since the investment, the project has grown its team of 3 to 8 members, developed several pilots of the platform, and participated in TechStars Boston acceleration program.

Exogenus Therapeutics is a startup that participated in COHiTEC 2014 and is dedicated to preclinical and clinical development of innovative cellular based therapies applied to regenerative medicine, specifically for the treatment of skin lesions. The company was established in June 2015 and has since won the Young Entrepreneur Award by ANJE and raised 800,000 euros of extra seed investment by Caixa Capital and Change Partners.

Magnifinance is a technology company that sells a financial management platform for SMEs that makes day-to-day management lighter and financial planning more precise. The project was developed during the acceleration program Lisbon Challenge by Beta-i and was the winner of the 2015 editionof Caixa Empreender Award, receiving a total of 200,000 euros by Caixa Capital.

NU-RISE develops nuclear radiation sensors and equipment for industry, research instrumentation and medical applications. NU-RISE initiated in-vitro trials of a new device for in-vivo and real-time dosimetry, solving the lack for radiation monitoring in prostate brachytherapy.. The project participated in the Building Global Innovators program.

The finalists of Caixa Empreender Award 2016

The finalists of Caixa Empreender Award 2016

The afternoon of the 3rd of February marked the main event of Caixa Empreender Award, with the presentation of the seven finalists. Each finalist was chosen by one acceleration or incubation program and, as a consequence of such choice, will receive between 50 and 200,000 euros of pre-seed investment by Caixa Capital. The winner of the seven, Prodsmart, will receive and additional 100,000 euros to the initial contracted amount.

Attentive, selected by Lisbon Challenge, proposes an information-gathering service for marketers that wants to provide companies with real-time information about their leads and clients. The service informs customers in real time about a new product on the market, new markets that a competitor is entering or the name of the new marketing director of its main customer, among other features.

Charge2Change, selected by COHiTEC, will produce a new generation of batteries with low cost and fast charging time, ideal for industrial vehicles such as electric forklifts. The project originated from a research project in partnership with the Instituto Superior Técnico, the Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa and the Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal.

Fibersail uses fiber optic and sensors technology to provide real-time information about the structure of a ship. Winner of the Building Global Innovators program, this startup can enter the sailing competitions and shipping market, to prevent accidents and provide information that allows the structure of a vessel to be more efficient.

PermeAbility, supported by COHiTEC, is a company in the medical diagnostics sector. The startup is developing a kit for analysis of the intestinal permeability, a biomarker for early disease states, particularly in metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. The team promoters, that come from the Universities of Coimbra (CNC) and Nova de Lisboa (CEDOC), aim to establish this analysis of the intestinal permeability as a routine test.

Prodsmart, incubated at Startup Lisboa, will sell a system for the management, analysis and optimization of industrial production processes. With this system, company’s will avoid the accumulation of paper and substitute it by elements such as tablets and digital sensors. The information on the production process will thus be more available and updated, reducing waste and better controlling costs.

Scraim is a tool that brings together the best from the world of project management with the best from the world of process management, giving companies access to a low cost project management service, supported by configurable development processes. The project is supported by InRes program by CMU Portugal and resulted from a research, development and innovation consortium constituted by FEUP, Strongstep and Multicert.

Seatwish is a social marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers of tickets for all kinds of events: concerts, festivals, sporting events, etc. The service, which is supported by Startup Braga, aims to facilitate the business, increase confidence and security in transactions.

Sven Lingjaerde: a career meeting entrepreneurs

a career meeting entrepreneurs

Caixa Empreender Award’s keynote speaker, invited by Caixa Capital, was Sven Lingjaerde. With 20 years of experience in the venture capital industry, Sven is, since 1996, co-founder and managing partner of venture capital firm Endeavour Vision and was also founder, in 1998, of the European Tech Tour Association, a non-profit organization that identifies and promotes emerging European technology companies and exposes them to a selective group of high level executives, representing large technology corporate, international venture capital firms and corporate advisors.

In his speech, Sven noted that three important factors for categorization of startups, which can determine the interest of venture cpaital companies according to their specialization, are: the “industry” in which the startup acts, the “geography” where it falls and the “development stage” where it is. Another very important factor in the analysis of a venture capital company is evaluating the leadership skills of the entrepreneurs’ team.

Regarding Europe’s positioning in the global entrepreneurship panorama, Sven Lingjaerde considered that European startups have the disadvantage, compared to US ones, that «reaching the global market takes several steps». For its part, European venture capital companies need to «build a credibility capital». To this end, it is important that there are more “role models”, or positive examples, able to «link local brands with global opportunities».


16 technology-based projects, 47 researchers, 22 management students and 32 mentors – these are COHiTEC 2016’s numbers. The Program started on March, 1 and 3, respectively in Porto Business School and Nova School of Business and Economics.


The 2016 edition of COHiTEC will run until July, 12, one afternoon per week, and will include training in technology commercialization and the development of a business proposal for each product generated from the 16 innovative technologies that participate in the program.

In 2016, 44 projects applied to COHiTEC, and the 16 more promising were selected, taking into account criteria such as the unique features of the technology, the existence of intellectual property, the variety of applications and the commercial potential in global markets.
The 16 selected projects come from several Portuguese R&D institutions, namely the universities of Coimbra (UCBiotech), Lisboa (Faculties of Science and Medicine, Instituto de Medicina Molecular and Instituto Superior Técnico), Nova de Lisboa (Faculty of Science and Technology), Porto (Faculties of Engineering and Pharmacy) and Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, the Champalimaud Foundation, the National Laboratory of Energy and Geology, as well as a project developed by a spin-off.

The scientific areas of the projects are biotechnology, electrical and telecommunications engineering, new materials, nanotechnology, neurosciences and food and green chemistry.

COHiTEC 2016 is held in partnership with Porto Business School and Nova School of Business and Economics, with the support of professors from the American universities of Brown, North Carolina State and Rutgers. Caixa Capital is also a partner of the project and, in addition to supporting the program itself, Caixa Capital selects the two most promising projects for an investment of 100,000 euros each.

Created in 2004 by COTEC Portugal, the COHiTEC Program aims to train scientists from national R&D institutions in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship and to support the transition of innovative science and technology from the laboratory to the market, promoting the creation of Portuguese startups with global aim and fostering the creation of scientific employment. The program has supported the creation of 29 companies, which have raised an investment of 38 million euros.