Innova-FI’s 9th Exchange of Experience

Innova-FI’s 9th Exchange of Experience

On the first day of this 9th Exchange of Experience, Rogério Gouveia, Madeira’s Regional Secretary of Finances, and Alexandre Almeida, from the Portuguese Agency of Innovation (ANI), welcomed the partners before learning about Madeira’s Innovation System and Smart Specialization Strategy with the help of its coordinator, Alberto Velez Grilo.

Later that morning, the consortium was graced with presentations by Mário Rui Silva, an external expert, and Raquel Silva from the Entrepreneurial Development Institute of Madeira, focused on the financial instruments used in ultra-peripheral regions and the case study of credit lines for economic recovery in Madeira.

After lunch, the first session addressed Madeira's startup ecosystem. The partners got to know 'Startup Madeira': a startup incubator working with entrepreneurs based on the Island since 1997. Its CEO, Carlos Soares Lopes, delivered the introductory remarks before the project manager Micaela Vieira comprehensively presented the organization's projects, programs, and services.

It was then time for the founders of two startups incubated in Startup Madeira to inspire the audience: BioReboot and Maracujá Experiences (Thiago Lopes and Tiago Olim, respectively).

Diogo Araújo, Director of Capacity Building at ANI - Agência Nacional de Inovação, followed, introducing the first call of INNOV-ID. INNOV-ID is a risk capital instrument managed by Portugal Ventures, in cooperation with ANI and Startup Portugal that provides 100 thousand euros to science-based and technological projects.

To close the day, some Innova-FI partners presented their projects and experiences. Roberto Algarra, from the Instituto Valenciano de la Competitividad Empresarial, presented the financial mechanism 'MASDE'. Inga Beiliuniene, from Invega, talked about their financial instruments (equity instrument) 'Accelerator 2'. Stefano Ferrando, from the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia, explored the region's legal framework for microcredit for startups and micro-enterprises.

The second day started with a workshop.

The participants were divided into groups and invited to imagine an individual that could benefit from a financial instrument: its profile, background, ambitions, fears, limitations, and financial challenges. Having decided the specificities of the imagined individual, the groups thought of the obstacles keeping that person from reaching his/her goals, before idealizing the ideal framework to help him/her. In the end, the participants had the chance to present their cases and proposed solutions and debate them with the other groups.

After lunch, partners had the priviledge to visit the International Business Centre of Madeira (known as Zona Franca da Madeira), with the help of Filipe Manso Teixeira, the Executive Director of the entity that manages 'Zona Franca' (Sociedade de Desenvolvimento da Madeira).

Before visiting two of the more than 1600 companies present in Zona Franca (Insular and Blandy's), Filipe Manso Teixeira walked us through the conditions the International Business Centre offers to make this ultraperipheral location competitive in the global markets.

This Innova-FI's 9th Exchange of Experience culminated Thursday morning with the Steering Committee. The partners' discussions focused on the state of affairs and the next steps for the upcoming months.