The Building Global Innovators (BGI) program is a global technology transfer accelerator developed by the University Institute of Lisbon, MIT, and the MIT Portugal Program that targets ambitious entrepreneurs and global startups.
For the fifth year, BGI will bring to Cambridge, Massachusetts, a group of leaders from selected companies. For 10 days, Dec. 2-11, these leaders will be immersed in the Boston/Cambridge entrepreneurial ecosystem. They will meet, pitch, network, receive mentoring, and participate in workshops. The immersion program is delivered by Boston entrepreneurs and investors from leading academic, industrial, and investment organizations. During the program they will share their experience and wisdom, as well as personal accounts of challenges, successes, and failures.
During the immersion program, the 11 selected companies working in four verticals (Medical Devices and Health Information Technology; Smart Cities and Industrial Tech; Enterprise Information Technology; and Smart Data and Ocean Economy) will attend an intensive, hands-on training in the Cambridge area, delivered by thought-leaders, entrepreneurial practitioners, and established entrepreneurs.
This immersion training is structured as a series of interactive workshops, first-hand testimonials, and advice from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors; it differs from many similar programs by its one-on-one and group mentoring sessions with venture angels and other investors.
The eleven participating companies are:
- Casas em Movimento (Portugal), which supplies a new type of construction that enables self-sufficient, adaptable, flexible, sustainable buildings that can move to take advantage of solar energy. The company can supply structures for hotels, gas stations, commercial buildings, houses, and more.
- CorPower (Sweden), whose Wave Energy Converters deliver five times higher annual energy output per ton of device than existing wave power devices. This step-change improvement in performance provides a cost of energy that can compete with offshore wind in the near term and with established energy sources in the future when production volumes are higher.
- Eliq (Sweden), an "Internet of Things" company within clean tech, offering an improved home energy management solution for the smart-home market. Building on an award-winning energy meter sensor and state-of-the-art data analytics technology, the Eliq app guides homeowners to their maximum energy savings.
- HydrUStent (Portugal), which has developed a biodegradable, antibacterial urological stent that eliminates the need for a second surgery, as currently required for removal. The HydrUStent technology also avoids complications due to infections, due to its antibacterial properties.
- ISSHO Technology (Portugal), which provides a 3-D configuration tool that brings mass customization to products at about the same cost as non-custom versions. From design to delivery, the tool allows manufacturers or retailers to graphically customize products at the same time they quote product orders or plan production.
- Lokkupp (Sweden), which has developed a patentable mesh network that solves the problems of indoor geolocation with 40 percent to 100 percent better accuracy than traditional solutions. A number of select verticals will pay for this accuracy as a service, while others will wish to use the technology as a platform to launch new services.
- Meshapp (Portugal), a cloud platform that provides media publishers and brands a mobile app to effectively manage content, audiences, and monetization.
- Metablue (Portugal), whose Otitest reduces the pain and anxiety of children’s ear infections by instantly providing in the home a correct early stage diagnosis by using optical techniques. The company is also developing other medical-related solutions.
- MyiArts (Portugal), an art exhibition market/network that matches rising artists with art enthusiasts, helping to put the right art in the hands of the right person.
- Profifox (Slovakia), whose action-plan manager helps manage projects and organize actions for individuals and groups.
- Sensefinity (Portugal), which provides monitoring and analysis capability for businesses to sense, track, and analyze data via an Internet of Things technology. In addition, Sensefinity allows control of devices, risk mitigation, and diverse other applications in support of increased efficiency and improved revenues for businesses.
BGI started in 2010 and has a track record with an extensive portfolio of participants who started and grew their businesses with the motivation and support of this acceleration program. Previous participants included Movvo, a groundbreaking retail tracking solution, and DoDOC, which helps companies in highly regulated industries maintain and share complex documents, and was the first Portuguese startup to join TechStars Boston.
To date, BGI has close to 70 active alumni companies, which have raised over 50 million Euros in financing and created more than 300 high-tech jobs. In 2015 BGI joined the 100 top tech accelerators featured in the Hot Topics Accelerator 100, the Top 20 EU Accelerators by Fundacity, and the EiT Digital Network.