The University of Coimbra is the first establishment in Portugal to welcome and launch Explorer, a program developed in Spain for the promotion of talent and the entrepreneurial spirit.

The final winners will have the opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley and learn from the top innovators in the world.

Young people between the ages of 18 and 31 can now benefit from access to the Explorer Space of the University of Coimbra, an idea acceleration center where they will develop projects and receive personalized advice and training from a network of experts in innovation and business models.

Those selected have access to prizes of €30,000, €20,000 and €10,000 to accelerate the development of their projects.

The Explorer Program provides:

  • Explorer Centers: Workspaces located in facilities provided by collaborating entities with the necessary communications infrastructure and equipment for the development of training activities and collaborative work.
  • Multidisciplinary tutoring and advisory program: Tutorial support for participating projects in Explorer. Tutors or mentors are professionals with proven experience in formulating innovative and / or technology-based business plans. Tutors support learning and offer specialized attention to entrepreneurs by contributing to the development of skills from experience and by guiding young people in the formulation of their business plan.
  • Network of Specialists: The Explorer provides participants with a wide network of experts, including distinguished professionals from the worlds of entrepreneurship, business and technology, and academics and researchers specializing in innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Training plan compatible with the academic curriculum: Training in the creation and management of enterprises and management of innovation aimed at acquiring the entrepreneur’s own skills and competences.

After five months of training and mentoring, the representatives of the best Explorer Space project at the University of Coimbra will travel to Silicon Valley to visit technology companies, listen to advice, and connect with investors.

The trip will last for a maximum of one week. During these days, selected youngsters will have the opportunity to visit some emblematic technology companies, interact with different actors in the academic and business environment and carry out networking activities according to a work agenda designed by the organization.

The Explorer Program is developed in parallel in Argentina, Spain and Portugal, with some minor variations regarding the deadlines for the selection of applications and start and end dates of activities in the centers.

The training and follow-up activities carried out at the Explorer Center in Portugal will start in March and finalize in June while Spain’s began earlier this month.

During the months of June and July 2018, a jury composed of representatives of collaborating entities, Banco Santander and the Santander Entrepreneurship International Center (CISE), will select the best project developed in each of the Explorer Centers.

The Explorer initiative, promoted by Santander Bank through Santander Universities and coordinated by the Centro Internacional Santander Emprendimiento (CISE), represents the evolution of Santander YUZZ, a program that in its eight editions has boosted the projects of more than 4,200 young entrepreneurs and has generated hundreds of companies.