Our third day ended up in the beautiful city of Évora, the economic and administrative center of the Alentejo region. The industry has a strong emphasis on the city’s economy, especially in the sector of electronic/electromechanical components and construction. Tourism is also a major source of income. One million tourists a year visit the World Heritage city.
A brand new infrastructure, recently inaugurated by our Prime Minister – Pedro Passos Coelho, and the deputy Prime Minister – Paulo Portas, was waiting for us. Ours was the first event there after the inauguration and it’s not every day that we have the honor to be the ones almost inaugurating an Auditorium. We could even smell the typical fragrance of “new” around PCTA – Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia do Alentejo.
A new place, but PCTA started in 2012 with 9 founding members where we can find the University of Évora, Polytechnic Institute from Santarém (IPS), Portalegre (IPP) and Beja (IPB), GLINTT, Agência de Desenvolvimento Regional do Alentejo, S. A. (ADRAL), among others. A good mixture of educational institutions, industry and support organizations.
PCTA seeks to position itself as a center for diversified skills, nevertheless we can find some clusters emerging in industries such as Energy, Mechatronics and ICT.
Formerly located within the University of Évora, they now have a fully equipped and dedicated core building (3.000 m2) for their central services and incubation. By the time of its inauguration, they were already at their full capacity, what leads us to the conclusion that the entrepreneurial activity is high in Évora. ÉvoraTech, another Incubator in the city that’s specifically for ICT and is managed by ADRAL (Agency Of Regional Development Of Alentejo) is also at full capacity reinforcing this conclusion.
“We want our incubated companies to have a global activity, to be not only Évora or Alentejo players.”
Paulo Quaresma, PCTA President, stated that we can find in Évora and Alentejo a set of good infrastructures and really motivated people, but just that by itself is not enough. Alentejo has something extra – specific funding mechanisms that make it a privileged place to establish companies. He believes that they have what it takes to attract companies, establish them and help them grow.
PCTA has planned a second phase to bring to life a business area for later stage startups and a research and development (R&D) area as well.
During our time in Évora we had the pleasure to listen from a good sample of companies from the region:
Mr. Watcher is a “Personal Controller for POS Systems Users”. It aims to solve a regular problem in the Small commerce with more than 2 employees registering: money shortages. With its wrist band, the system allows a separation of orders and money received by each employee, allowing the owner to track and find the responsible for potential losses.
With their product Big Picture 360 Data analytics, they offer a Business intelligent solution to combine internal data from companies with relevant external information like prices, market statistics, economic indexes, industry news, social media, competitors’ campaigns… everything within a single application.
A project based on a unique methodology to develop empathy, altruism and positivity in children, by example. With a team of psychologists, teachers and communication professionals, they aim to fight emotional illiteracy in children.
Specialized services company for technological solutions. Their core business is mobile and web applications that can go from simple websites to integrated home automation.
Pknoa is a new way to think about data and databases. By using a grammar, as opposed to columns and rows, pknoa makes it simple to store and retrieve information. Their impressive processing power (5 million write operations and over 100 million read operations), coupled with machine learning algorithms, makes pknoa the perfect tool for storage and analytics.
Just like in all the other cities, Sage is offering a 6 month trial subscription for Sage One + 50% discount forever (Standard version) for the best pitch in each city. The winner in Évora is… PKNOA!
The winner of day is BrainAnswer. They will have access to one month of free advertising on PortugalStartups.com. Congratulations!