According to the Financial Times, Nova University School of Business and Economics is the best Portuguese business school. During EIA program, Nova University Lisbon is providing the students academic credit points. The institution is also helping with volunteer recruitment.

We talked to Isabel Rocha, Prorector of NOVA University Lisbon to understand the role of universities in the startup universe. 

Read the full interview after the video!

Isabel, how important is it for students and graduates to create their own startup instead of going to work for the large companies?

The most disruptive innovation comes through startups. Startups of today are the large companies of tomorrow. That’s why societies should support startups while keeping big businesses healthy. From the perspective of a university, it’s important that institutions support the creation of startups. 

How hands-on programs like EIA add up to what you’re teaching at Nova University?

At Nova, we have several programs that promote entrepreneurship at different levels. Some of these programs only involve one school, but we also have programs that bring people from other schools. They all prepare students for an experience such as EIA. So, I see as a complementary activity to the programs we offer.

How to educate the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs?

It’s important to teach social sciences to scientists and engineers. But, it’s also necessary to teach technology to social scientists, economists, and managers. Everything is intertwined and the next generation needs different skills to make it.

This is one of the main challenges of universities: more diverse programs to balance education.

Please recommend any books or podcasts for both personal growth and business

Two of my favorite authors are Clayton Christensen from Harvard and James Utterback L. From MIT. Their books regarding innovation are very interesting and not incredibly dense.

I’d also recommend books on machine learning from Pedro Domingos, for example, The Master Algorithm and another by Arlindo Oliveira, also covering machine learning and the implications of this in the future.

What is the best thing to do in Lisbon at the weekend?

I would recommend going to the Gulbenkian museum – not only for the exhibitions but also for the architecture of the building and gardens around it.  I also recommend the MAAT museum and Berardo Berardo collection. They are both near Belém and beautifully situated next to the river.

LX Factory is also a nice choice for young people because there are a lot of restaurants, a good nightlife scene, a lot of bookstores and cultural events. Super nice environment.

5 Facts about Nova SBE

  • Nova University has exchange agreements with more than 200 institutions in 54 countries
  • There are more than 14000 alumni from 50+ countries
  • Among 25 best business schools of Europe according to Financial Times
  • Best Portuguese business school according to Financial Times
  • 1400 international students each year

Discover more about European Innovation Academy here!