European Innovation Academy


European Innovation Academy offers extreme entrepreneurship programs where students from all over the world get the real life experience of building their startup and being an entrepreneur. Guided by Silicon Valley mentors our programs take students from team formation to an actual startup.


Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing experience at the European Innovation Academy

This program can literally change the entire course of your life.

Before attending EIA, I was finishing my Master's degree in Electronic Engineering and I was feeling lost in life, as I did not wish to start a career as an electronic engineer.

After attending EIA, I discovered the world of entrepreneurship and I realised that I could design the life I wanted, all I needed was hard work and dedication. EIA gave my life focus again and for that single reason I wish that everyone had the opportunity to attend this unique 3 week extreme entrepreneurship summer program!

The program itself is challenging and will definitely push you outside your comfort zone. You will learn everything you need to know to start your own startup, and the only way to squeeze that knowledge inside your brain in the space of 3 weeks is to work hard with your team!

Having said that, one of my favourite memories of EIA is drinking sangria watching the sunset at the beach with my new friends. I think the people you meet at EIA will have as big of an impact on you as the actual academic experience of the program.

If you have the opportunity to go to EIA — GO! Don't hesitate. It is exactly what you need if you have ideas and dreams but lack the focus and drive to execute on them.

What would you improve about this program?
The wifi at the hotel we were staying in could have been a bit faster, but we managed to find alternatives without too much of a problem.
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Yes, I recommend this program

European Innovation Academy in Portugal

Incredible opportunity to learn how to develop and launch your very own start-up company in a vibrant, international start-up environment in just 15 days!
This was definitely one of the best experiences of my life: super-interesting lectures and key-note speeches covering wide variety of topics aka “all you need to know about start-ups”; great deal of practical hands-on lessons and advice on how to create a company; invaluable mentoring support and overall flawless organisation coupled with amazing location!
Would totally recommend this program for every motivated young professional coming from any field and eager to learn more about start-ups and Entrepreneurship!🙌🏼

Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible expreience

European Innovation Academy was truly a once in a lifetime experience. The opportunity to interact with people, get out of my comfort zone and create something together was incredibly satisying.

Portugal was definetely a great choice in my opinion. The location was convenient for most participants and easy to get to. The structure of the programme was well designed to accomodate most people's skills and the support from mentors was definetely valuable.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Just go

EIA was a learning experience different from any other university experience. I learned more in 3 weeks and what followed those weeks than I could have in any classroom setting. My key takeaways from Eia are:
- networking
- friends
- personal growth and learning
- learning about people, different backgrounds or cultural barriers and working with them
I can’t explain what I learned or give a true measure of the value because it was a foundation for so much more. It broke down barriers for me and pushed me to be a better problem solver, communicator, and entrepreneur.

What would you improve about this program?
Giving more explanation and detail about the program on the website so the participants can prepare in advance and get more from the program.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experience

This was one of the most rewarding experiences, personally and professionally. I learned incredible life skills and met a huge business network for life. Highly recommended.
You also, are exposed to numerous venture capitalists and mentors who become great contacts for career opportunities and friends. The nightlife and culture is enlightening and you meet people from all over the world. With the rate of globalization, it can only help to be exposed to so many different types of thinking.

What would you improve about this program?
More cohesive planning for housing and events


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I have always been curious to learn more about business creation and entrepreneurship, as this knowledge is undoubtedly of great use for anybody who wants to work in a Life Science field and/or in a bio-tech company in the future. I also fell in love with Portugal the moment I got off the plane there for the first time in January 2017, and I’ve always wanted to go there again. So, when I saw this program featured on my university website, I just applied without hesitations!

European Innovation Academy in Portugal seemed perfect to me, both in terms of the structure and location.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My university had received two scholarships covering the participation fee of the program that two students from Karolinska Institutet (KI) would be awarded with after the application and subsequent selection processes. One medical student and I turned up to be these lucky ones!

KI's Innovation Office tried to seek for extra financial support for our travel to EIA in Portugal, but this was not possible, so we had to cover the accommodation and travel costs ourselves. EIA offered some accommodation options for its international participants around Cascais (the town near Lisbon where the program takes place), but both of us ended up finding the place to stay at on our own.

Nevertheless, the program providers were very helpful and responsive, and were ready to help us out with any problems and questions we might have encountered prior and upon our arrival.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would say, "be ready for some hard work during these 3 weeks, but don't forget to have fun, also!"

I think the key to fully experience what the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Summer Program in Portugal has to offer is to both stay on track with developing your start-up idea and finding the time to mingle with friends and other participants. Of course, make sure to explore the beautiful city of Lisbon and its surroundings!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Mornings (9AM – 12nn) at EIA are usually dedicated to different lectures on entrepreneurship and business creation, key-note speeches from world-leading experts from different fields, followed by lunch break and subsequent independent work on your start-up idea in your group of five. You can work on it with or without mentor support as they change depending on which particular task is your team working on at that given moment.

Of course, there is also a social program for the participants – mingling events, parties, football matches, and the likes. Weekends are free from official program activities, so you can either continue working on your start-up, or choose to take a trip to Sintra or Lisbon, or simply enjoy your free time on one of the nearby beaches. All the options are, in my eyes, equally awesome!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I cannot say I was scared to go abroad to do such "few-weeks-lasting" project, as I've already done a number of international work-camps and exchanges before. Neither did I fear going to Portugal in general, as people there are incredibly friendly and welcoming, and the country itself is absolutely gorgeous and 100% worth visiting.

However, I was a bit concerned about working with four complete strangers (at the beginning, at least), because, when it comes to developing a start-up into a viable company/enterprise, we all had different thoughts and opinions on HOW to do this exactly.

So, for me, finding compromises with my team mates, as well as learning things from completely new fields, were the "biggest challenges". I loved the whole experience, though!

What makes Entrepreneurship and Innovation Summer Program in Portugal different from other start-up accelerator programs?

I strongly believe that this program is an incredible opportunity for young motivated professionals coming from completely different backgrounds, with diverse sets of skills and competencies, to learn "all you need to know" about start-ups in just 3 weeks, and to learn it from first-class experts and successful entrepreneurs in a vibrant, international start-up environment. These three weeks were definitely one of the best I've had in my life, and I couldn't recommend this program more!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Hedi is the Head of Program Development at European Innovation Academy. Her responsibilities includes developing the methodology for entrepreneurship program, recruiting speakers, mentors & investors and designing the flow of the program.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My absolute favorite travel memory regarding to EIA is the experience of organizing the event in several cultural environments - it takes courage and needs know how to implement the EIA program in Arab region, in Qatar. Also, meeting 85+ nationalities in the short period of event is magnificent and valuable.

How have you changed since working for your current company?

A lot! Honestly. Creating content for such an unique summer school has been beyond my dreams and I've never believed that I would have opportunity to meet top experts in their fields whom I have the honor to invite to participate as mentors or speakers.

Also, I'm finding new challenges in finding even more awesome ways to approach to the startup building and of course, hereby can introduce my way of thinking and seeing entrepreneurship to our ambitious and curious participants.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

It is rather a sum of lots of great stories - that EIA has literally changed students lives and they have gained contacts they can use to convert their ongoing projects into success stories. I'm lucky to stay in touch with students after every EIA program and recognize the same pattern of testimonials from every student.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

EIA edition in Shenzhen, China. We are happy to organize the newest version in Asia in 2018 and every new location in EIA will grow the excitement. Working with local companies in order to create the go-to-market plan for our startups in the program is fascinating. It is not something we have done in Europe in our previous editions.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Our uniqueness is especially visible in the effort and passion everyone puts into the program. The organizing team is coming up with bunch of new ideas to implement in the upcoming editions, our mentors are proactively suggesting us the newest tools and technologies to use and our speakers are taking care of changing the keynote program more interactive each year. The joint dedication of knowledge, time and love to this program is spectacular.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Growing EIA ambassadors out of our programs, who honestly and independently want to spread the word about their positive and unique experience in the program. Good content in media and social network is obviously important, but the best way to understand the goals & ambitions in the program and the outcome is to talk to the participants in previous editions. I'm truly happy that EIA Alumni network is carrying the opportunity with them to introduce the program in their point of view to the potential participants.