Impact Driven

René Bohnsack, PhD, is Professor for Strategy and Innovation at Católica-Lisbon and mentor at MIT Design X. René has published his research in the leading international management and innovation journals (e.g. Research Policy, Journal of Business Venturing, California Management Review), has been invited to present his research at the top international conferences, received the Best Paper Award in Sustainable Entrepreneurship in 2016, and the 3rd prize for the best innovation management paper 2013. Also, René is the founder and director of the Smart City Innovation Lab (SCIL), a multi-disciplinary research group at Católica-Lisbon working on creating wellbeing in urban areas via sustainable technologies and digital transformation. The research of the group focuses on business models, international strategy, and digital innovation. Moreover, SCIL consults companies on strategic issues related to business modelling, digital transformation and internationalization. In total, SCIL collaborates with 40+ companies across Europe. Next to René’s academic accomplishments, he also co-founded several companies, for instance an online platform for social carsharing, a start-up for flight refunds, and an e-Health company.


In my research I focus on business models, topics that I am interested in are business model innovation based on patterns, business model internationalization, as well digital transformation. I am particularly interested in smart city related industries, e.g. mobility, energy, IoT.

Research Field: Business Model Innovation

Business model patterns, path dependence, institutional influences.

Research Field: International Business

Global technology trajectories and international business.

Research Field: Digital Transformation

Digital mindsets, growth-hacking, patterns.

Presentation of Research

In this TEDx talk I present my vision of business model innovation in the future, based on a configurational perspective, using patterns.


I teach and give workshops in degree, executive and corporate programs. These focus mostly on themes at the intersection of innovation, strategy, international business and digital.

Smart City Workshop

For one of our corporate partners we developed a custom program, focused on smart cities, business model innovation and implementation. In this video you see the result of the program.


Business Model Innovation, Managing in an International Context, Digital Business


International Strategy, Sustainable Business

Executive Education

Strategy, Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship & New Technologies

Keynote Speaker & Corporate Coach

As the director of the Smart City Innovation Lab at Católica-Lisbon, I have been invited to give talks and organize workshops globally for diverse audiences, e.g. TEDx, Smart City Conferences, Brisa Summit, MIT, Babson.

Educational Entrepreneur

In addition to my academic endeavors, I am engaged as an investor, partner, or advisor in several companies. At the moment, my largest hobby is the Smart Business Modeler, an intelligent venture-creation platform, where I am the founder.