Sérgio Leal Página 1
Assignment: Entrepreneur Interview – Part II (transcripts)
Interviewee: Dr. António Augusto Fernandes
Why have I chosen António Augusto Fernandes?
My 10-year experience in teaching and in education research motivated me to apply my
knowledge in a company related to education and training. In fact, my short term goal is to
create an innovative company in this area, and at this moment Dr. António Augusto Fernandes
is the person with more experience in distance learning platforms in Portugal at this moment.
My goal for this interview
In this interview I am looking for a combination of: information to aid in goal setting; advice
and suggestions; exposure; more referrals; and potential jobs.
Questions (for 40 minutes)
1. What did you have to do to achieve your actual position? (or What job experiences
led you to your present position?)
He has 62 years old and started to work when he was 10 (by that time the minimum
working age allowed was 12 years old).
He worked 2 years in a trading company and then entered in the Commercial and
Industrial School where he attended a night General Course of Trade.
He worked in Tomar in a spinning company. First in the warehouse and then in the
After other occupations he moved to Lisbon to work in a Bank (BES) and decided to
attend, while still working, the Psychology College.
He was invited to take part in the Banking Training Institute (Instituto de Formação
Bancária - IFB) and was responsible for the settling of this institute in countries like
Angola and Mozambique. Years later he mounted its evaluation system.
Meanwhile he attended two master degrees, one in Educational Psychology and other
in Educational Sciences.
Sérgio Leal Página 2
Start learning computer with 17 years old.
In 1999 he competed for a FCT PhD scholarship with a project related to Learning
Styles and Emotional Intelligence. The PhD was held in the University of Madrid.
Meanwhile he was invited to integrate a company in Braga but he left it in 1993 to
start his own company - DLC. It was at this time that he started thinking in form the
platform Netforma that actually exist (all developed in this time).
In the beginning, DLC was a family business that included Dr. António and his wife.
They started by working for the Universidade Católica, for the Instituto de Emprego e
Formação Profissional – IEFP, ad for the Hospital SAMs.
DLC buy 50 % of Vector 21, a company were we works many years and start
developing Netforma platform and later buy the rest of the company.
In 1993, he and Roberto Carneiro (ex-primary minister of Education in Portugal)
founded an Institute at Catolic University which goal could not achieve. The goal is that
Catolic University has an implemented distance learning courses. The Institute closes
four years later.
In 2005/2006 DLC began to assert itself in health courses – a core of 80 physicians was
the key point for this achievement.
DLC starts in 2006 in an office number 12 of the actual building but it was necessary
buy another office. In 2006 there are 8 people and know are 14.
There are three groups of people working in DLC: pedagogues, web designers and
DLC established the first partnership with Intesi. They considered very important
partnerships because DLC don´t have a Commercial Department.
Since 1989 he also wrote several books and articles.
The main goal of DLC is in six months have the world best platform of eLearning.
2. Which particular skills or talents are the most essential to be effective in your job
and how did you learn these skills?
He is an educator by training. In fact, in the last 20-25 years he thought and lived in the
perspective of pedagogy.
His success is due to his vast experience (15 years) in traditional teaching at distance.
That is why he selects three keys to success:
1. Learn – learn – learn: to be successful you have to invest in continuous training (he
has dozens of courses in several areas)
2. Trade relations – a company administrator has to be a great salesman. This is
3. Leadership ability – Additionally, an administrator has to be a great leader too.
4. From your perspective, what are the most frequent problems associated to
learning platforms? (or Which are the biggest problems you faced in association
to distance learning platforms for instance?)
The major problem of learning platforms is that they are designed by systems and
software engineers instead of pedagogues. They are used to build systems and
therefore in their learning platforms there is a total absence of pedagogical models.
Sérgio Leal Página 3
We have to keep in mind that most important than the computer tool are the people
who are in the other side.
5. How do you see the future in education and training? (or From your perspective,
what is going to change in the next years?)
I believe that in the future, personal teaching will work more as “coaching”, as a
The concern shall be how to motivate students. Just like it happens in a company, it is
important to understand the motivations of students/customers to be able to provide
6. Can you suggest me some ways to obtain the necessary experience/knowledge
to work in this field?
The suggestions are the same that he said in question 2.
7. (+ 1) Thank you for this fantastic interview. I have learned a lot. I hope that we
keep in touch. Before I go, could you recommend me to 3 or 4 people that I can
First he said that doesn´t exist interesting people or companies that could really
help in this area because they think like engineers and don´t like pedagogues, what
is a mistake.
He gives me three contacts of University people because they have vision and are
somehow connected with this field (António Andrade and José Lagarto, both of
Catolic University and António Câmara of New Lisbon University and also related
with iDream company).