University of Szeged recently held its second alliance meeting with the participation of representatives from local businesses and entrepreneurs. The meeting fostered strengthening the ties among the alliance members, marked by an action plan signed by the USZ EEE Project management and the attendees. 

During the first meeting, USZ offered several opportunities for the stakeholders, mostly local entrepreneurs, to take part in the EEE Entrepreneurship semester course that will run from September to December.

After the first meeting, attendants of the meeting were sent out a needs assessment questionnaire, as well the participants who could not attend but express their interest, in which they were able to indicate their expressions of interest and the form of involvement.

Based on the feedback from this assessment questionnaire, USZ finalised the program of the course by defining:

  • List of persons involved
  • Tasks undertaken by involved parties
  • Offered educational program elements, e.g. topic of lectures, tasks of students and call for competition.

During the second alliance meeting, together with the participating entrepreneurs, University of Szeged confirmed this program and signed an Action Plan that demonstrated the mutual commitment from all the parties involved in the project. The discussions lead to collaborative efforts among the business leaders and entrepreneurs to form bonds that will potentially live beyond the project.

The next step – the third alliance meeting – will take place in early September, when all the practical details will be finalised about the involvement of the stakeholders, and the EEE entrepreneurship semester course can be launched.

The first round of application for the EEE course at the University of Szeged has been finalised on 31st of May. The EEE course was promoted at 12 faculties at the university and received a positive response from several media. The promotional campaign was supported by the leading economist journal in Hungary as well as by the most influential local TV and radio stations.

The students had to submit a motivational letter as the application to the course that had to include the following questions and answers: why do the applicants want to join the EEE course, what are their expectations and if they have, what are the ideas that they want to further develop during the EEE course?

The Hungarian organisers plan to hold the course with maximum 10 project ideas that the students will work on during the whole semester: 1 project idea – 1 team and 3 mentors (1 entrepreneur, 1 professor and 1 student from a business MA program). During the first recruitment round 8 ideas have been selected based on the information provided by the applicants. Most of the applicants represent more or less application-oriented scientific disciplines, but most of the applicants have not taken part in business education yet, thus they expect to improve their entrepreneurial skills and experiences relating to how to start a business. The students are studying natural and formal sciences (informatics, mathematics, geography, biology), engineering (mechanical engineer, food engineering) and a few of them social sciences (psychology).

The submitted project ideas also cover various topics, typically small and medium sized business ideas as well as online selling (online advertising, fishing webshop, etc.), gastro businesses (brewery, healthy foods, etc.), financial services and agriculture. Some of the applicants already took steps to establish a company.

The second round of the recruitment campaign will start in late August during the regular course-application period in the University.  If more valuable project ideas will be received, then the organisers will consider to create new teams or merge project ideas that cover similar topics, but the main focus will be to fulfil the teams with other members providing diversity.

 

Pilot testing of EEE Teaching Modules at MCI during Innolab Boot Camp

On 3rd May 2017 the MCI Innolab in cooperation with EEE project, CAST, I.E.C.E.T, and the Startup.Tirol was launched in Innsbruck, Tyrol.

During a six week Boot Camp MCI students had the possibility to work on and to bring forward their entrepreneurial ideas to the next level. With the professional support from coaches and experts from MCI, CAST, I.E.C.E.T., and Startup.Tirol eight participating student teams worked together in order to learn more about commercializing inventions, and starting up a company. All teams had been coached and mentored individually to foster their entrepreneurial ideas and visions.

The Boot Camp approach was adopted as a tool out of the Entrepreneurship Toolkit and included among others the module on Business Model Canvas. On 4th July 2017 at the end of the Innolab the teams presented their ideas and concepts during a pitching event. The best three teams had the possibility to participate in the I.E.C.T. (Institute for Entrepreneurship Cambridge-Tirol) Summer School organized by Herman Hauser and his team. The I.E.C.T. international Summer School program on entrepreneurship has been held from 17th to 23rd August 2017, where a number of 27 international inventors with entrepreneurial ideas and the intention to launch a start-up have participated.

The Innolab at MCI was a first initiative in cooperation with Startup.Tirol and the EEE Regional Alliance development.

Pilot testing of EEE Teaching Modules at MCI during Innopun(s)ch workshop

On 1st December 2017 MCI and Werkstaette Wattens organized the Innopun(s)ch workshop at ‘Base EINS’, the temporary start-up hub in the center of Innsbruck. The Werkstaette Wattens is an international business and creative center for founders, start-ups, and service providers at various stages of development, focusing on technology, innovation, and the creation of regional value and sustainable growth.

During this event 20 participants with different backgrounds in entrepreneurship came together to discuss the latest topics in the field of innovation management. A special focus has been laid on interactivity and practice to not only understand, but even more to ‘feel’, ‘experience’ and ‘touch’ innovation. In this context modules from the Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit such as the Marshmallow Challenge and Collaboration Game have been introduced and tested.

 

©all rights on images used in this article belong to MCI

 

 

Univations strengthens ties with their major alliance partner Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) on the pilot teaching of the EEE entrepreneurship course modules. On behalf of their 2nd regional alliance meeting on 30.03.2017 at MLU, Univations discussed EEE goals and strategies with Prof. Dr. Claudia Becker – Dean of the Economics and Law Faculty.

At the meeting held with Prof. Dr. Claudia Becker, Dean of the Economics and Law Faculty, the project team was assured to receive the faculties support in helping the EEE consortium to pilot test the learning resources that will be developed throughout the course of the project. Furthermore, Prof. Becker agreed to become an active member in the EEE Halle Alliance, emphasizing her will to assist Univations to carry EEE initiatives into MLU. During the meeting it was further agreed to work closely together with the Start-Up Service of MLU and to intensify efforts to extend the EEE stakeholder network of the regional alliance in the next months. Due to her expertise, experience and position as Dean, Prof. Becker will be a key figure for identifying and recruiting high potential MLU staff and students, who are able to positively contribute to the EEE mission.

 

The second alliance event in the line after Halle, Szeged Regional Alliance meeting has brought together higher education professionals and the representatives of regional firms to identify possible methods of cooperation and plan the upcoming steps in the EEE entrepreneurship course development and implementation.

Szeged Regional Alliance kick-off meeting successfully took place on 9 March 2017 in the premises of University of Szeged (USZ) in the leadership of the project team Dr. Norbert Buzás, Dr. Szabolcs Prónay, and Sándor Huszár. The event hosted more than 20 business partners who are interested in investing in their experience and knowledge in the EEE Project entrepreneurship course development, implementation, and the promotion activities in cooperation with the USZ teaching staff.

The meeting has identified the following steps regarding the involvement of the business representatives and student selection as (i) registering the exact role and contribution of the external partners, i.e. holding a lecture, mentoring a team, offering a business problem in the entrepreneurship courses, a discussion that will be finalized in late March and (ii) carrying out a well-defined recruitment process that will target the right group of students who will benefit from the teaching program the most, particularly those who are enthusiastic about the topic to put in practice what they have learned.

The next alliance meeting is agreed to take place in the month of June.

 

Halle Regional Alliance meeting facilitated introduction of the EEE Project to the entrepreneurship program management at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), as well as calling for support for the promotion and teaching of the EEE entrepreneurship courses at different platforms in the university.

The first Halle Regional Alliance meeting took place on 23 February with the participation of the representatives from Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Univations EEE Project team. The meeting served the project team to introduce the EEE Project to the entrepreneurship education program coordinators at MLU, as well as calling for support from the university leadership in the teaching of the EEE entrepreneurship courses. The participants defined the preliminary steps as the generation of a sound strategy on how to promote entrepreneurship teaching among the MLU academic staff and identify suitable platforms to pilot-teach the entrepreneurship course modules to MLU students.

Suggestions for the possible teaching platforms included ‘MLU Startup Week 2017’, an entrepreneurship campaign supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the nationwide initiative called ‘Gründerwoche Deutschland’, Startup Week Germany. The event that will take place from 8th – 13th May 2017 this year is expected to bring together students, scientists and entrepreneurs in the region within a program that will include excursions, trainings, workshops, informative lectures and networking events.

The project team has scheduled in the next days a follow-up meeting with the MLU Faculty of Economy and Law to discuss the concrete steps to be taken in the promotion and teaching of the entrepreneurship courses.

 

The design and content of IO3 Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkits were in the spotlight during the February monthly briefing meeting, as well as the exciting news on the 1st Alliance Meetings taking place in Halle and Szeged in the months of February and March.

The discussions initiated in the leadership of Prof. Bernd Ebersberger from the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) helped outline a draft framework on how to design and implement the entrepreneurship courses at the individual universities. The proposal from the institution included creating 12-15 independent modules with the themes in the scope of entrepreneurship that could either be taught during a semester as one single course, or combined in a customized manner to be taught at summer schools. Idea competition bootcamps, introduction to regional ecosystems, characteristics and motivations of entrepreneurs, games and competitions are some of the module themes that will be sequenced under (i) Entrepreneurship course and (ii) Social entrepreneurship course. The example course layout suggested by the MCI was well received from the partners, with more details agreed to be discussed in the following partner meetings.

While the entrepreneurship course details are taking shape, regional alliances are being formed to start conversations in their respective contexts. Univations has led their first successful regional alliance meeting with a small group from Martin-Luther-University Halle, and USZ, has scheduled their first alliance meeting on the 9th of March with the attendance of representatives from local businesses and academics. The EEE project will gain further visibility through a presentation on entrepreneurship Dr. Szabolcs Prónay will give at a large youth event in Szeged scheduled on the 18th of March.

The next briefing meeting is agreed be held on the 20th of the next month.