On the 2nd March 2018, interested students were invited to attend a Q&A kick-off event dedicated to MCI Creativity Award 2018. The event took place at ‘BASE EINS’, a startup hub in front of the Tyrolean State Theatre in Innsbruck, and was organized by MCI in collaboration with Startup.Tirol, the centerpiece of the EEE Regional Alliance in Tyrol. During this event, the students has a chance to learn every detail of how to prepare for a business competition based on the corresponding module ‘Idea Competition’ in the EEE Teaching Toolkit.

The module ‘Idea Competition’, freely accessible here, is designed primarily for the individuals experimenting with entrepreneurial activities for the first time. It has the aim to foster entrepreneurial ideas coming from different fields and supports also individuals who have not yet made experiences with entrepreneurship or management before, in sharing, spreading and eventually also commercializing their ideas. HEI educators can use the materials of the course to enrich the existing or create new entrepreneurship education courses.

The idea competition module consists of two parts. The aim of part one is to give an overview on how an idea competition could look like, how such competition might be structured and organized. The purpose of part two of this idea competition module is to support students in preparing for a successful participation in an idea competition.

In addition to module ‘Idea Competition’, EEE Teaching Toolkit offers two more modules: Course 1: Improving Entrepreneurial Skills, and Course 3: Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship, which are freely available at our Resource Platform.

 

A practical approach has been introduced at the University of Szeged, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, to teach and encourage students from different disciplines to become entrepreneurs.

The course promoting entrepreneurial thinking has taken place in the international Erasmus+ framework. One of the most important missions of the European Union is to encourage the younger generation to become entrepreneurs. Therefore, university students, who represent a high proportion of the young generation, provide an excellent basis to whom entrepreneurship can be promoted.

Why exactly in Szeged?

The University of Szeged is one of the biggest Hungarian universities. There are 25,000 students studying different sciences at its 12 Faculties. Not only the students from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration can become entrepreneurs. It is becoming more and more important that students from other disciplines gain insight into entrepreneurship. Due to the diversity of disciplines at the University of Szeged and the successful Master’s Business Development training program at the Faculty of Economics, the experimental course has good foundations to be implemented in the future.

Novelty of the course: the attractiveness of entrepreneurial examples

The traditional university programmes are based on a course or seminar, where instructors teach and students take notes. At the end of each semester, students take the appropriate tests. Though more and more courses in the topic of becoming entrepreneurs leave the traditional teaching method behind, they do not always prove to be successful. The organizers of this new course tried to rethink the traditional teaching model based on their previous experiences.

Students could apply with a covering letter and with an introduction of an entrepreneurial idea. The aim of the organizers was to attract only those students, who are serious about becoming entrepreneurs and are willing to take part in courses for their professional development. They wanted to deter those students, who would only have participated in the course for collecting additional credits.

Regarding teachers, organizers invited those people, who are entrepreneurs themselves and have a practice in teaching, or they included those teachers, who have real and first-hand experience on the market. Therefore, they would be able to transfer their own market experience to students. Entrepreneurs and teachers have both participated in the organisation and implementation. Almost 30 entrepreneurs and teachers took part in the course who received a teaching toolkit developed during the EEE course.

From apartment-restaurants to co-working offices

Students worked on 5 project ideas. Based on these ideas, students had to develop and introduce a complete business plan at the end of the semester. Some students had to change the concept of their business, because they had encountered certain problems which could have undermined the basic aim of their enterprise. This happened in case of the co-working office, which was an apartment-restaurant concept originally.

Throughout the course, students worked on the development of a business software, which could monitor the different prices on web shops. Others were concerned with the development of a software, providing financial contribution for animal shelters, while another group worked on a local craft beer manufactory and a social pub-finder application. The final business plans were presented in front of a professional board. The members of the board did not see the completed concepts before. Therefore, they could evaluate the concepts without bias and could provide feedback for the students.

The Facebook page containing the course’s final presentations and pictures can be found on the following link.

 

© All rights on images used in this article belong to University of Szeged, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

 

The Teaching Toolkit is one of the main outputs of the EEE project addressing HEI lecturers and curriculum developers who want to support entrepreneurial teaching efforts in their HEIs. Not only does it incorporate state of the art teaching recommendations and guidelines for a total of 23 modules, but also provides three full courses on Entrepreneurship Education. Moreover, it is structurally aligned to the progressive Entrepreneurship Competence Framework that was developed and introduced by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in 2016.

On 14th December 2017, one of the modules of the Entrepreneurship Education Toolkit was piloted by the Start-Up Service of Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg as part of a lecture series on key qualifications for entrepreneurial thinking and acting. The piloted module, “Opportunities”, explores the trends as a source of inspiration to find the possibilities for entrepreneurial activities and the development of high-potential business ideas that may ultimately lead students to start up their own company. The module proposes the reading material and theoretical tasks for students, and highlights the topics for discussion for the trend analysis. The module conveniently offers the sources for the educators to exemplify and enhance students’ theoretical understanding of “entrepreneurial opportunities”, as well as suggestions for assessment.

The module has received positive feedback from both educators and students who participated in the lecture series. EEE representatives welcomed the valuable feedback received after the completion of the pilot test and will use it to further optimize the existing version of the EEE Teaching Toolkit.

 

©all rights on logo used in the image belong to the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

Cultivating entrepreneurial spirit across different layers of the society is a communal act, which requires engagement of various local actors including e.g. academic institutions, entrepreneurs, governmental bodies, and NGOs among others. In the scope of the EEE project, higher education institutions (HEIs) are placed in the centre, to bring together these local stakeholders to raise awareness, and create a joint comprehensive approach to develop, implement and institutionalize entrepreneurship education in the universities. Within the project’s timespan thus far, three alliances have been formed: in Halle/Saale, Germany; in Tyrol region, Austria; and in Szeged, Hungary, in a process led by the major universities of each region. Embedding Entrepreneurship Education Roadmap is the product of these efforts, as a toolkit that records the experiences and the lessons learnt, as well as providing a set of resources to help other regions establish an Entrepreneurship Education Alliance.

Embedding Entrepreneurship Education Roadmap offers a 10-step guideline on how to design, implement and coordinate joint educational and promotional entrepreneurial programmes. From the practical tips on establishing a coordinating body of the alliance, to the specific ways of monitoring the execution and sustainability of the whole programme, this toolkit explains in detail how to potentially organize a long-term interaction between higher education institutions, entrepreneurs and other actors, who are passionate about the growth of regional entrepreneurship.

The Roadmap illustrates how business and academic sectors can cooperate to achieve a connected approach to teach and promote entrepreneurship via practical examples based on three well-realized Regional Alliances. Thus, despite its primary focus on HEIs, the Roadmap can serve other academic, business or government actors engaged in entrepreneurship education. These good practices have utilized a variation of techniques and processes in their establishment and operation. The University of Szeged, Hungary exemplifies how an alliance can be built around the faculty, Univations GmbH, Germany shows how an alliance can form around an affiliated institute, and Management Center Innsbruck, Austria demonstrates how a new alliance can be developed around an existing one. Certainly, there is no single right path or a practice that can be directly replicated. Yet, with the given tools and examples, the Embedding Entrepreneurship Education Roadmap aims to foster implementation of the model in other European regions, reinterpreted within their own contexts.

On November 30, 2017 Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences opened its doors for the 6th stakeholder meeting of the EEE regional alliance in Halle/Saale, Germany. In addition to discussing further strategies for strengthening the co-operation within the alliance, the regional EEE project’s stakeholders were introduced to the latest version of the Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit – a compilation of effective methodological and functional approaches to embed entrepreneurship in the academic curriculum design. 

The Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit offers a variety of possibilities to improve students’ entrepreneurial skills and allows for academics’ creativity in curriculum design through its modular structure. The developed modules – hence tools – focus on fostering students’ individual entrepreneurial competences to support innovative thinking and start-up creation both in theory and practice. Moreover, the toolkit includes course materials and case studies that can be customized for student-business and social entrepreneurship courses. The Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit also promotes external engagement and involvement of the business sector in educational programs at higher education institutions.  The online version of the toolkit can be accessed here.

The toolkit has received positive feedback from EEE project regional stakeholders. In fact, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences currently aims to revisit curricular content to incorporate entrepreneurship education course modules and related learning outcomes into selected programmes. In this respect, EEE project has noticeably promoted the awareness and motivation to incorporate entrepreneurial education in academic curricula for this specific institution. The next step will be an establishment of the constructive dialogue among the internal university stakeholders on potential integration of EEE project resources into the teaching activities of the university. The EEE team of Univations GmbH has agreed to support this dialogue by further promoting the toolkit and explaining its underlying methodology to relevant stakeholders.

Hungarian venture capital agency Creative Accelerator and INPUT organised a competition called “Creative Pitching Day” for startups to promote their project ideas and attract investors’ attention. One of the most promising projects of the EEE Entrepreneurship Course, PriceMind, has been selected among the 6 most attractive project ideas to be presented to the investors, at the event that took place on the 16th of November. 

The team is working on a marketing service that could yield significant statistical insights for companies into their competitors’ prices. The software monitors the prices in the competitors’ webshops and collects these data into tables and figures. This information could help to making better pricing decisions.

In recent weeks, significant development in the software has been carried out. Thus, the mentors suggested the team to submit their project idea to the competition, that is not only an idea any more.  At the end of the selection process, PriceMind has been selected and had the opportunity to demonstrate their project concept to a board of potential investors.

Although none of the participants received investment offer, taking part in the Creative Pitching Day gave the team new impetus and provided significant insights from the investors’ point of view. PriceMind is now searching for potential users, who will use the software for 2-3 months test period. Negotiations with 3 companies has been started. During this phase the team expect feedback from users to further improve their software and validate the concept. Hopefully, their service will be available for a wider range of companies soon.

 

Univations successfully pilot-tested one of the EEE Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit course modules, the business model canvas during the Entrepreneurship Summer School “Geist 21”. Organised by the ThermHex Waben GmbH, one of the leading lightweight composition material producers in Halle, the event Geist 21 hosted a large number of participants from diverse backgrounds, e.g. engineering, business studies, design, and IT who has interest in new materials and the desire to found an enterprise. The international nature of the program has attracted an enthusiastic audience from across the world, including India, Iran, and Egypt.

Concerning further exploitation of the Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit, the collaboration continues with Martin-Luther-University (MLU) for the piloting off the EEE teaching modules. In fact, the EEE regional alliance Halle now focuses on the start of the winter term in Saxony-Anhalt in which EEE resources might be integrated into regular teaching activities as well as into the program of the upcoming Entrepreneurship week from 13.11.-17.11.2017. The University staff have already signalled their will to use resources of the EEE Teaching Toolkit, and by this support to further support the entrepreneurship promotion campaign of EEE that will be launched at the beginning of the next year.

Furthermore, the EEE team Halle upholds its efforts to enlarge the regional alliance for entrepreneurship education in Saxony-Anhalt. Florian Bratzke, European Project Officer at Univations GmbH, met with officials from the University of Applied Sciences Merseburg in September to introduce EEE objectives as well as to discuss possible ways of involvement in the regional alliance. Furthermore, Mr. Bratzke took chance to discuss the content and structure of the EEE Teaching Toolkit with the present HEI teaching staff as well as the idea of a state-wide entrepreneurship summer camp. In fact, Dr. Henn – Head of start-up service – explicitly pronounced her interest to further deepen the cooperation with EEE team of Univations to foster entrepreneurial aspiration of students and to better equip HEI staff with high-quality resources to facilitate their efforts in entrepreneurial teaching.

Officials from University of Applied Sciences Merseburg have agreed to check possible ways to support the piloting of EEE resources by integrating them into the entrepreneurial teaching activities of the start-up service in the upcoming winter term.

5 teams, 26 students and 10 mentors started to work on project ideas that aim to enhance higher entrepreneurial endeavours in the region. The EEE course was promoted at 12 faculties at the University of Szeged, and receiving a positive feedback from several influential media in the region. After the application there were a small drop-out, but the most enthusiastic students stayed to create entrepreneurial value.

In previous months, students had to submit a motivational letter – including their motivations and project ideas if they already had – in order to apply for the course. Finally, the applicants were grouped into 5 teams, then the project ideas were selected and presented by the students in the middle of September.

There are more developed project concepts and less developed ideas as well, thus some of the matured projects have the possibility to reach market introduction within 1 year. These projects are briefly summarised blow:

Craft beer producer

One of the team members produces craft beer in a regular basis, but in a small amount. His idea is to establish a craft beer brand that suits the need of young people and will fulfill a market niche –quality craft beer at an affordable price. They will prepare a plan for the budget because in the first step the producer has to invest to equipment, then they will work on how to position this local craft beer on the market.

In-house restaurant

The main concept is to combine the advantages of preparing food at home and the benefits of eating in a restaurant. The team wants to open a restaurant in a flat that will host closed gastro events for those who wants to invite friends and/or relatives for special occasions. The team believes that, people do not like to clean their apartments after an event, thus they rather go to a „kitchen flat” where they just have to prepare food but do not have to wash the dishes after the event or spend time on buying the ingredients for the dinner.

PriceMind

The team is working on a marketing service that could yield significant statistical insights for companies into their competitors’ prices. The software monitors the prices in the competitors’ webshops and collects these data into tables and figures. This information could help to making better pricing decisions.

PubSearcher

This peer-to-peer smart phone application is entitled to collect all information – regarding reviews, promotions, opening hours, etc. – relating to pubs in a local area. The goal is to help people to make decisions when they are planning their Friday or Saturday nights. The business model will provide revenues for the developers from the pubs’ financial contributions.

Donations for homeless-animals

The goal of this social entrepreneurship project is to help stray animals to find a new home and to find pet friendly people in order to gain financial resource for animal shelters. The smart phone application and/or website would help non-business organizations to reach higher audiences in the country, furthermore it lets people to adopt animals virtually and contribute to their living costs. The team hopes that this online tool will decrease the number of stray animals on the streets and can mediate in a higher efficiency between orphaned animals and pet friendly people.

EEE partnership and La Trobe University of Melbourne, Australia have signed a MoU to collaborate in the field of entrepreneurship education.

The EEE consortium has been contacted by Dr. Silvia McCormack of La Trobe University in May 2017 leading to first successful talks between representatives of either sides shortly afterwards. La Trobe University has recently introduced a rather progressive approach for the integration of entrepreneurship education among all its faculties. As a matter of fact, the components of innovation and entrepreneurship, global citizenship, and sustainability thinking, referred to as “Three Essentials”, have become part of regular course curriculum ever since then. [1]

In her function as Academic Coordinator (coursework) at the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce, Dr McCormack was highly involved in the theoretical development as well as the operational implementation of this approach inside her institution. Given La Trobe`s leading role in the field of entrepreneurship education, the consortium unanimously agreed to propose an associate partnership within EEE. La Trobe officials have equally expressed their interest to exchange best-practice experiences and intellectual resources to foster entrepreneurial aspirations and efforts of students and staff in the involved HEIs.

While the formalization of the partnership was in progress, the EEE team of Management Center Innsbruck has had the pleasure to welcome Dr. McCormack from La Trobe University in Innsbruck already last month. Among others, the institutional approaches for entrepreneurship education pursued at La Trobe and MCU were discussed during this first fruitful meeting. Additionally, MCI officials presented Dr. McCormack the first draft of the EEE Teaching Toolkit – a bundle of high-quality teaching material on entrepreneurship addressing HEI lecturers. In the meantime, La Trobe and EEE officials have mutually signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement that will allow to further deepen ties between all stakeholders in the months ahead.

Mutual benefits

Given the obvious high potentials to positively contribute to the success of the project, the EEE consortium is strongly convinced of the mutual benefits that will result from the collaboration between EEE and La Trobe. In fact, both sides decided to intensify talks in the upcoming months to identify further areas of collaboration. Apart from jointly discussing and piloting EEE project outputs as well as exchange best-practices experiences, the collaboration with La Trobe University may as well be the impetus to initiate new projects in the field of entrepreneurship education involving all EEE partnering institutions soon.

 

[1] McCormack, S., Scanlon, C. (2017 in press). Integrating innovation and entrepreneurship into all undergraduate courses: The case of one university in Australia. In Nygard, C. (Ed), Teaching of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Libri Publsihing, London.

IECT (Institute for Entrepreneurship Cambridge–Tirol) a trusted partner in the Startup Tirol Alliance has recently completed their international Summer School program on entrepreneurship, ran between 17th – 23rd August, 2017.

27 international scientists with entrepreneurial ideas, and the intentions to launch a startup have participated in this one-week intensive program. The program was composed of an inspiring blend of lectures, courses, workshops, and mentoring sessions to help the participants turning their ideas into reality. The IECT Summer School has shown that when different actors in the regional eco-system play together and use international linkages great impact can be achieved.

The Summer School was developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge and the European Forum Alpbach. It is hosted by the Werkstätte Wattens and sponsored by the Standortagentur Tirol and the regional chamber of commerce. National and international cooperation partners support the Summer School: Falling Walls Lab, TEC Alpbach Technology Symposion, Global Incubator Network, ICONS, Spectrum, and Management Center Innsbruck.

EEE project’s Bernd Ebersberger of MCI has contributed to the Summer School with a session on Markets & Competition on Saturday August 19.