Archive of European Projects

A European University-Business Alliance aiming to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of ICT students
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

“One becomes an entrepreneur not by birth but by education as well as by experience” Context/background: Our project, ICT ENTREPRENEUR, aims to develop an innovative entrepreneurship programme for ICT students/graduates across Europe, offering these young people an insight of the working environment, helping them in developing their transversal skills and providing a new professional path to them. Our decision to focus only on ICT students/graduates stems from the fact that ICT is the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth for national economies around the world. Digital enterprises are characterised by a high intensity of utilisation of novel digital technologies (particularly social, big data, mobile and cloud solutions). They create the jobs and growth opportunities of the future, improve people's lives and build better societies. These companies reshape traditional industries and transform the business environment, from fashion to automotive, from transport and logistics to energy distribution. They develop and bring faster to market innovative products and services that it was impossible to think about before. A report presented in Brussels in February 2014 argues that by 2018 the European app sector could employ 4.8 million people and contribute €63 billion to the EU economy. Thus we need to invest and align our efforts on a European level towards this direction. Currently, the huge potential of ICT and all the forms of innovation and entrepreneurship that it enables, still remains to be taped upon by European entrepreneurs. Thus our project aims to develop an entrepreneurship programme specifically for young people with an ICT background. This programme will be developed following extensive research on the topic, focusing particularly on the current needs of ICT students and the existing entrepreneurship programmes offered across Europe in order to identify the limitations, gaps and weaknesses of existing programmes. Project Objectives: -Enhance scientific entrepreneurship levels within EU Universities, decreasing over the long-term youth unemployment and boosting job creation and growth -ICT ENTREPRENEUR will enhance ICT entrepreneurship levels in the EU, inspire potential entrepreneurs, encourage new and innovative businesses to offer the products and services of the future in the market. -Spark and support new business ideas within digital technologies and boost their successful commercialisation to the market through the ICT Business Competition event; Number and profile of participants: 7 expert organisations from 5 EU countries, including 2 North EU countries that will transfer their experience and best practice to 3 South EU countries. 100 ICT students/graduates (20 in each country) will take part in our pilot testing programmes and the transnational job shadowing activities. The top 5 participants from each country will take part in the final ICT Entrepreneurship Academy and Business Competition event, that will be organised in Cyprus, giving them the opportunity to interact with each other, exchange experiences and ideas, understand important multicultural issues and present their business ideas in front of a panel of investors/business angels. More than 35 mentors (successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople) will be involved in our pilot testing programme. It is expected that through our dissemination activities and our media campaign (including traditional and new media) more than 500,000 people will be informed about our project at EU level. Main activities/methodology: 1) State of the art and needs analysis: By identifying the strengths, weaknesses, gaps and best practices of existing entrepreneurship programmes, a unique and top quality programme will emerge. 2) Prepare the first version of the ICT ENTREPRENEUR programme. 3) This will be pilot tested in 5 EU countries (CY, DE, PT, ES, UK) 4) All participants will give feedback about the quality of the training programme, through the use of two questionnaires. Also the trainers and the External Advisory Board members will give their suggestions for further improvement. 5) The final version of the ICT ENTREPRENEUR Programme will be provided in hard copy and online. 6) The top 5 participants from each country will participate in the final ICT Entrepreneurship Academy and Business Competition. 7) A media campaign will be implemented, with many dissemination activities across Europe, directly reaching our main target groups. Results and impact envisaged: Develop entrepreneurial skills to 100 ICT students/graduates across Europe and assist them in starting their own companies. -Offer a new training course for accelerators, incubators, universities, etc. -Opening up new learning opportunities through the practical application of entrepreneurial skills. -Serve as a best practice example and a training model for Strategic Partnerships and other EU initiatives within the entrepreneurship area.
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