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.

Irene Breen, a current MBA student at Queen’s University Belfast and a BSc Architecture (2002) graduate, has seen off competition from over 2,000 entries from across the UK to win the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award for her fledgling business ‘BellaMoon’.

Ms Breen was in London last month to collect the prize which includes £20,000 of equity-free seed funding, mentoring from one of the judges at the national final, support from Talent Cupboard and a fully funded intern.

Launched in 2011, the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards have grown to be the UK’s largest student and graduate business pitching competition offering important support to budding entrepreneurs. So far, more than £260,000 has been awarded to graduate start-ups and small businesses through the initiative.

Irene’s winning business BellaMoon, was in the ‘Pre-revenue’ category, defined as a ‘business focusing on ideation, discovery and business validation with minimal sales generated if any’. BellaMoon is currently going through user testing at University of Durham Infant Sleep lab. It is a unique multi-functional baby breast-feeding and co-sleeping bed, pregnancy pillow and baby dock, which Irene is planning to bring to market.

Speaking at the special presentation event, which hosted students from universities and colleges across the country, Nathan Bostock, Santander UK’s CEO, stressed the importance of supporting higher education. He said: “At Santander we recognise the importance of encouraging young entrepreneurs, particularly amongst university students, and we are committed to supporting them every step of the way. We were impressed with the talent, determination and creative thinking showcased today.

To get to the grand final Irene had first to submit a business model canvas and a short video to get shortlisted to the top 30 regional finalists. She then had to travel to Northumbria University to compete against 10 others for a top 2 place in the region before taking part in the London national final where she faced stiff competition from the top 6 (the best 2 out of the three Santander UK regions) challengers. The judging criteria included business mission, purpose and overview, an understanding of potential customers, identification and mitigation of risks and growth strategy.

 Are you an active academic who recognises your students’ potential or a student on the island of Ireland and inspired by Irene’s story? A competition of similar action The 2018 Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards is now open! There is an opportunity any student studying at a Higher Education Institute on the island of Ireland to turn a great idea into a winning project, cash and even a business with over €30,000 in prizes including an overall winner prize of €10,000! Similar to Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards, the competition has three stages: Creating the video and submission of the entry, Proposal of a business plan and Final Judging. Visit the website for more information and registration.


We content of this blog article was provided by Canice Consulting Limited. Inquiries to Canice Hamill: @can_consulting1

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.

Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) successfully introduced EEE project and the first project outputs to the regional entrepreneurial community and wider public at the Innsbruck Startup Festival and the innovation workshop.  

For a day, the old city of Innsbruck transformed itself from a historic neighbourhood to a modern entrepreneurial hub together with The Startup Festival, organized by Startup.Euregio. On 24 November, 2017, the pop-up start-up focal point ‘BASE EINS’ united more than 200 students, investors, start-ups, experts and other individuals passionate about fostering entrepreneurship in Tyrol, South Tyrol and Trentino. As an active participant, Management Center Innsbruck showcased its activities and recent outcomes, which have been well received by the visitors.

‘Innopun(s)ch’ workshop

A week after, on 1 December, 2017, EEE project was highlighted at yet another engaging event – ‘Innopun(s)ch’ workshop by MCI and Werkstaette Wattens. 20 participants from different backgrounds came together to discuss latest topics in the field of innovation management. A special focus has been laid on interactivity and practice to not only understand, but ‘feel’ and ‘touch’ innovation. Modules from the Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit have been employed in order to enrich the workshop and enhance the experience of its participants.

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.

The EEE consortium has concluded its first national launch Weinberg Campus Bio-Zentrum Halle/Saale, Germany on Tuesday 21.11.2017. The high-level event was attended by 40+ participants coming from HEIs, VET provider, state ministries, intermediaries, as well communal bodies and showcased the educational resources developed within the EEE partnership.

In his introductory note, Mr. Bert Arnicke of Bio-Zentrum Halle took chance to highlight the importance of European cooperation projects as EEE for the international recognition and visibility of Weinberg Campus Halle. Furthermore, Mrs. Claudia Zott (Head of EU-Service Agency Saxony-Anhalt and co-host of the event) stretched the point that the European Project is undergoing hard times but is more important than ever for nurturing prosperity and peace in Europe. As such, successful European partnerships like EEE are important not only because of the valuable resources that are developed in such projects but also for establishing strong ties between Europeans on a personal level.

In the plenary session of the national launch Florian Bratzke and Daniel Worch explained EEE targets and educational intentions to the participants as well as how an inter-European project as EEE fits in with the long-term strategy and mission pursued by Univations GmbH. Their presentation was followed by an insight view on current developments of EU policies provided by Dr. David Fenner of the Representation of the State of Saxony-Anhalt to the EU. After the plenary session, the participants were asked to split up into separate work shop groups to detail the discussion about EEE outputs and potential involvements in Erasmus+ funded strategic partnerships. Overall, the EEE representatives received very positive and valuable feedback on each EEE intellectual output. As a matter of fact, participants feedback will be exploited to further ameliorate EEE intellectual outputs which are made available in beta version on the official EEE Learning Platform (http://www.eee-platform.eu/). After participants were given chance to attend both workshops, this part of the national launch was concluded with a qualified workshop summary provided Dr. Susanne Hübner, Head of the Start-Up Service at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg.

At the end of the EEE National Launch Germany, Mrs. Kathrin Hamel of EU Service Agency Saxony-Anhalt took chance to quickly inform all present guests about upcoming funding possibilities in the year 2018 as well to point to the valuable assistance her agency provides for stakeholders interested in getting involved in Erasmus+ as well as other European funded projects and partnerships.

The EEE National Launch in Halle/Saale, Germany has been the first of a series of EEE national multiplier events in Innsbruck (Austria) and Szeged (Hungary). The launch events on national level are a prelude to the international presentation of all EEE resources that will take place alongside the high-level UIIN University Industry Interaction Conference in London from 20-22 June 2018 (https://www.university-industry.com/).


Photo credits: © Jakob Adolphi

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 Entrepeneurship 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.


Management Center Innsbruck launches the EEE project National Event along with one of the liveliest start-up events that will take place in the region. 

To introduce the project to a broader public and to demonstrate the first project outputs, the EEE project MCI team takes part in the upcoming Start-up Festival. This event is organized by Startup.Euregio to showcase the start-up community in Tyrol, South Tyrol and Trentino.

On 24 November 2017, starting at 3pm, the Start-up Festival brings together start-ups, institutions in the start-up ecosystem, and investors at ´the ‘BASE EINS’, a popup start-up hub, close to the State Theater in the heart of Innsbruck.

From 6 pm on the festival moves to the Trade Fair Center in Innsbruck. Two exciting keynote speeches by “accelerators guru” and start-up ecosystem builder Tal Catran, and Cathy White, the founder and director of Cew Communications, and pitches from the finalists of the ‘120 Second Chance’ will be followed by a clubbing event. It will become obvious that entrepreneurs do not only work hard but party hard as well.

For more information on the festival, and registration please visit the website of the event at: http://www.startupeuregio.eu/en/startups/startupfestival