The Univations Investforum Pitch-Day 2017 took place recently in Halle at the ERDGAS Sportpark, with the attendance of 26 start-ups who successfully pitched their business models to 70 investors.

In the past, start-ups were able to convince venture capital funds and business angels to invest sums ranging from 100.000 to 5 Million Euro into their business ideas. Now, however, for entrepreneurs who look for start-up capital the market can be rather competitive, for there are a lot more creative ideas and and investors have to spend a lot more time to assess success factors before they put money into new opportunities. Investforum Pitch-Day 2017 was marked as one of the platforms where competitive minds and investors with questions are brought together for an exiting marathon.

The event mainly focuses on companies that are still in the seed or early start-up phase – a typical period where innovative companies in Germany have problems to raise capital. As such, Investforum has become one of the main matching events for innovative start-ups in the new German States during the past years.

Daniel Worch, CEO of Univations and as such responsible for the event, took the chance to present the Erasmus+ project Embedding Entrepreneurship Education to the participating guests. Due to the presence of high-quality start-ups, the event naturally has not only attracted investors, but also start-up coaches as well as trainers involved in entrepreneurial education from all over Germany – target group of the intellectual resources developed within EEE.

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.

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 intention to startup has 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 Tiroland the regional chamber of commerce. National and international cooperation partners support the Summer School: Falling Walls LabTEC Alpbach Technology SymposionGlobal Incubator NetworkICONSSpectrumand 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.

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.

Prof. Ebersberger recently gave an interview about inspiration and innovation to Christoph Kristandl from the Red Bulletin in the course of the MIT Europe Conference.

He tried to answer the question what innovation actually means and why it has become so extremely fashionable within the last time, also talking about his own experience and how he succeeds in being innovative.

Dr. Peter Schwazer, Head of MCI’s Marketing and Communication Department and Prof. Ebersberger attended the MIT Europe Conference in Vienna in March 2017 where international researchers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and technology experts met at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) to talk about ‘Technological Leaps vs. Strategic Steps.’

MCI Innolab was launched in Mid May in cooperation with EEE Project, CAST and Startup.Tirol, in Innsbruck, Tyrol.

It is realised as a Boot Camp with 8 participating teams which work together with lecturers and experts in order to learn more about commercialising inventions and starting up a company. Until mid/end of June 2017 all teams will be coached and mentored individually with the aim to foster their entrepreneurial ideas and visions.

The Boot Camp approach was adopted as a tool out of the Entrepreneurship Toolkit in the course of the EEE Project initiative which is currently in progress. Accordingly, MCI is implementing and thereby prototyping the module ‘Boot Camp’ which has been developed for the course of the EEE Project project.

The Innovation Lab (Innolab) 2017 at MCI is a first initiative in cooperation with the Startup.Tirol and the EEE Project Regional Alliance development. Currently the board of Startup.Tirol is agreeing on a common event calendar which should capture and summarise all relevant events and activities in the field of entrepreneurship throughout the region of Tyrol. Furthermore, MCI is planning the National Launch Event which will be most probably realised together with the ‘Standortagentur Tirol’ and possible also Startup.Tirol in early Fall 2017.

Univations participates in DAAD Workshop to bring EEE dissemination to the next level

On 27.04.2017 Mr. Florian Bratzke, European Project Officer at EEE Partner Univations GmbH, joined an one day PR workshop organised by German Academic Exchange Service DAAD in Bonn. During the workshop, innovative techniques for dissemination of project progress and results have been introduced to German Erasmus+ consortium leaders and partners. Going along with the high internal quality standards set to guarantee the project’s success, EEE partners agreed to intensify their efforts to disseminate project related outcomes. The insights from the DAAD workshop will support EEE partner to life up to this goal.

 

Univations prepares for German National Launch of EEE

On May 5th, Daniel Worch, CEO of EEE Partner Univations GmbH, has met with representatives from Saxony-Anhalt EU-Service-Agency to discuss the German EEE national launch which will take the 21stof November 2017 in Halle. During this high-level one-day-conference, participants from HEIs, VETs, Business and the political scene will be introduced to the main outcomes of EEE asked for productive feedback to improve the open educational resources. As the event will be organised in conjunction with Saxony-Anhalt EU-Service-Agency, EEE related subjects will be also part of the agenda and presented by guest speakers. One of the main speakers will be Mr. David Fenners, Policy Officer for Research & Innovation, State Aid & Procurement and Regional Policy at the Representation of the State of Saxony-Anhalt to the EU. Univations will host the event at the heart of Technology Parc Weinberg Campus.

 

Successful 3rd stakeholder meeting of EEE Regional Alliance in Halle

The German branch of the EEE consortium has met for the 3rd Regional Alliance Stakeholder Meeting on 18.05.2017 in Magdeburg, capital city of Saxony-Anhalt. After a short introductory note from Univations CEO Daniel Worch, Stakeholders were introduced to the latest developments within EEE and informed about the German EEE National Launch taking place 21.11.2017 at Technology Parc Weinberg Campus in Halle. One part of the event the was also dedicated to Prof. Dr. Graham Hortons Founders Playbook, which has the potential to ideally complement the EEE Teaching Toolkit when it comes to the point where students actually want to start-up a company. Prof. Horten explicitly asked participants to contribute their expertise to the Playbook, a process the EEE consortium has started as well with the pilot testing of the first module from the EEE teaching toolkit during the MLU Gründerservice Entrepreneurship week in May. As a matter of fact, stakeholders of the 3rd EEE alliance meeting agreed to intensify cooperation in the next months in order to draft a set of joint actions for improving entrepreneurship education in the region.