Project Type Innovationstransfer
Marketing Text The creation of better opportunities for easy and low cost access to continued professional training and advisory services for a specific target group including students, graduates, and people at research and education agencies, inventors and women.
The project aims to create better opportunities for easy and low cost access to continued professional training and advisory services for a specific target group including students, graduates, and people at research and education agencies, inventors and women. ViPiA’s ultimate objective is to strengthen business creation and levels of sustainability in the EU, by increasing the quantity and quality of eligible incubatees. Specifically, the main project aims are:
• To encourage entrepreneurship and innovation through the provision of business training, a virtual learning network and mentoring start-ups, in order to increase business creation and levels of sustainability in the EU.
• To create better opportunities for easy and low cost access to continued professional training and advisory services for a specific target group including students, graduates, people at research and education agencies, inventors and women.
• To develop a new specialized training system based on knowledge and good-practices in the management of high-tech business and to disseminate it across Europe through a multinational training network, seminars and learning materials.
• To facilitate admission to incubation programs by using the on-line sessions, visiting schemes to business incubators, individually designed courses and other didactic materials to cover the needs for training of their staff and/or tenants and start-up enterprises in the technology sector.
To encourage entrepreneurship within scientific and technical university courses. This would help to enhance awareness within the research community of the opportunities that exist to commercialize new scientific developments. Better linkages between businesses and potential entrepreneurs, through apprenticeships or Universities could also be envisaged.
It is widely accepted within the European Union (EU) that future prosperity hinges on the creation of vibrant indigenous businesses that are deeply rooted in the local economy. The Entrepreneurship in Europe Green Paper recognises that the starting point of the journey must be the creation of a more entrepreneurial society. Matched against the EU's competitor economies (i.e. US), relatively few people in Europe start businesses, only a minority of these businesses grow and most of those that do so, only expand slowly.
One of the key determinants for the growth of an entrepreneurial society is the existence of effective support mechanisms to empower private initiatives and nurture new enterprises on their way to sustainability. There are many such support mechanisms available to small firms in their earliest stages of development, the prime one being “business incubation”*. However, assuming that effective incubation services are widely available to start-ups within the EU, there is still a wide gap between the conception of an entrepreneurial plan or idea and the formation of a start-up business that has the credentials to qualify for incubation. The first and foremost requirement is the existence of knowledgeable entrepreneurs who know how to identify business opportunities springing from new technologies and how to start building a sustainable business with good market potential. The prerequisites to successful incubation do not always seem to exist and where they do, they can be improved dramatically, thus upgrading the “quality” of incubatees. There are, for instance, cultural and economic barriers, misconceptions (or simply an absence of knowledge and experience) on what it entails to commercialise technology, inadequate teamwork, under-estimation of the importance of networking and little understanding of proper risk assessment, just to name a few.
The major questions thus seem to be, how can schemes aiming at promotion of spin-offs and start-ups of knowledge intensive enterprises be supported and fostered (USINE 2005)? How can the obstacles that nascent entrepreneurs face in business development be encountered, overcome and finally removed? How can the knowledge-based endeavours be supported and promoted? What are the facilities and phases of business development to be targeted?
These questions have been targeted in some extent by establishing support facilities for early business development, technology centres and business incubators. However, these facilities may be only one part of the answer in developing successful and sustainable companies. In-stead, a critical role is also seen to have earlier preparation, which is carried out long before the establishment of a company. Thereby, pre-incubation activities - raising the entrepreneurial spirit, organizing enterprise education and more recently, building up support facilities, pre-incubators, as a pre-stage for business incubators - have been given a more important role in filling the gabs in the existing innovation systems.
The virtual pre-incubator - ViPiA will be created with the purpose of providing an environment where "would-be" entrepreneurs with a seemingly feasible business idea, will be subject to a learning process that will help them acquire the diverse tools and skills needed to transform their idea into a viable business start-up. The virtual pre-incubator will provide, in the first stage, effective IT-enabled business e-training to hundreds of "would-be" entrepreneurs and in the second stage, real-life exposure and interaction with select business incubators to, help them transit seamlessly from the pre-incubation phase to the incubation one.
"Would-be" Entrepreneur -►Pre-incubation process -► In-house incubatees
The Virtual pre-incubator provide to “would-be” entrepreneurs valuable resources and services to assist them develop their venture concepts to a level that they are presentable/attractive to potential angel investors, incubators and other support institutions. Services include courses in entrepreneurship, a step by step "idea evaluation process", business plan preparation, mentoring and events, at which ideas are put forward to solicit feedback and support. The project also aims to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation by promoting an active interest in soliciting incubation or other support services, coupled with a thorough understanding of the business essentials. The ultimate objective is to strengthen business creation and levels of sustainability in the EU, through an increase in the quantity and quality of eligible incubatees. The project aims to create better opportunities for easy and low cost access to continued professional training and advisory services for a specific target group including students, graduates, people at research and education agencies, inventors and women.
VIPIA Project was a success for the target group: during the project pilot testing period the potential audience rated the tool as very good in terms of relevance and usefulness. The follow-up project will enable the partnership to build upon the strengths of the first project, respond to the needs of the new partners integrate the results and therefore create an even more powerful tool for business support providers.
For this project we aim to expand the partnership in order to further develop and disseminate the results of the VipiA project by including six (6) new partner organisations. There will be an examination of the training needs of business incubator personnel in these new countries and new material will be developed based on their needs. The original web based platform will be updated with new material available in all partner languages and the material that was developed in the first project will also be translated into the languages of the new partner’s countries. Furthermore VipiA II is innovative in that it will involve the preparation of an extra module on Seed Financing.
A Seed/Innovation Financing training module that will include:
1. Issues to consider entering new markets
2. Venture Capital - An overview of the basic issues for entrepreneurs
3. Building a Winning Team
4. Becoming Investment Ready
5. A glossary of Venture Capital terms
The multi-actor nature of the partnership, from 5 countries, presents a strong mechanism for maximising the content and effectiveness of the resource and ensuring the valorisation of its activities to a large target audience through effective dissemination activities. All partners will participate in partner meetings (hosted in different countries). Each partner has agreed to take the lead role in one of the identified Work Packages. Partners will contribute to the identification of specific module elements, the development of case studies, quality control, translation, piloting the new modules, dissemination and formative evaluation and monitoring.
Berufsorientierung und -beratung
Sectors Erbringung von Freiberuflichen, Wissenschaftlichen und Technischen Dienstleistungen
Verfahren zur Analyse und Prognose des Berufsbildungsbedarfes
-Training Modules online/ Online Learning Platform
-Evaluation report of the pilot course
-Training Needs Analysis Report