After more than three years, the journey of the project POWER has come to an end. When the project idea first came into being and was later defined during the EUF Open Space back in 2016 and 2017, none of us had foreseen the challenges that would be lying ahead.
In the course of the years, the POWER consortium worked together on digital tools for placements, resources for students and startups, and created collaborative opportunities for universities and incubators.
The project acted as a bridge, connecting universities, incubators and students both at the local and at cross-border level. It considerably boosted the students´ chances for an impactful entrepreneurial placement experience, all the while matching students´ skills with relevant start-ups. What is more, this mutual exchange resulted in further growth of the start-up community.
The POWER alliance primarily aimed to:
Stimulate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills of both university and company staff: the alliance was resolute in its commitment to increasing, strengthening and diversifying cooperation avenues between universities and businesses, namely through direct involvement of incubators/start-up companies. Moreover, it galvanised the entrepreneurial mindset of academic staff members.
Facilitate the exchange, flow and co‐creation of knowledge: the alliance enabled cross‐fertilisation of knowledge by connecting and introducing students to a range of interdisciplinary start-up businesses (via incubators). The placement experiences gave new impetus to the students´ professional prospects and entrepreneurial skills, facilitating their entrepreneurship mindset. As for incubators and start-up businesses, students contributed with concrete results thus fostering innovation (i.e. by solving cases and challenges defined by startups, performing placements etc.).
Develop new, innovative and multidisciplinary opportunities: a) for students to increase understanding of entrepreneurial practices during their studies, regardless of the field they are in, mainly with the structured involvement of incubators that place them in start-ups; b) for universities to build/create new combinations of teaching and training methodologies based on entrepreneurial education as well as on mentoring/coaching principles, jointly developed with the incubators.
Although the pandemic restricted the opportunities for international placements and for most of the in-person activities, the POWER consortium managed to successfully adapt to the ever-evolving circumstances and is looking forward to further expanding collaboration avenues and establishing meaningful links with European incubators.
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