December 2019 marked a special date in the POWER calendar as we held our very first dissemination event in Thessaloniki, Greece, more specifically at the Aristotle University of Technology. As the POWER movement gathers momentum, we push our activities forward.
The event gathered students, academics, startup entrepreneurs and incubators, where they heard about the POWER initiative from the consortium members themselves. This was the first out of three major dissemination events, the rest of which will take place in late 2020 and late 2021.
Lida Papatzika from hosting party Innovation Zone welcoming the attendees.
The objective of this event was to raise awareness and inform the attendees about the possibilities that stem from POWER. Simply put, POWER is a network which connects universities, incubators and startups through placement opportunities for students in startups. In practice, this requires a mutual understanding of how startups and students can help one another. Furthermore, clear procedures are needed to establish close cooperation between universities and incubators.
These were some of the questions this first event answered. During the event we discussed -among other things- the practicalities of placements under the Erasmus+ umbrella, the possibility of placements for PhD students. As well as the expectation vs reality of university-incubator collaboration.
Raúl Berlanga from New Factory on the topic "21st century startup skills"
On the other side, there were active discussions on how to engage startups and students alike. Regarding students, there was a presentation on “21stcentury startup skills”, which highlighted how students can benefit from work experience in startups and how they can learn valuable lessons that are otherwise hard to come by. On the side of startups, an entrepreneur offered us her testimony on the benefits that student placements bring to startups.
An entrepreneur sharing her past experiences with interns/placement students.
The event closed with a panel discussion which included academics and incubators. After the program there was an opportunity for open networking an discussions, where attendees engaged a while longer before calling it a day.