EEPA 2018 Testimonial: i²c STARTacademy – “Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills” Winner 2018

Today on Promoting Enterprise it is time to reveal the story of another European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) 2018 winner. TU Wien i²c STARTacademy from Austria won the Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills category with their innovative research commercialisation format for TUW scientists who want to transfer their technology and research results into successful products or services.

Read through their testimonial to find out what it is like to win an EEPA, along with their advice for 2019 applicants and what went into their winning entry.

How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?

We first heard about the competition from the local newspaper where an article about last year’s national winner was published. We decided to enter as we wanted to emphasise the multiple activities underway at TU Wien aiming to complement our students and scientists’ technical knowledge with an entrepreneurial skill set. Since we had to select a specific programme out of our portfolio for this application, we decided to enter the competition with our i²c STARTacademy, a tailor made programme to help transfer research results into potential successful business models.

How did you prepare your application?

Preparing the application meant we had to conduct a thorough study on the effect our programme had on the teams which went through the i²c STARTacademy. In addition to the normal feedback we collect to improve our programmes, we reached out to each team individually and collected updated KPIs on their status. This enabled us to provide exact statistics on their successes and failures. Their feedback, experiences from the camp, and the mentor’s statements on the role the i²c STARTacademy plays in the ecosystem, laid the foundations for the film we submitted together with our application.

What was it like to win the award?

Receiving the distinction was an honour and an acknowledgment of our hard work to instil an entrepreneurial culture at TU Wien.

How did winning the award impact your work?

Winning the award generated a lot of positive attention both in the university and at ecosystem level. It helped us raise awareness about the entrepreneurial offers available to TU Wien scientists. This recognition brought additional visibility and helped to present TU Wien as an Entrepreneurial University. Since then, different European delegations have approached us to make presentations based on our work and experience.

Why should others enter EEPA 2019? What advice would you give them?

Entering the competition is a great chance to promote your endeavours and strengthen your position as a role model in your local ecosystem at European level. Considering the ‘jungle’ of programmes out there, we highly recommend including what makes your programme special and unique in your application.

What are your plans for the future?

Our future plan includes refining existing programmes and developing new ones in order to reach the goal of establishing an entrepreneurial ecosystem within TU Wien that is aligned with the offers of the local, national, and international ecosystems.

Read about this wining project in the EEPA 2018 compendium and keep coming back to the News Portal for more EEPA news.

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