Where are they now? Catching up with past EEPA winners

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award.

JKU Self-Employment

This week, Prof. Dr. Norbert Kailer from the Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Organizational Development reflects on the impact of winning an EEPA six years on:

Name Prof. Dr. Norbert Kailer
Organisation JKU – Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Organizational Development
Country Austria
Website www.jku.at//iug
Award won Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit
(for the project, “Entrepreneurship in Creative Industries”)
Year 2010

Prof.NorbertKailerFotoWhat was it like to win the award?

It was a surprise for our team and we were very happy that our project, which was started and run without any subsidies, was awarded.

How did winning the award immediately impact your work?

The first impact was increased interest from the media. Following on from that, we got a lot of cooperation requests from other European institutions who came to know of us through EU publications. This resulted in several international research projects.

What response did you receive from your colleagues and peers?

There was an immediate and very positive response from politicians, colleagues and the media.

What has been the long-term impact?

The project is still ongoing with a stable and increasing number of participants each year. We also offer courses and network events where students from business, technical and arts courses develop their ideas together. As a follow-up, in 2012 our home university (JKU Linz), together with the University of Arts Linz and the University of Applied Science Upper Austria, founded the first academic pre-incubator “akostart Upper Austria” supporting interdisciplinary academic founder teams from these universities. Our regional network, as well as our practical courses, have been improved and enlarged so that we’ve been selected as one of 25 good practice case studies in the EU report “Supporting entrepreneurship in higher education institutions.  

Why did you decide to enter the national competition?

In 2009, our project was presented as “Premium Case Recommended for Implementation in Other Member States” at the SBA European charter for Small Business Conference in Stockholm. Thereafter, the Ministry for Economy encouraged us to apply for the European Entrepreneurship Award.

How did you go about preparing your application and making it award winning?

We tried to gather detailed data on the impact of the project and looked for testimonials from our alumni, and for letters of recommendation from the local Ministry of Economy.

What advice would you give to others thinking of entering?

Prepare a detailed account of your activities including data on the short and long term impact of your activities. This takes more time than you think! Ask your stakeholders to work with you in the preparation of the application.

To find out more about JKU and their award-winning Entrepreneurship in Creative Industries project, visit the website.

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