in Finland offers a program that blends an accelerator program, co-working space, and an incubator called Aalto Venture Garage.
The Venture Garagehad an unusual genesis. Itwas started as a grassroots initiative by a group ofstudents and entrepreneurs at the university who saw the need for change in the entrepreneurshipecosystem in Finland.
Aalto Venture Garage is more than just co-working space. Programming includes Bootcamp, which is run four times a year.During Bootcamp, high potential startups build prototypes and test their ideas with coaching from experienced entrepreneurs and investors. The winners receive5000€ in seed funding, continued coaching, and workspace in the Venture Garage. Hundreds of entrepreneurs apply to enter each offering of Bootcamp.
The culture in the Venture Garage takes its cue from the open source model made famous by Finnish companies such as Linux and MySQL.
“Teams at Bootcamp are co-operating; they are working on each other’s ideas and challenging them. It’s not only a competition but more about sharing and team building” says Juha Ruohonen, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Aalto Venture Garage.
Although the scope of the Venture Garage is beyond many of our budgets. there are elements of the program that can inform how to work with student entrepreneurs.
I will be in Finland with a group of students next spring. Hope to visit the Aalto Venture Garage and gain some more insights that I can pass along.
Summer Entrepreneurship Day Camp
The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at University of Texas at Dallas runs a summer camp for high school juniors and seniors called Innovation Opportunity Camp
Run as a day camp, it runs from 9:00 to 3:45 every weekday for two weeks in June.
The camp follows a structure that begins with exposing high school students to entrepreneurship as a career path. The program
then progresses through ideation, opportunity assessment, market research, and developing value propositions and business models. The program then shifts to implementation, including brining ideas to market, marketing, financing, and building a company. The two week camp ends with a pitch competition.
The camp is organized around team based activities. In addition to the more formal learning sessions students also have the opportunity to meet local entrepreneurs and investors, participate in a computer-based business simulation game, compete in a business idea event, and engage in various recreational activities. Each team of students is mentored by a UT Dallas graduate student.
The camp is in its fourth year. It offers an alternative model for schools that do not want to run a residential summer camp.
One Day Entrepreneurship Regional Conference “Launch”
is a one day conference advancing entrepreneurship education throughout the state of South Dakota. The conference brings together students, educators and community/economic development leaders for a series of plenary and breakout sessions.
The Student Track
is geared toward inspiring and supporting students who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurial career paths.
This event serves as a good model for communities that are looking to create awareness of the role of entrepreneurship education in economic development and to begin to build a regional partnership among universities and community development agencies. This conference is a partnership between several community and university partners
, which include the SBDC offices in the region, South Dakota EPSCoR
(NSF initiative to support science and technology), Dakota Wesleyan University
,South Dakota State University
, and the Governor’s office for economic development.
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