OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more
8 of 10
Contribution

The European Centers for Entrepenuership (ECE) NETWORK **Refined**

Instead of creating a new entrepreneurship system, why not better connect existing centers at EU universities?

Written by

Many schools have centers dedicated to supporting startups, however in order to better leverage the potential of this network, a European network of these centers can be created. This can be realized though the creation of a shared platform where each EU country has a list of the universities with entrepreneurship centers and a link to their website. 

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

With one website connecting all of the EU entrepreneurship centers, this will allow for web entrepreneurs to have immediate access to all EU countries and their resources without having to locate them on an individual basis. This network would also provide access to information on university start-up competitions, as well as other financial resources available around the EU.

This network would be able to connect web entrepreneurs in country X with others located in country Y where they could use each other as sources of inspiration. Moving further, by designing some parameters for a type of quotient similar to OpenIDEO's, entrepreneurs would have a better idea about which university has the best expertise and knowledge within certain areas. This allows for easy navigation in finding a university to support what the entrepreneur needs and is searching for.

What kinds of resources will be needed to get this concept off the ground and scale it?

Immediate resources would include funding to create a database of existing entrepreneur centers connected to universities around the EU. While compiling this list, it would also be good to include other entrepreneur centers that are not directly connected to universities so that they will also be able to join the network.

How could we get started?

A first step could be to create a database of entrepreneur centers at EU universities. A starting point for this could be Eduroam (http://www.eduroam.org/), a service for connecting students and researchers with internet access, which has a map of participating university and research centers around the EU. Once this list has been compiled, funding to create a website and platform will be needed as well as a team to mange the site.

**UPDATE**
Building on the great thoughts, comments and suggestions provided below, starting as a lo-fi concept the ECE network concept could, for example, start with a testing period at the Copenhagen Business School with their Center for Entrepreneurship and the new master program in Bioentrepreneurship aka The BioBusiness and Innovation Program (a program that connects bio students and business students). Leveraging on how life sciences has a strong place in the Danish economy, a so-called "popshop" could be created within this network to aid web entrepreneurs within the life science area with support from both scientists and business students.

An initial "kickoff" event will take place at the Center for Entrepreneurship where web entrepreneurs within this field will be invited to present their concepts and after will be divided into groups with both business students and scientists to brainstorm how to solve some of the current problems they are facing.

To make this knowledge and information available to other web entrepreneurs in the EU, questions and their answers from the event will be documented and uploaded to the ECE website or, as a starting point until the network grows and a website can be created, a Facebook group for ECE Copenhagen.

Please note, this is of course just one suggestion of a university where the project could start. Once the ECE has been launched in Copenhagen (or another city as the starting city) the ECE will expand by creating another "kickoff" event at another university in the EU who has an identified strength within a specific area.

Virtual Team:

Amy Bonsall
John Tauzel and the ECE Team
John Cho
Paul van Zoggel

Evaluation results

23 evaluations so far

1. How well does this concept address a significant pain point felt by European web start-ups?

This is a major pain point for European start-ups - 56.5%

This is a "nice to have" but not a serious pain point - 34.8%

I really don't know - 8.7%

2. How novel do you think the concept is?

Never seen it before - very novel! - 39.1%

This is common in some places but not in many parts of Europe - 30.4%

This is not novel but a good iteration - 26.1%

There are already other solutions out there that address this problem - 4.3%

3. How easy is this concept to implement and maintain?

It could be implemented quickly and easily maintained - 21.7%

It could be implemented quickly but will require regular updates to ensure it is accurate and relevant - 34.8%

It is a big undertaking and would need a lot of support and cooperation from people and organisations to make it happen and to maintain it - 43.5%

4. What type of organisation is best placed to take this forward?

The European Commission should own this one - 47.8%

This belongs with member state governments (e.g., the UK, Belgium, etc) - 13.0%

This is best being owned by a private company - 8.7%

This feels like a non-profit - 21.7%

This is a start-up itself! - 8.7%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world! - 47.8%

I liked it but preferred others - 30.4%

It didn’t get me overly excited - 21.7%

5.7k 59 33
Congratulations to all our contributors!

59 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment

I like this too!

Is there a way to communicate the services, policies and goals of each program? Knowing where they are is a great start, but understanding what they do (and how they could work with other programs) would be even better.

I work in an entrepreneurial program in a large US university, and it's tough for us to keep track of what's happening at our own school, let alone what's happening somewhere else. From the outside, most of the other programs at our school look daunting and opaque. What are they doing in there? Do they have resources that can help our students? In most cases I'm sure they do. But finding the right information is a daunting, hit-or-miss task.

View all comments