Guest blog: Startup Europe comes to universities: uniting universities and startup ecosystems

Source: A. (Andrus) Ansip i, published on Tuesday, October 18 2016.

I would like to welcome this guest blog from a group of major European universities about a new initiative to help startups and emerging businesses - and support European innovation.

Universities are in a unique position to instil and promote a sense of entrepreneurship in students before they graduate.

The initiative launched this week will allow them to pool expertise and experience, linking up with local government, industry and business as well as with other startup networks.

This can only benefit new businesses and their founders, improving their awareness and assimilation of appropriate and up-to-date knowledge for their markets. The initiative is also backed by the European Commission's Startup Europe programme, whose various projects play an important role in connecting different ecosystems throughout Europe.

Startup Europe is already active across Europe's many regions and now travels as a delegation each year to Silicon Valley. Now, in the same week as Startup Europe India Summit is held to link up European and Indian ecosystems, it is the turn of our universities.

But over now to the universities themselves - there is a list of them at the end of the blog - to explain more about what this important initiative aims to achieve. You can also join in the discussion on twitter #SEC2U.



Startup Europe comes to universities

Startup Europe comes to universities: uniting universities and startup ecosystems

The number of college graduates willing to start new businesses—the largest producer of private sector jobs over the past 25 years—still depends heavily on the entrepreneurial focus and structure of the universities from which they graduate.

Years ago, it was rare for a student to have entrepreneurship experience because the high cost of starting a business meant that they did not have the resources or expertise to pull it off.

Times have now changed, thanks to the Startup Europe comes to Universities (SEC2U) initiative, which makes its début between October 17 and 21, 2016.

This Europe-wide initiative is endorsed by the European Commission - Startup Europe - and aims to create a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within universities across Europe, both inside and outside the European Union.

A total of 35 universities from 17 different countries are taking part.

From the European Union, these are: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Spain, the Netherlands and United Kingdom - and joined by non-EU members Albania and Israel.

Universities will hold local events where entrepreneurs, businessmen and representatives of local governments and universities come together to showcase available support, share success stories and failures, as well as to network. The events are free of charge for those taking part.

This is a time to highlight the work of universities in entrepreneurship, build bridges between university communities and startup ecosystems, and make lasting connections.

You can find out more information here, and also get a free ticket.

Universities participating in SEC2U:

Albania: European University of Tirana

Austria: WU - Vienna University of Economics and Business

Belgium: SEC2U Launching event @EBN

Croatia: Algebra University College

Cyprus: European University Cyprus, University of Cyprus

Germany: Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg

Greece: Technological Educational Institute of Western Greece, Athens University of Economics and Business

Hungary: Eötvös Loránd University

Ireland: Dublin City University

Israel: Bar Ilan University

Italy: Polytechnic University of Milan (Creative Industries Lab), Roma Tre University - Department of Engineering

Lithuania: Mykolas Romeris University & ISM University of Management and Economics

Netherlands: Maastricht University

Portugal: NOVA University of Lisbon, University of Lisbon - Faculty of Sciences

Romania: University Politehnica of Bucharest, West University of Timisoara, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Stefan cel Mare University

Spain: University of Salamanca, U-TAD: Centro Universitario de Tecnología y Arte Digital, University of Cantabria (CISE project), Technical University of Cartagena, University of Granada, University of the Basque Country, University of Extremadura, University of Almeria

United Kingdom: University of Cambridge (ideaSpace), Ravensbourne, University of Sheffield, London South Bank University, GSM London & Formation Zone London