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Case study collection: Successful student entrepreneurship stories around Europe

Elena Galán-Muros
Two young entrepreneurs discussing business plans at an office

In the landscape of European higher education, institutions are pioneering initiatives to foster innovation and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. From Cologne to Galway, and Brussels to Exeter, universities and organisations are joining hands to cultivate a fertile ground for innovators.

In this case study collection, we delve into the narratives of five distinct initiatives that exemplify the dedication to nurturing entrepreneurial spirit among students and young professionals.

Empowering entrepreneurs: The role of Gateway Gründungsnetz in Cologne’s start-up landscape

Supporting students and scientists with entrepreneurial aspirations has become a priority for the Gateway Gründungsnetz (Gateway Start-up Network), a collective of 17 institutions in Cologne dedicated to promoting knowledge-based entrepreneurship. This network acknowledges the importance of universities as key contributors to start-up ecosystems and recognises the value of collaboration between its various stakeholders.

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Scaling and sustaining a robust student start-up ecosystem at University of Exeter

With the goals of increasing student engagement, developing entrepreneurial competencies, and fostering budding student entrepreneurs, the University of Exeter introduced an extra-curricular entrepreneurship program. Over time, the program has undergone several iterations, continuously evolving and improving to better serve its students.

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Start100: Nurturing student innovation at the University of Galway

Start100 is a design-centric summer incubator program aimed at transforming student ideas into impactful businesses. Students are matched with mentorship panels to guide them throughout their entrepreneurial journey. The program focuses on idea validation, skill development, and accelerator readiness to prepare students for the world of entrepreneurship.

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StartLAB.BRUSSELS: Empowering young entrepreneurs to make an impact

StartLAB.BRUSSELS program supports entrepreneurs under 30 with a clear passion for sustainable development goals and impact creation. StartLAB.BRUSSELS goes the extra mile by providing dedicated coaches, expert mentors, and valuable resources in areas such as legal, accounting, and marketing. They offer co-working spaces, inspiring events, and a strong funding mix, including governmental, university, and private funds.

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EIT InnoEnergy’s Battle of Green Talent: A journey of sustainable energy start-ups

EIT InnoEnergy presents an exciting and competitive platform that allows students to experience the entrepreneurial journey and compete for the title of the best start-up team. Running for six months, this virtual platform provides an entrepreneurial ecosystem for talents, investors, and advisors to collaborate and create a thriving environment for sustainable energy start-ups.

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Ready for more?

Our online course, ‘Building Entrepreneurship at Universities‘, is designed to cultivate entrepreneurial competencies that not only enhance career outcomes for graduates but also foster a conducive environment for entrepreneurial paths within your institution.

The course will empower you with the skills needed for strategising and structuring a more entrepreneurial university environment.

Find out more here.

Elena Galán-Muros (editor) is the Audiovisual Producer at UIIN.

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