7 students from the Tyumen and Tomsk State Universities have embarked on their entrepreneurship hands-on training at the TechnoSpark startups that is going to last until June. Upon the completion of this program, the students are to defend their graduation paper based on the material collected throughout their work. It is going to be the first cycle of TechnoSpark’s #startupdiploma program.
The students in their final year of studying at the Tomsk and Tyumen Universities have moved to Troitsk for 9 months to take part in the #startupdiploma training. The trainees got appointed to various jobs within the TechnoSpark Group of Companies to be in charge of business in startups that deal with genetics, biotechnologies, wearable technology and composite materials.
The participants of the #startupdiploma program will be combining their academic activities with building a startup in one of the hard-ware industries and acquiring first-hand basic entrepreneurial skills — competencies in technical and manufacturing analytics, organization of their personal work and that of others, calculation of economic and investment potential, sale of technologically advanced products and more.
‘In countries with an established investment culture, the role of the mentor is played by an entrepreneur with a wealth of successful and failed businesses under their belt. Since the average time it takes to build a technology startup is 20 years, here in Russia we don’t yet have the first generation of technology entrepreneurs who could share their experience,’ Denis Kovalevich, director general of the TechnoSpark Group of Companies, believes. ‘The #startupdiploma program partly compensates for the deficit: every trainee has a mentor among the experienced tech startup developers from TechnoSpark.’
‘This partnership with universities creates a situation when students get extracted from their carefree academic environment and thrown into the real world of tough business. It is a chance that a given student may bring to fruition, or fail in, but what they will do for certain is obtain more knowledge and experience than any other educational process may ever offer,’ Vladimir Berlizev, manager of the TEN.Education projects, shares.
‘The new training model that we are now arranging allows each student to choose their scope of activity. How out students will do at the #startupdiploma project at TechnoSpark will give us a model of how to systematically embed technology entrepreneurship into the university setting as part of hands-on business training,’ comments Taisia Pogodaeva, prorector at Tyumen State University.
‘The Tomsk State University has the development of business thinking and entrepreneurial activity of its students high on its list of priorities. We have been carrying out a number of programs in this direction, and the format of entrepreneurship hands-on training provides a one-of-a-kind experience that may as well be nowhere else to find. The primary goal is to work out the first cycle of putting the students’ project training in place so they can combine their academic routine with designing and building startups,’ Viktoria Makoveeva, deputy director for academic work at the Institute of Economics and Management of the Tomsk State University, says.
The program participants were selected as a result of the business game series called “Build a Company. Sell the Company” in Tomsk and Tyumen that had been entered by 7 thousand students. The key selection criteria that the participants were screened for were their ability to act in uncertainty, self-motivation and resilience. Next academic year, Technospark and the universities are going to continue with the program and extend the number of involved students.