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The objective of Cross Border Virtual Incubator (CBVI) is to flexibly reach out to workers & learners to promote entrepreneurship and enterprise creation. It has the objective to demonstrate a social and entrepreneurship environment for the acceleration of new starters and cross border knowledge exchange.
In the project 17 partners collaborated. The core group of partners already had a long history of other European 'employability' projects (CSVM, CSVE, I2Agora) but extended that partnership with 4 other universities and 5 different SMEs.
In the early stage a cross-analysis of entrepreneurship & incubator models was performed. Based on 10 different country reports and the profiles of the different universities participating within the partnership, recommendations are formulated on improving the practice of incubatorship. Subsequently the possibilities of pilots, support mechanism and virtual tools of the partners were explored, and tested with the intended services within some of the pilots in the next phases.
Next 5 pilots education-based pre-pilot were run to the coaching of students. Pilots are locally run and complimented by pedagogically-rich resources from the partners. In a next stage 10 methodologically different pilots on coaching new entrepreneurs were run. These pilots implements a real & authentic experience of enterprise management, valorising the networked virtual incubator as one logical hub of entrepreneurship resources, lightweight & sophisticated services, and extensive social & professional contacts. Although the pilots are different in emphasis, they share one common objective on which results are assessed: flexibly facilitating competence development in enterprise management & start-up, through knowledge sharing between young entrepreneurs and experienced organisations, multipliers and academia.
At the end of the project we decided to do some additional data-collection by exploratory study with the help of questionnaires and expert interviews and look somewhat deeper into the current research status and based approaches on how universities can contribute to optimising the entrepreneurship ecosystem. These results are described in a separate report on "Optimising the entrepreneurship ecosystem". All these pilots highly contributed to systematically improve discussion and cooperation between higher education institutions (both education and research-based) and regional stakeholders in order to optimise the opportunities for entrepreneurship and the design of the associated entrepreneurship ecosystem. We made use of partner's networks to disseminate our results and pilots. Many newsletters, Facebook pages and tweets contributed to a lively interaction. These interactions contributed to the quality and evaluation of project results and all pilots. To this end many regionally (with SME partners) and local (within each partner-university) seminars were held. Next pilots and other project results were presented during international conferences and internal events of the project itself.