UPJŠ TRAINING PROGRAM From idea to business (Innovation & Entrepreneurship Course/ I&E)
In the summer semester of the 2022/2023, the training program From Idea to Entrepreneurship (Creativity, Responsibility, Entrepreneurship) took place within the EIT-Digital – InnoChange project. The main aim of the program was forming an entrepreneurial mindset and creativity of students. Due to the specifically designed tasks on creativity and individual challenges, students became familiar with the logic of creating ideas, challenges that come with opening a new business and responsibilities that come with invention and new technologies.
The program took place as a weekend event from March 24-26. 2023, in the teaching and training facility in Danišovce (Spišská Nová Ves district). 25 students from all faculties of the Pavel Jozef Šafárik University in Košice (UPJŠ; Medicine, Science, Law, Faculty of Public Administration and Faculty of Arts) attended the training program with two facilitators: Veronika Zibrinyiová a Lenka Abrinková from University counselling centre.
On the first day of the program, students were divided into 5 teams of 5 members, each team consisting of students from different faculties. Vice-rector Gabriel Semanišin introduced and opened the training program. After the introduction, two modules followed: Employee vs. Entrepreneur and Personality of the entrepreneur. Trough individual and group activities, students discuss the differences in the roles of an employee and an entrepreneur, advantages, and disadvantages of different forms of work self-realization and about the characteristics typical for entrepreneurial people. Tomáš Bel, a prominent entrepreneur in Slovakia, was a guest in both modules.
The next day, in the Entrepreneurial Opportunity module, students learned to perceive and use different sources of entrepreneurial opportunities and distinguish a good opportunity from a bad one by applying criteria for evaluating an entrepreneurial opportunity. The guest in this module was Stanley Mácha, an important figure of the startup community in Košice. Next, the modules Legal and Economic aspects of business with guests Laura Bachňáková Rozenfeldová from the Faculty of Law of the UPJŠ and with Karol Kovalík from Partners Group was held. Students became familiar with the rights and obligations arising from business activities, with forms of business and with ways of establishing a company or obtaining financial capital for the start-up of a company. The last module on Saturday was the Business Plan, and the aim of this module was to introduce to students the structure of a business plan, its importance in the process of starting one’s own business, and to learn how to develop one’s own business plan. The last module was led by Ivan Pezlár, who currently works at the Center for lifelong learning and project support at UPJŠ and in the past led several successful companies.
After the official program of the day ended, the students had the opportunity to talk with the guests and work on their group business plans, which they had to prepare and present the following day. Long and fruitful discussions were held until late in the evening.
On the last day, 5 groups of students stood before the jury, which consisted of guests and program facilitators, and presented their business plans. The prize for the best business plan was won by a group of students with the idea of creating a mobile application in supermarkets that would navigate people to the desired goods. The team with the idea of creating an agency to mediate surgical interventions (especially orthopedic ones) to foreign patients in Slovakia finished in second place. The third place was taken by the team with the idea of mediating and distributing bee honey to customers from local producers.
The training program From Idea to Entrepreneurship (Creativity, Responsibility, Entrepreneurship) met the expectations of the students, who went home full of ideas, knowledge, practical skills, but also contacts that are helpful in turning their business ideas into reality. In addition, the intensive form of training allowed the students to work fully during the whole two days and nights and formed strong group dynamic in comparison with the implementation of the training program in the form of classical teaching at school.
Mgr. Lenka Abrinková, PhD.