Focus Days – The kick-off event for the ‘Honours Degree’
This year the ‘Honours Degree in Entrepreneurship’ was initiated by the Focus Days, which took place from the 21st of April to the 23rd of April 2022. Within three days, interested students had the opportunity to get to know each other, form teams, get first insights into the certification programme and to reflect on their business ideas.
“The idea of the Focus Days - as an intense 3-day workshop - to think in a structured way about the ideas and goals they want to achieve through the programme. For us lecturers, the Focus Days are also very enriching as they give us the opportunity to understand the students' ideas well. This is the only way we can support each team individually to reach their goals.”, says Laura Körner, from the Chair of Organisation, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship and professional coach of the PATEC team.
Applications – numbers and facts
We are pleased that there is a high start-up potential among students of the University of Passau – especially among students of the humanities, social and cultural sciences and computer science. Despite the ongoing pandemic conditions there were many applicants for this year’s ‘Honours Degree’ cohort. More than 50 students with 23 business ideas applied for the ‘Honours Degree in Entrepreneurship’. Out of these 7 students also participated in the Female Founder’s Academy. All in all, approximately half of this year’s participants are females.
In addition, we are happy to announce that we were able to open the programme to students from our partner university in Kyiv: Kyiv National Economic University (KNEU) and thus, allow students to continue to work on their business ideas despite the special situation in their home country.
Who’s been chosen for Honours Degree Programme?
Finally, 10 teams with their ideas were chosen for this year’s ‘Honours Degree’ cohort. Two of them came from KNEU who have been already started in their home country:
One team, for example, is a young start-up that specializes in healthy snacks. They have participated in 2 start-up competitions in 2021, winning IdeaFest grant to boost the development of their idea. They also developed it further and launched a first product - Ukrainian Borscht - an instant veggie soup. Another team created a start-up in 2021, with the aim of helping old Ukrainian grandmothers. It offers an additional income to them by selling their handicrafts. During the first 8 months of work, they added more than 80 Ukrainian women. The project has already been very successful in television and electronic magazines in Ukraine.
The chosen team’s versatile projects try to solve problems dealing with the varying fields e.g., from cultural diversification up to nutrition issues, medical or fashion industry – from physical products to digital platforms.
Focus Days – And what comes next?
The Focus Days have only been a kick-off to a high-potential future of the students: During their founder’s journey and within the next six months, they will be coached intensively. The teams will be supported in six incubations by experienced professionals – lecturers of the University of Passau as well as experienced start-up practitioners. The fields of the upcoming incubations are divided into the following fields: business model, legal, digital, intercultural, sustainable, and entrepreneurial soft skills. In these areas, participants acquire specific knowledge and expand their start-up network working in teams. The first workshops already took place in May and have been followed by a first checkpoint in June focusing on value proposition, market, and customer. During the checkpoint meeting, the teams presented their progresses, evaluated their work, and got hands-on feedback for their next steps.
We are so curious about how the teams will develop and we are proud to accompany them with our help and support during the upcoming months!
Stay tuned for updates at our programme or via Social Media