Within the NETKITE activity of hosting and tutoring young entrepreneurs from MPC countries at EU research facilities, 10 young entrepreneurs were hosted at ARCA from the middle of May to the end of July. Young entrepreneurs were from Palestine (3), Jordan (3), Egypt (2) and Tunisia (2). Their entrepreneurial ideas regarded different sectors: translation services, recycling, biosimilar production, renewable energy, cultural tourism, ICT, agro-food production, etc.
Aim of the mobility period was to assist young potential entrepreneurs in a two-month path of accelerated incubation.
The period at ARCA was then structured as a mixture of activities, i.e.:
- personal coaching: each entrepreneur had a personal tutor following the entrepreneur in the development of his/her business plan;
- mentoring: senior ARCA staff will assisted entrepreneurs on ‘transversal’ aspects of their work, such as the development of the entrepreneurial idea, planning, internasionalisation, innovation, financial issues, topics concerning patent, copyright, etc.;
- training: a short training course on peculiar aspects was organized. Young entrepreneurs were moreover strongly recommended to be regular users of the NETKITE e-learning platform. The NETKITE e-learning platform manages the learning communities set up during the development of training programme. Its tools are methodologies to support formal and informal cooperation at intra and inter-organizational levels are devise, including knowledge management systems and collaborative work environments;
- interaction with NETKITE Open Innovation platform: during their stay, the OI Platform of the NETKITE project together with the concepts of open innovation was introduced to young entrepreneurs. They were strongly solicited to include their ideas and/or peculiar problems to be solved into the platform and to become “testimonials” of the platform for future users;
- interrelations with local ecosystems. Each young entrepreneurs was assisted in organising visits to enterprises, research labs or infrastructures; meetings with Sicilian entrepreneurs of their sector and/or with local stakeholders, participation to events, setting of partnerships, etc. in order to interact with a sort of microsystem and start to learn how to do networking.
Thank to this combination of activities, the entrepreneurs developped both their technical competence and soft skills. The knowledge developed and good practice shown will help them to build up a feasible business plan and have more chances for a future successful entrepreneurial path.