University of Tartu shared its best practice of entrepreneurship collaboration with Ukrainian universities

Tuesday, March 12, online collaboration conference with nearly 90 participants marked the final day of the Estonian - Ukrainian cooperation project UnivEntre. The project focused on teaching entrepreneurship and fostering cooperation between universities and businesses. 

Estonian ambassador to Ukraine Anneli Kolk greeted the participants and emphasized the value of knowledge sharing between two countries. Conference speakers from Estonia and Ukraine shared their experience on how university can support science-based entrepreneurship and how businesses benefit from cooperation. Triinu Lööve from the University of Tartu Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation gave an overview of the spin-off programme and Kristina Lillo, SEB Bank Estonia, Innovation Lead in Cooperation with Academia shared insightful cases of cooperation. Student founders from both countries shared their journeys and learnings. Business student Kai-Melli Kapten, founder of Transful explained various initiatives offered by the University of Tartu to support early-stage founders. 

The project “Development of innovative capacity and entrepreneurial competence of Ukrainian universities: sharing best practice of Estonia“(UnivEntre) started in October, 2021.

STARTERAcademia (phase one) was implemented in 2022 and was targeted to Ukrainian universities’ academic staff. Participants from 34 universities across Ukraine graduated the course “Teaching entrepreneurship at university”. 106 teachers received the University of Tartu certificate for successful completion.

STARTERNetwork (phase two) was implemented in 2023. Its goal was to share the best practices of creating networks between universities and businesses as well as university initiatives on science popularization and research communication. The programme had six webinars with Estonian and Ukrainian speakers. Average number of participants was 80.  The webinar on university-business collaboration practices brought together 323 participants. Next popular webinars were science popularization with 189 participants and diversity in entrepreneurship with 126 participants. The programme ended with a 3-min research pitching competition. Winners of STARTERAcademia and STARTERNetwork programmes visited together with project partners the Tartu University Delta Centre and business festival Startup Day in August 2022, March 2023 and January 2024.

“Our partnership with the University of Tartu has significantly boosted academic entrepreneurship in Ukraine. Together, we have hosted dozens of events and reached thousands of teachers and researchers. Thanks to this collaboration, Ukrainian educators’ delegations have been present at every Startup Day in recent years. New knowledge and shared best-practices can now be shared with thousands of students and applied in the development work of universities”, said Ukrainian project partner Andriy Zaikin, founder of the Platform of Innovative Partnership.

Project name: Development of innovative capacity and entrepreneurial competence of Ukrainian universities: sharing best practice of Estonia (UnivEntre). Project period: 10.10.2021-01.06.2024

The project partner in Ukraine: NGO Platform of Innovative Partnership. Under the brand YEP the NGO links more than 80 Ukrainian universities.

The project is supported by ESTDEV – Estonian Centre for International Development Cooperation

More information: Anne Reino, Head of the School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu. Phone 737 6370.

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