How entrepreneurial attitude is being fostered in the regional university

*ship – The Startup Festival has significantly rose for the past few years. Being the biggest entrepreneurship festival in South-Eastern Finland, *ship is proudly fostered by primary driving forces, particularly within Kymenlaakso region. Our network of partners consists of reputable companies, organizations as well as universities.

This year, it is a true prestige for *ship to have XAMK – South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (UAS) among main sponsors. 2017 is also a remarkable year for both Xamk and *ship. While the university saw a merger between Kymenlaakso UAS (Kyamk) and Mikkeli UAS (Mamk), *ship, for the first time, collaborate with Xamk in a handful of interesting events. Before going deeper to this collaboration, let’s take a look at some facts on one of the biggest Finnish UAS.

Xamk is an innovative higher education institution driven by the idea of unlimited lifelong learning and study. One of its goal is to be the largest Finnish UAS in terms of RDI activities and education provided through the Open UAS. Thanks to the combination between Kyamk and Mamk earlier this year, Xamk now has 9000 students majoring in more than 80 Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. Besides, for those who are impressed on Finnish design, Xamk’ campuses are exemplars that you cannot afford to miss! The university’ 4 campuses include Kouvola, Kotka, Mikkeli and Savonlinna, which all prove cutting-edge design in various ways.

As per “Vision 2020”, one of Xamk’s primary ambitions is to foster entrepreneurship. For this purpose, the university has been implementing various pragmatically stimulating projects. Established since 2013, Patteri Network (now known as Patteri ES) has been playing an essential role in developing startup culture in Kymenlaakso region. Asked about its capability to promote entrepreneurship in university level, Patteri’s secretary of the board – Setared Nouzad said, “We have organized different kinds of event in which students can attend and reach more practical knowledge”. Last year, the university also successfully created a 10-week business accelerator program named Startup Summer Camp, which spring-boarded passionate entrepreneurs. Participants from the program also represented the university competing in Pitch Captain at *ship 2016. Moreover, another project named StartUp Passion, which operates in Baltic Sea Region, aims to raise entrepreneurial awareness and interests among students as well as help them to build international teams, support and mentorship through their entrepreneurial journey. Last but not the least, Small Business Center (SBC), which was founded in Mikkeli in 1980, is now the unit of Xamk’s RDI apartment. The center is offering services regarding development and entrepreneurial skills, training as well as applied research for SMEs.

XAMK has been increasingly backing *ship since the early days. This year, especially, the university and *ship has been co-creating a handful of stimulating side events. In May, for instance, we hosted *ship Disruption Camp, which is a revolutionary learning program bringing together companies and students for an intensive two-week camp. Asked about the experience at the Camp, “Up to now, *ship Disruption Camp is the event that brought me the best entrepreneurial learning experience. I not only learnt entrepreneurship and social skills but also met amazing people who inspired me a lot!”, said Ngoc Nguyen, an participant from XAMK. The university also brought a number of teachers whose roles are facilitators. Jagat Kunwar, a lecturer of XAMK, shared his experience as a facilitator during the two-week program, “The idea of entrepreneurial learning in collaboration with local businesses, universities and local support organizations such as Cursor is excellent. This kind of camp bolsters that. It provides a very good opportunity for students and future entrepreneurs to network, get information from knowledgeable people (both academic and business oriented) and apply theoretical ideas in practice”.

What else? *ship Global University Summit (GUS) “We are calling out an entrepreneurial revolution in universities!” – is also an unmissable for those who are seeking for creatively entrepreneurial approaches to teaching. The upcoming GUS is the very first of its kind here in Finland and part of *ship this July, from 11th to 13th. If you want to meet like-minded entrepreneurial rebels, such as university representatives, accelerators, entrepreneurs, politicians and students, then you need to be there, and be part of the new generation of entrepreneurial education in universities. The preliminary schedule is available here!

Author: Vinh Le is an intern at *ship and a business student at XAMK. Striving for deep understanding on entrepreneurship and technology, he is thrilled to observe these two things burnishing each other.