In the pursuit to have their economy grow, Ukraine seeks help from Finnish excellence in entrepreneurship and pedagogy. As a start, a project for the Ukrainian Junior Academy of Sciences was conducted in order to launch a business incubator, which seeks solutions for realizing innovations of the Academy’s talented students. Led by Haaga-Helia’s StartUp School, the project was a success and is seen as a beginning for a long-term cooperation.
National Center Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine is a science programme for young talented Ukrainians. A subordinate to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Academy holds around 250 000 gifted students who work in high tech laboratories around the country. Since March 2018, the Academy has also been under the auspices of UNESCO. Over the past 10 years, the students have received 160 patents and intellectual property rights certificates for their innovations. However, the majority of them have not been realized for commercial use, which is what Junior Academy wanted support for from Finnish experts of entrepreneurship and education.
In spring 2018, education export company EduExcellence conducted a feasibility study for Junior Academy. Based on the study, a project consisting of five modules was planned to help Junior Academy start their own business incubator. The first two modules took place in Kyiv in the end of October and early November 2018 and included, among other things, defining the goals, strategy and key services for the incubator in Ukraine. The modules were led by Haaga-Helia’s business incubator StartUp School, with help from Metropolia’s incubator Turbiini. Along with Laurea University of Applied Sciences, both Haaga-Helia and Metropolia are owners of EduExcellence.
– Finnish education is well respected and suited in supporting development of entrepreneurial competencies. StartUp School has seven years of hands-on knowledge of running a business incubator, which enabled us to utilize our learnings in accelerating growth for startups. By collaborating with Turbiini, who have strong experience on technology startups, we were able to bring even more value to our customer, says Head of StartUp School Hannele Mennala.
Both Junior Academy and Haaga-Helia StartUp School view the project as a beginning for a significant, long-term cooperation. –Entrepreneurship education in Ukraine needs more attention. These first two modules carried out so far will help us change our young people and help them to open themselves and realize their full potential, reach their goals and expectations, says Director of Junior Academy Oksen Lisovyi. –Finland is the best country in this field in Europe. It was very fruitful to witness the expertise and professional work of Haaga-Helia and Metropolia’s team. We are looking forward to co-operating closer in the future.