SmartUp project contributes to the development of Haaga-Helia’s entrepreneurship master studies | Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

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SmartUp project contributes to the development of Haaga-Helia’s entrepreneurship master studies

SmartUp project contributes to the development of Haaga-Helia’s entrepreneurship master studies

The European SMARTUP Master Programme in Entrepreneurship is on its half way and currently being piloted with 47 startup students until the end of 2018. It aims to cultivate the entrepreneurial minds of prospective entrepreneurs and startuppers. The European pilot gives valuable feedback of the master design and implementation, as it was heavily influenced by design thinking methodology. For instance the student (customer) journey connects the study modules to a bigger entity forming the master programme structure.

At the same time Haaga-Helia’s master studies are renewed creatively from a competence-based curriculum design perspective. This challenges the old methods of curriculum designs with pace, innovation and initiative. Therefore, the traditional programme division of Haaga-Helia master programmes is exploded while all the master level competences are united and re-grouped. The results of the SmartUp master programme are exploited in designing the “competence area” of entrepreneurship studies in Haaga-Helia. The impact of the SmartUp results will be seen in the long run, when the master students and graduates (hopefully) apply effectively the entrepreneurial mindset and skills to boost the ecosystems in Finland and Europe. The master level entrepreneurship studies of Haaga-Helia aim to give the same skills and competences that the European SmartUp master programme provides, though it might not guarantee as authentic and  multicultural classmates and learning environment as the original SmartUp master programme, developed together with 11 international partners in 2017. Either way, learning by doing and work&study model are in a central role in both solutions.

In addition, SmartUp partners generated two apps and one business game together with few entrepreneurs. These reflective IT tools are designed for entrepreneurship students and start-up people, but certainly not limited to those. One of the apps focuses on training entrepreneur’s mindfulness skills and tolerating stress, while the other aims to improve entrepreneur’s pitching skills to ensure a confident entry to the market. The serious business game enables prospective entrepreneurs to test a business idea in a virtual world before going live in the real world. The IT tools are currently piloted and finalized in SmartUp programme, and will be launched for the public hopefully by the end of this year.

To sum-up, there will be more options in the future for Haaga-Helia master applicants to advance their entrepreneurial skills. First, through the Haaga-Helia’s re-designed master programmes where the students can select all or part of the courses linked to the entrepreneurship competence area. Second, through the reflective IT tools for entrepreneurs emphasizing independent studying. Third, through the Haaga-Helia StartUp School course offering, or fourth, through the prospective SmartUp joint master degree (90 ECTS credits) that is being developed by the four original universities of the SmartUp network (Haaga-Helia UAS, FH Joanneum UAS, University of Milano-Bicocca and University of Thessaly). However, the joint programme is still under negotiation and different funding options being evaluated.

Meanwhile, follow the SmartUp project & master programme through our website (, Facebook page ( and Twitter ( @SmartUp_EU, or you can visit Haaga-Helia StartUp School (, Facebook ( or Twitter (

More information
Suvi Starck, SmartUp project & programme lead in Haaga-Helia, Finland