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REPORTING, PROTOTYPING AND TESTING – Y INCUBATE SIRACUSA MEETING

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What are the right tools that can support young entrepreneurs? What’s already existing and what is the state of the art in Europe?

Those were the questions that needed to be answered in the second international meeting of the EYE project hosted in Siracusa from the 24th to the 30th of August.

Enabling Youth Entrepreneurship Support Group Project, (EYE) is a 24 months Erasmus Plus project to uncover the potential of young entrepreneurs across Europe, led by The Alternative University with the support of Team Academy Netherlands, an accredited leadership and entrepreneurship academy,  BSC Bitola, a business incubator in Bitola (Macedonia) and Impact Hub Siracusa, a centre for social innovation and entrepreneurship in Sicily (Italy).

The common goal was to put into effect all the previous activities held in the Amsterdam meeting, and start giving a final shape to the deliverables.

 

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The 4 partners spent the last week of August working on the development of the methodology tools and analyzing and reporting the research results. The team split into 2 groups: the Research group, that started working on reports and inputs for the Methodology group, that focused its work for a big event with young entrepreneurs for testing and validating the tools already developed.

Despite the unbelievable wave of heat in Sicily, on Wednesday 26th the whole team went for a study visit in Catania; first they visited Tim #WCAP, a digital business incubator. Then, the team moved to Vulcanìc, an incubator focused on digital social innovation. Both visits started with a presentation from our team, putting the project and our desired outcomes in context. They continued with discussions about the incubation and acceleration programs they have in place, sharing experience between our discoveries from research and test and their challenges from practice. One of the interesting perspectives came from the starters of Vulcanìc (Rosario Sapienza and Stena Paterno) that pledge for the social impact and the value created by entrepreneurs. In their view, incubators can help also established enterprises or NGOs to change their mindset and see the value in collaboration and innovation for social impact.

 

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The main event for the week was the “Youth Event” held in Impact Hub Siracusa, where young entrepreneurs were invited to join the EYE team for testing some of the tools developed by the Methodology group.

The Youth Event started on Thursday afternoon, and 10 young entrepreneurs from Youthub Catania Student IncubatorGDG CataniaEESTEC CataniaAIESEC CataniaStartup Super School and Impact Hub Siracusa were challenged with the Self-Awereness and Resilience tests.
The Self-Awereness helped them in finding out more about their skills, what they are good at and what they need to improve for becoming better with their business.

After a discussion about the results and the test itself, the participants were divided into 3 teams for the Resilience test, which aims in testing the endurance and resistance to failure of aspiring entrepreneurs.
Each team had to decide on a question they would have ask to random people on the streets of Ortigia – the beautiful island of Siracuse (e.g. “Can you buy me a coffee?”, or “Can you hug me, please?”); the team that collects the biggest number of “NO” answers wins it all!

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Although this seemed to be a very challenging test, the teams were surprisingly excited and everyone perfomed really well. They learned after the first few “NOs” that it is not so hard to receive a “YES” and they understood, once more, the importance of meeting with the clients, of shaping their business plans acoording to the needs of their buyers, in the street, not in their office.

Last day, the EYE team planned for next steps for research, methodology and communication and also agreed on the to-do-list for the next international meeting, that will be hosted in Bucharest by The Alternative University.

That’s it for now, see you in Romania!

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