Summer Practicum

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Bridging the gap

Parallel to the Summer Internship, an Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum will run at Rehymno Campus in the University of Crete. The course aims to:

  • introduce students, from a practical perspective, to business problems and challenges in order to get acquainted with actual business situations, problem identification, and problem solving approaches
  • engage students to the business ideas generation processes, assessment methods, and stages of developing business ideas 
  • support students toward the preparation of actual demos/prototypes of their business ideas 

During the course students will engage in real-life business problems, generate business ideas, prepare business plans (working in teams) and also prepare demos/prototypes for their business ideas. They will interact with the instructors and mentors as well as with business practitioners (company executives). They will use modern learning resources (case studies, software and simulations) and they will compete for a business plan award and a best demo/prototype award.

Successful completion of TIME-MBE courses, prior to joining the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum, requires adequate prerequisite knowledge. The course is open to students who want to develop a new venture (business) idea. Basic quantitative and computer literacy skills are essential. The total working load of the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum corresponds to 30 ECTS. Students that will not follow a Summer Internship programm will attend the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum. 

Learning outcomes

Entrepreneurship summer practicum foster collaboration among TIME students. During the course students explore entrepreneurial business concepts in areas such as social impact, medical innovations, energy, web, analytics and nanotechnology.

A successful Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum accounts for 30 ECTS units. After completion of the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum students are expected to be able to:

  • address the complexity of actual business problems and engage in problem solving activity

  • identify business opportunities and generate/assess/develop business ideas

  • understand business models and business planning (including marketing planning and financial planning) processes

  • deal with the challenges of operating in a global business setting

  • prepare deatiled and realitic business plans

  • develop key presentation skills for business puproses

  • work in teams exploring their group potential

  • using state-of-the-art resources to prepare actual demos/prototypes

  • compete for business plan awards and best prototype awards  

Structure

The Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum will last minimum two and maximum eight weeks and students will attend lectures, demonstrations, simulations, preparation sessions and presentation sessions; they will also attend hands-on sessions on demo/prototype preparation.

During the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum the students will be under the supervision of the TIME instructors and mentors who will offer knowledge, skills and guidance on education and training activities and provide feedback on performance; and with whom the graduate regularly discusses the progress in her/his activities during the course. During the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum students will first attend lectures, demonstrations, simulations, problem-solving sessions, preparation sessions and presentation sessions -led by the instructors- for 40% of the time, while they will work in teams and by themselves for the rest 60% of the time, in a structured manner; their work will culminate in actual business plans and demos/prototypes.

Week 1

Overview of the objectives and the working principles of the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum. Presentation of participants. Introduction to key concepts. Main approaches, learning resources and tools (case studies, software, startup business simulations, prototyping tools). Global trends and challenges. Society and the marketplace (government, firms, markets). Innovation and innovation adoption.

Week 2

Business challenges/problems and how to be encountered/solved. Presentation of actual business problems by business practitioners (academic-industry interaction on real-life problems and challenges: new technologies and resistance to technology adoption; organizational structure; international business development; brand and product decisions). Problem-solving activity involving group-forming and team-working toward the solution of actual business problems. Lessons learned.

Week 3

Identifying business opportunities. Business ideas generation sessions. Q&A sessions. Group-forming and team-working (anew). Visit to the cultural landmark, focusing on cross-cultural links and millennia-long cross-country interactions.

Week 4

Business idea development. Finalization of team-formation and finalization of business ideas to be developed. Business planning session: assessing the target (customer) groups, market size, competition. Presentation by company representatives: international business development and territory management; brand and product decisions in global marketing; targeting customers; finding and developing new clients and (global) markets; new product development and launching; implementation of corporate and brand communication strategy; management of international sales activities. Q&A sessions.

Week 5

Business planning sessions. Business modelling. Promotion and marketing. Financial planning. Company valuation methods. Negotiating with VCs. Phases of development. Early hiring practices. Complexity and creative problem solving. Q&A sessions. Hands-on session on Entrepreneurship Simulation. Presentation skills and practice. Initial Preparation of teams’ business plans.

Week 6

Financial planning. Preparing financial statements. Q&A sessions. Preparing presentations and final business plans. Presentation of participants’ business plans to judges. Awards are presented [Best Business Plan (Team Award)].

Week 7

Prototyping tools: reducing the time between the conception of an idea and the realization of that idea on a massive scale. Use of open-source and novel start-up services to produce fast results. Participants prepare demos/prototypes of their business ideas, learning to control risks using quick, small actions and experiments followed by rapid and agile adaptation. Cooperation sessions and Q&A sessions.

Week 8

Being competitive: action over over-planning. Preparing successful demos/prototypes. Q&A sessions. Presentation of participants’ demos/prototypes to judges. Closing reception. Participants receive Certificates of Attendance. Awards are presented [Best Demo/Prototype (Team Award)].

Reporting and assessment

After a mid-term progress review and sharing preliminary findings with the professor, students submit their final report composed of two distinct parts for their final evaluation.

Lab results

The instructors and mentors of the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum support the students -both individually and in teams- during the actual business situations problem-solving activity, the preparation of the business plans, presentations, and demos/prototypes. Business plans, demos/prototypes, problem-solving activity, and presentations comprise the main students’ tangible educational outcomes (which also guide the evaluation/assessment/grading process) and final report. 

Personal reflection

In addition to the business plan, demo/prototype and presentation, and problem-solving activity, each student has to prepare an individual report in which she/he reflects upon the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum itself (organization, etc.) and upon the personal learning outcomes. This personal reflection report is formulated in conversation with the mentors and should describe the graduate’s personal development during the course and the goals for her/his further development.

Questions on the learning outcomes a graduate has to answer include the following:

  • What were the most important learning outcomes?
  • What activities were performed to attain these learning outcomes?
  • How was her/his performance on these activities evaluated?
  • What were her/his feelings about the performance on these activities?
  • Could things have been done in another way? And if so how?
  • What were experienced as strong and weak points in this working environment?
  • How weak points can be improved?
  • What gaps in knowledge and skills in her/his professional development are identified?

Assessment 

The TIME-MBE program is responsible for the assessment and grading. Your TIME instructor will draft an individual report that outlines the rationale for the grade given based on the overall evaluation of the performance of the student, for the entire duration of the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum. 

Checklist

  • Find an appealing business idea
  • Enhance your computer skills
  • Fill in the TIME application to secure a place in the Entrepreneurship Summer Practicum
  • Hand it to the TIME administration office
  • Ask for assistance from your instructors and mentors

 

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