University can help with start-ups

The typical problem of Czech university graduates is that they do not have enough practical knowledge. It is a problem mainly of their study content and profile. They have very good professional knowledge and skills, but a lot of them are not competent enough to establish their own business properly. This project can practically help with start–up of a new business. It has been running since 2016 only and its’ aim is to do mentoring for both students and graduates of the study programme „Multimedia in economic practice“. The provider of this project is Graphic and Multimedia Laboratory (GML).

How does it work? A new module has been included in the last year of Bachelor study which is practically oriented and supplies students by skills related to establishing a new firm. There is a special post-gradual mentoring for graduates as well: a mentor from the University provides regular consultancies for graduates during the real start-up (during first half year or the whole year). The first pilot project has been prepared for Story TRLS marketing agency, which runs its business with great success. As and output of this project some video clips as case studies have been made and put on the Youtube network. The other firms are in process now.


More Information

Impact

What was the challenge intended to be addressed? Why? What did work well? What did not work well? What have been the main achievements? How did you evaluate its success? What has been the change brought by this good practice?

The impact of this project is wide. It enables smooth start of graduates' business, it reflects needs of the students, answers their requests for more practical skills, the connection of school and world of word is evident as well as enthusiasm of students and graduates. In addition: graduates are used to employ their former classmates for their business; the employability of trained graduates is high.

Success Factors

What are the enabling conditions (e.g. institutional, economic, social/cultural, regulatory) that needed to be in place or played a facilitating role for the good practice to be successful?

Innovative idea, how to solve this problem the most simple way is by using all internal and external human resources. This case study uses the university network and alumni as well.

Constraints

What are the challenges, barriers or limiting factors encountered? How have they been addressed?

Creation of structures for collaboration which clearly defines the specific roles and obligations of all stakeholders, Integrate the voice of students, particularly in the evaluation of this case and in the analysis of its impact. There is high demand on the quality of mentors: they have to have theoretical knowledge, but their own practical experience with start-up is the most important aspect.

Feasibility & Sustainability

What are the elements that need to be put into place for the good practice to be sustainable (institutionally, socially, economically, etc.)? If applicable, indicate the total costs incurred for the implementation of the practice. What are the benefits compared to total costs?

There is no need of special equipment; the financial demand is not high. The most important factor is in the personal assurance of the project. There is high demand on the quality of mentors: they have to have theoretical knowledge, but their own practical experience with start-up is the most important condition. It would be easy to implement it at other branches of the University and communicate it with the management of University,

Replicability & Upscaling

What are the possibilities of extending the good practice more widely? What are the conditions that need to be in place for the good practice to be successfully replicated in a similar context? What are the steps that should be taken/respected to ensure that the good practice is replicated / up-scaled, but adapted to the new context?

In principle there are not any barriers to implement this case in all needed study branches. It is a matter of organization and know-how of school. There is high demand on the quality of mentors and some money for mentor of graduates,.

Lessons learned

What would have facilitated an earlier and/or bigger impact? What are the key features that should be kept in mind if this would have to be implemented again? What would you do differently if you could go back in time? What could have been done better?

It would be good to increase the interest of other branches at the University in this project, communicate with the management of the University to promote the project more and raise some money for mentor of graduates (because he was paid by TLRS). Setting up formal processes would be useful (more structured programme, feedback of graduates). There is perfect technical equipment in the GML, some e-learning learning materials could be created and maybe a platform for experience sharing or dissemination.

Context

Please provide some information about the context and initial situation that can help in fully understanding the action (e.g. information about the national system, applying regulations, etc.)

University graduates have very good professional knowledge and skills, but a lot of them are not competent enough to establish their own business. This case looks for the way how to improve it. Story TRLS firm it the first firm established by help of this project.