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Halfway Done – Program for Establishing Operations of Regional Innovation Startup Centers and Incubators

For the past month and a half, we have been cooperating with regional centers and incubators in order to help them with their business and successfully introduce them to it. The program is to be in two parts, and the end of the first part will conclude with a study trip where they will have the opportunity to gain insight into the work of similar organizations.

As we come to the end of the first part, we would like to do a short recap of the modules that our participants went through. Through the peer-to-peer learning methodology, participants had the opportunity to actively acquire knowledge through lectures, as well as interactive workshops and case studies. Six one-day modules encompass the provision of a complete and dynamic educational process for all participants.

The first module was reserved for introducing teams to the innovation ecosystem. This module helped them to understand their roles and functions specifically, as well as centers and incubators in general, while seeing opportunities for proactivity and innovation. They were introduced to key actors, available resources, and support organizations.

The topic of the second module was the evaluation and selection of users of RISCs and innovation incubators. Thus, incubators and startup centers were trained and equipped to set specific and relevant criteria and analyze the fulfillment of the set parameters. It was presented to them that in the application process emphasis should be placed on the selection of ideas with high potential and on the transparency of the application process.

The focus of the third module was on financial and legal aspects of business. Although they do not form the core of the business, they represent the necessary infrastructure for its functioning. Here, colleagues from startups and incubators were able to get acquainted with the methodology of creating rules, procedures, and responsibilities while aligning it with legal frameworks and best practices. This includes both technical and physical structures.

The second part of the module, reserved for finance, had monetary resources and budgeting as its topic. The importance of aligning finance with goals was discussed as well as different ways of financing to support development and operational goals.

As for the fourth module, it served two closely related concepts. It is about communication on one hand and event organization on the other. Our female colleagues from these fields were here to share their theoretical knowledge with the participants of the program. In addition, their presentations were rich with an abundance of examples from practice and contained exercises that helped in the implementation of newly acquired knowledge.
The teams heard about communication techniques, the importance of internal and external communication, as well as ways to determine target groups and convey certain messages to them.
They had the opportunity to learn about different aspects of organizing events. They talked about promotion, logistics, and, of course, items from the general to-do list that make up indispensable elements of such an undertaking.

The fifth module will introduce participants to strategic planning and sustainability. Special attention will be devoted to the identification and segmentation of target groups, while the second part will focus on the design of the business model, the list of key services, key business indicators, and development strategy. We are excitedly waiting for the next interactive lecture from our colleagues!

The end of the first part of this program will be marked by a study visit to organizations of a similar type. With that, they will directly encounter relevant experiences through interaction with them. They will see how what they learned about during the previous modules looks like in practice. We expect this study tour to mean a lot to the teams. We think it is an ideal way to round off the cycle of modules from the first part!