UL Venture Mentoring and Support Services


CALL: 2017

DOMAIN: LE - Law, Economics, Finance





HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: Venture supportMentoringTeam mentoringMIT VMS sister program

START: 2017-09-15

END: 2019-09-14

WEBSITE: https://www.uni.lu

Submitted Abstract

Entrepreneurship is among the guiding principles of the University of Luxembourg (UL). UL aims to provide encourage and promote entrepreneurship training (as an essential transversal skill) and practices across all facets of its research, education, training and innovation activities. In preparation for launch of a pan-UL entrepreneurship training and support program (from 2018-2021), the UL Rectorate would like to initiate pilot programs to understand the needs across UL for supporting the wide range of entrepreneurial ideas and activities currently spread across various departments (see figure below). Without proper support and guidance and due to a distinct lack of a streamlined support system for UL entrepreneurs (staff, students and alumni), entrepreneurship is far from becoming mainstream at UL. The current KITS proposal of the UL Venture Mentoring Service (UL VMS) aims to remediate the situation by leveraging on the knowledge acquired at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by a small UL team, on how to build a start-up mentoring service, and by partnering with a local entrepreneurship initiative – nyuko, experts in this domain. Under the license of the MIT (www.vms.mit.edu) and as an affiliate sister program, the UL will launch a “Venture Mentoring Service” targeted at providing guidance and support to UL ventures initiated by UL staff, students and alumni. Whilst a mentoring program already exists in Luxembourg, it is only meant to support small medium enterprises and start-ups which are already incorporated, with sales, growth and customers acquisition matters, and not targeting at all technologies and ideas at the UL (nyuko’s and chamber of commerce business mentoring; www.businessmentoring.lu). University ventures are widely recognised to be the most promising ones, but it is also known that they require much more investment in terms of coaching of students and researchers. After extensive gap analysis and thorough evaluation of state-of-the-art mentoring and support programs, we have concluded that the MIT’s venture mentoring program offers the right platform for smooth transfer of UL scientific knowledge and ideas into societal and commercial use, to provide real innovation to the market, and to actively drive the entrepreneurial landscape in Luxembourg. The methodology of the MIT venture mentoring service would be the best suited to the Luxembourg ecosystem because it is unique structured to account for many different aspects and challenges UL faces currently, from soft skills development, to technical matters which cannot be provided by one single person.

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