Today is born the School that teaches how to be entrepreneurs


The Agnelli Foundation presented the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation: four programs to help university students transform business ideas into reality

Turin, March 21, 2018. School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (SEI) was presented today. It is a project promoted by the Agnelli Foundation – in collaboration with six other public and private partners – to develop the entrepreneurial skills of university students, through entrepreneurial workshops, experiences in working in and creating startups and testimonies of entrepreneurs, investors and professionals.

The Vice President of the Agnelli Foundation, John Elkann, commented: “With this initiative, the Agnelli Foundation intends to support young people who want to get involved with or start an innovative business. Thanks to the collaboration with universities, institutions and local companies, the School offers new opportunities to transform business ideas into start-ups, reinforcing the role that Turin can and must play in the European innovation scenario”.

School of Entrepreneurship & Innovation is run by Collège des Ingénieurs Italia in collaboration with UniCredit, Club degli Investitori, Camera di Commercio, Industria, Artigianato e Agricoltura di Torino, Gruppo Giovani Imprenditori of Unione Industriale di Torino, Politecnico di Torino and Università di Torino.

The School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (SEI)

SEI aims to favour the starting of new entrepreneurial activities and help students acquire skills such as pro-activity, resourcefulness, ability to work in teams and assumption of responsibility: fundamental qualities not only for every aspiring entrepreneur, but also – in general – for those who are preparing to take their first steps into the world of work.

The training of SEI enables to learn the basics of creating a business plan, becoming familiar with advanced technologies and gaining a vision of the main innovations that will impact our society in the near future.

Each module offered by the School has three fundamental characteristics: internationality, interdisciplinarity and action-learning.

Participation in SEI programs is completely free and sponsored for the students, thanks to the contribution from the partners involved.

– The School has both Italian and international trainers, with relevant experiences in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation, gained in different industrial sectors and geographical contexts. The contents of each module are designed based on knowledge gained from the best entrepreneurial training programs across Europe.

– The School is aimed at students from the various faculties of the main universities in the region. By engaging young people with different training paths and backgrounds, SEI intends to favour the formation of working teams with different skills: a factor that often proves decisive for the success of many new businesses.

– The educational model on which the School of Entrepreneurship & Innovation is founded upon is action learning, which focuses on the direct experience of starting and running a business as a privileged means of learning. More than studying entrepreneurship, SEI students are called upon to experience it in the first person, launching their start-up or working on innovative projects. The School also brings students in direct contact with entrepreneurs and professionals, so that they can learn from their successes as well as from the mistakes made.

The SEI training proposal stems from collaboration between the public and private subjects that animate the local entrepreneurial and educational ecosystem and complements the existing university educational programs; in some cases, thanks to the agreements signed with the Politecnico di Torino and the Università di Torino, the attendance to SEI’s modules also allow the students to earn recognized curricular credits needed for obtaining their degrees.

The training programs of SEI are divided into four different paths, independent of each other, differing in duration, objective, models, partners and participation criteria.

Explorer: the program offers 40 students attending the three-year undergraduate degree course the opportunity to discover the basics of business creation over three months, developing soft skills such as personal initiative and the ability to work in a team, in addition to acquiring skills related to the development of a business plan and a knowledge of the technologies that will have an impact in the near future. The course is in effect as a curricular internship and allows students to accrue 6-10 credits.

Pioneer: it is a one-year program dedicated to 30 students of Alta Scuola Politecnica (ASP), the school of excellence created together by Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino. In the first 6 months, students take up the challenge launched by a partner company to develop a high-tech product on topics such as artificial intelligence, mobility, the Internet of things, biotechnology, aerospace and robotics. Finally, in the second semester, they work on the launch of their business idea inspired by technology that they have explored previously.

Changer: is a five-month impact innovation program in which post-graduate students work on solving global challenges using advanced technologies from CERN and the Politecnico di Torino. Every year, it involves 50 young people, 35 MBA students from CDI Italia and 15 PhD students from the Politecnico di Torino with a scientific-engineering background, divided into groups that engage in working sessions between Geneva and Turin, to create business ideas that respond to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Inventor: is a 10-day prototyping boot camp, carried out inside a makerspace, for 40 university students passionate about technology and innovation, which takes place twice a year, in the months of March and October. The program is aimed at university students of all levels, from the three-year degree, to masters to the research doctorates, prototyping and making enthusiasts. Participants learn to use tools such as 3D printers, laser cutting machines, basic programming boards and experiment with the ideation, prototyping and presentation of an entrepreneurial idea.

For the year 2018, the Explorer and Changer modules have already started and will end in late spring. The first edition of Pioneer will start in June; Inventor will take place in October.

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