European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Kiril Todorov
Chapter 11: Business Pre-incubator as a Learning Network: A Case Study in the University of Applied Sciences
Kaija Arhio and Marja-Liisa Kaakko INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND The vision of the Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences is to be the most well-known and recognized University of Applied Sciences in Finland in the area of entrepreneurship by the year 2010. In addition to higher education, the main focuses are research and development and different services for regional business life. According to these aims we have developed a model to support entrepreneurship in the Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences. In the pre-incubator all the activities will train the students towards entrepreneurship, to start their own enterprise and to make their first steps in business. This includes educational and learning processes, research and development processes, learning environment and ‘be awakened to entrepreneurship’ activities. Students are able to stay in the pre-incubator during their studies. After graduation they will have opportunities to continue developing and planning their businesses supported by regional incubators. The history of the business pre-incubator in the Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences Ylivieska Unit goes back to the late 1990s. In 1997 there was a project (INSY) concentrating on the entrepreneurship of engineers and supporting businesses among engineers. This project was the beginning of the Technology Village (YTEK) and RFM-polis. New learning methods were examined and tested as part of higher education in the INSY project. Since those days the pre-incubator has played an essential role in the learning process at the Ylivieska Campus. The more systematic activities in the pre-incubator started in 2004 as part of...
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