Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
In continuity with previous actions, Friuli Innovazione also participated in the fifth phase of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Program through the Gymnasium V project promoted by the European partnership led by Eurosportello Veneto (VE). The project aimed to initiate mobility actions focused on the exchange of managerial skills and know-how between aspiring entrepreneurs or new entrepreneurs and experienced entrepreneurs from different European countries, benefiting the competitiveness and internationalization of European SMEs.
Over the 24 months of the project's duration (from February 2013 to February 2015), Friuli Innovazione, through the services provided within the certified Techno Seed incubator, was able to offer potential beneficiaries in Friuli Venezia Giulia the opportunity to access funding to cover mobility costs and the chance for host entrepreneurs to initiate transnational collaborations for internationalization activities. Throughout the duration of Gymnasium V (the 5th phase of the program), Friuli Innovazione operated as the sole intermediary entity active in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
The Partners • Regional Union of Chambers of Commerce Industry of Veneto – (Italy) • Friuli Innovazione, Center for Research and Technological Transfer – (Italy) • Enterprise Flanders - Agentschap Ondernemen (Belgium) • Bureau Economique Province de Namur (Belgium) • Brussels Enterprise Agency (Belgium) • Agro Business Park – ABP (Denmark) • Hita Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (Hungary) • Bulgaria Economic Forum (Bulgaria)
With Gymnasium V, Friuli Innovazione continued to capitalize on previous results, regularly disseminating project opportunities through the services offered by Friuli Innovazione within the certified Techno Seed business incubator, as well as with the support of local partners (Informagiovani in Udine, Trieste, and Pordenone, Chambers of Commerce, and certified incubators) previously involved in the program and familiar with its details.
The opportunities offered by this initiative were promoted region-wide through the web (social networks) and targeted presentations organized in collaboration with other local entities/institutions active in the reference territory and aimed at business owners of SMEs in every productive sector. The initiative was presented during numerous events hosted at the Scientific and Technological Park of Udine dedicated to young entrepreneurs and potential beneficiary experienced entrepreneurs.
The reduced project management commitment allowed the Friuli Innovazione staff to focus more on involving host entrepreneurs. In this regard, individual meetings were held with potential host companies in Friuli Innovazione's network, aiming to explain in detail the development and internationalization opportunities offered by the program.
Thanks to Gymnasium V, Friuli Innovazione supported the successful completion of 4 exchanges, as well as the provision of funding to cover mobility costs for young entrepreneurs, totaling €13,500. The direct beneficiaries of the orientation and support activities funded by this action, provided through the Techno Seed incubator service, were 15, including 13 young entrepreneurs and 2 host entrepreneurs. The number of indirect beneficiaries reached through promotional and dissemination activities at the regional and national levels was approximately 300, including 250 young entrepreneurs and 50 experienced entrepreneurs.
The young entrepreneurs, aged between 25 and 30, who benefited from support for the exchange project and funding for mobility expenses were Niglia Alessandro, Sillitti Antonio, Stellacci Elisa, and Giulia Foschiani. Thanks to the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Program, these beneficiaries were able to develop their entrepreneurial ideas through concrete activities planned in agreement with the host companies. In more detail, the activities carried out during their stay abroad focused on the tourism sector, the DOP agricultural production sector, as well as the creative field with outdoor architecture and legal services.
Regarding promotion and dissemination activities, during 2015, collaboration with local, national, and international partner organizations was strengthened to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of new businesses. Specifically, during the reference period, over thirty promotional interventions were carried out both during initiatives dedicated to the target audience (especially young entrepreneurs) by the staff of the Business Development Area of Friuli Innovazione in the region but also at the cross-border level in Carinthia and Slovenia. In fact, during the implementation of the Gymnasium V project, Friuli Innovazione intensified cross-border collaboration, particularly working with intermediary organizations (such as the Build! incubator in Klagenfurt and the PST in Ljubljana) supporting startups, thus promoting the creation of a trilateral startup ecosystem. In more detail, in collaboration with colleagues from the Carinthian Build! incubator and those from the Scientific and Technological Park of Ljubljana, information exchange activities and joint events were initiated for the promotion of opportunities offered by the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Program.
It is worth noting the presentation of the opportunities offered by the EYE Program during the first StartupLive held in Klagenfurt from February 20 to 22, 2015, which involved young entrepreneurs from Carinthia, Slovenia, Veneto, and Friuli Venezia Giulia thanks to the collaboration between the relevant entities for their respective territories. As the sole intermediary entity active in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Friuli Innovazione supported the realization of 37 exchanges from 2009 to 2015, including 26 outgoing and 11 incoming, while the total funding disbursed to cover travel and stay expenses abroad for participants at the end of the 5th cycle exceeded 100,000 euros.