I2E: Units and Elements

The I2E courses are divided into different Units and each unit contains several elements.

Unit 1: Shaping Ideas

This unit deals with key skills that are required to define and sharpen ideas, starting from creating a mindset in students\' heads, passing via methods for structuring ideas, and ending by discussing methods and best practices for finalising business ideas.

 1.    Key Success Factors for Entrepreneurship

 The aim of the element is to describe the main topics, which young entrepreneurs have to understand in order to make a relevant decision how they will transfer the product / service / innovation to the market.


2.    Forming the Mindset of Students

Forming the minds of students means to train them in applying systematic techniques to find innovative solutions to concrete problems. The method envisaged in this skill element is to create a library of case studies which demonstrate the key issues about creating ideas for innovative solutions. Most of them are based on the student's capability of taking into account basic proven principles from several different domains.

 3.    Methods for structuring Ideas

The aim of the element is to provide methods for structuring the ideas based on the integration of complementary networked skills and in such a way that they address specific problems, and have a long term broader vision for development.

Unit 2: Innovation Transfer

This unit focuses on issues concerned with the transfer of knowledge and technology and innovations to the competitive market. These issues are known to represent key success factors of entrepreneurship in the academic domain.

1.    Creating joint Visions of Products and Services

Several types of modern products create customer value in combination with associated services. Furthermore, in many sectors margins are significantly higher in services than in products. It is thus increasingly important to think about services associated to a certain product in the very early product development phases. This process can be highly facilitated by bringing together as many stakeholders of the product life-cycle as possible, in order to make them exchange knowledge about requirements and constraints with respect to a specific product and its life-cycle. This element gives an introduction into methods that help carry out this knowledge networking task with the target to create a vision about the future product and its associated services that is shared by as many different stakeholders as possible.


2.    From Prototypes to Products

A significant number of Start-Ups fail due to the fact that effort for supporting one or several products on the market has been underestimated. The way from a research prototype to a sellable product that provides a certain level of quality is typically very long one. The necessity and the efforts of supporting the product once it is in the hands of customers is also often not sufficiently considered. This learning element focuses on the key factors that have to be taken into account before actually taking the direction to the creation of product out of a product idea or a prototype, including risk management issues.


3.    Business Potential Profiling

The aim of the element is to describe the needs of industry on the one hand and researchers or research organizations on the other hand for successful knowledge and technology transfer. Technology transfer defines the process of transformation of the results of research and development into marketable products or services. Best practices will be introduced how to find out about the needs of industry and academia for collaboration needs and knowledge and technology transfer


4.    Preparing Innovation Transfer Contracts

The aim of the element is to describe the different types of collaboration that are available for knowledge and technology transfer. Best practices will be introduced how to find out about the best suitable collaboration types for industry and research organizations

Unit 3: Knowledge Networking

Knowledge Networking is considered the core competence area for entrepreneurs. Networking knowledge from several different domains and sectors can create the decisive competitive advantage of modern and future-oriented enterprises.


1.    Business and Services Networking

The aim of the element is to provide examples and experiences from success cases about how to interface with real business networks (not only student and development networks).  


2.    Use of Web 2.0

In all the skill elements the possibilities the Web 2.0 offers to promote, network and discuss an idea/research or business field should be taken into account.

Unit 4: Empowerment by Learning

This unit puts the concept of the Learning Organisation in the middle of the successful enterprise creation.


1.    Openness and Team Learning

 The aim of the element is to provide methods for training openness, for new strategies in knowledge sharing in a team and its advantages, and for feedback and leadership approaches accepting and empowering the integration of new ideas.


2.    Leadership and Team Motivation Factors

This skill element will focus on leadership behavior when considering the entrepreneurial attitude (style, emotions, self motivation) - individual behavior; and on leadership by a group (leadership teams, action oriented team leadership skills for cross-functional teams) - group/team behavior.


3.    Social Skills paired with Technical Abilities

This skill element objective is to train students in the field of social communication based on the valorization of their emotional intelligence.

Unit 5: Facilitators of Entrepreneurs

This unit provides highly condensed and concise information about key issues of entrepreneurship, which are typically taught in seminars which are currently offered by various institutions. The unit, however, does not want to replace such seminars and courses, but it rather seeks to give the student a convenient means of reflection on whether sHe needs formation in the respective competence areas, and where sHe can find complementary courses.

1.    European Facilitators of Entrepreneurship

The aim of the element is to provide information which institutions, programs, infrastructure, etc is available at European level.

2.    National Facilitators of Entrepreneurship

The aim of the element is to provide information which institutions, programs, infrastructure, etc is available in certain countries in order to facilitate the entrepreneurship. The content of the element should be tailored on the basis of situation in each country where the seminar is given.

Unit 6: Selected Aspects

This unit contains a selection of skill elements that are considered very interesting and relevant for the target audience, and which are implicitly part of all the other skill units and elements.


1.    Risk Consideration and Mitigation

Risk issues should be taken into account in the elaboration of all the skill elements. Focus should be set on risk identification by their typology and by identifying their potential sources; risk awareness and evaluation; entrepreneurs' behavior when they confront with risk (risk adversity behavior); risk mitigation.


2.    Open Innovation


Innovative enterprises that are successful in the modern knowledge-based networked economy have succeeded to drive their innovation in knowledge networks rather than in hermetically protected research departments. Open Innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology. The boundaries between a firm and its environment have become more permeable; innovations can easily transfer inward and outward. The central idea behind open innovation is that in a world of widely distributed knowledge, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions (e.g. patents) from other companies. In addition, internal inventions not being used in a firm's business should be taken outside the company (e.g., through licensing, joint ventures, spin-offs). This element introduces these key concepts of Open Innovation to the student.