February 1, 2023


Earn Nicely, Spend Wisely

How Universities Can Foster an Entrepreneurship Attitude Prime Strategies Universities Can Assistance the University student Entrepreneur

8 min read

Globally, 18% of all students say they want to grow to be entrepreneurs appropriate immediately after finishing their reports, even though 32% see on their own as company homeowners five a long time following the completion of their scientific studies. Nevertheless, the leap concerning intention and serious life can be a terrifying one particular, specially if you did not have a supportive atmosphere in college or university. Luckily, there are people today like Katerina Pramatari, who make it her purpose to aid the college student entrepreneur. 

She is just one of the founders of the Athens Heart for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEin), operated by the Athens University of Economics and Company. The Center’s mission is to bridge the current hole among useful insights and results coming from scientific and educational analysis, on the 1 hand, and their transformation into business alternatives, on the other hand. 

Apart from supporting aspiring business owners obtain their route, Katerina is also a founding associate at Uni.Fund, a VC fund that aims to leverage the hidden potential in Greek universities, R&D, and Tech area. The motor vehicle-as-a-services startup FlexCar is element of their portfolio. 


In her job interview for The Recursive, Katerina shares why failure early in her existence was a crucial stage in her possess journey, how universities can aid the student entrepreneur with making the essential frame of mind and competencies, and what are the variables guiding Greece’s recent tech ecosystem results. She worked as a programs analyst and assistant brand name supervisor at Procter & Gamble in Brussels before she resolved to pursue a job back again in Greece. Along with increasing two daughters, Katerina is a person of the European experts in IoT. 


The Recursive: How did you turn into passionate about helping the Greek startup local community? 

Katerina Pramatari, Athens Middle for Entrepreneurship: I started off my profession as a developer abroad but desired to return again to Greece. I so moved to the internet marketing division of a multinational firm but didn’t come to feel passionate about my position. And I experienced the considering again then that you need to have a eyesight and adhere to it in daily life, so I resigned. I began my PhD back in 1999, in e-commerce and electronic advertising and marketing, due to the fact of my tech and advertising qualifications. I required it to have a genuine affect. But I could not come across authentic scenario knowledge. So I had to make a startup. 

There was no entrepreneurial ecosystem back then. We ended up genuinely fortunate to have monetary guidance, but for the reason that we experienced no education in that area, and there was no ecosystem developed, we manufactured all the attainable problems. We  did not use dollars wisely. The initially effort and hard work was a whole failure. When I was signing the generation of the startup, I was in the medical center supplying delivery to my 2nd daughter. I was undertaking anything in parallel – I was boosting my young ones, performing a PhD, and setting up a business enterprise. 

Two decades afterwards, I was specified the opportunity to get the job done at the college. I was making an attempt to motivate the pupil entrepreneur, to encourage youthful learners to adhere to my route since my personal knowledge experienced shown me that the most vital items in daily life are to build a spouse and children, to have an idea on paper, convey it to lifetime, and to make an effects by way of your thought. 


How would you motivate younger persons to seek out opportunities to commence a business enterprise in Greece?

 I was talking to prime pupils in our department and no one was interested in following an entrepreneurial route. The initial choice for absolutely everyone was to get a occupation in the general public sector. When you are 23 a long time previous, the worst detail you can do is to get a place to really feel safe and sound. Offering them a position like this, you slash their wings, you never enable men and women create themselves, or the society.


In 2008, we commenced the e-nnovation levels of competition for e-commerce and that is how we started the university incubator- ACEin. Aside from some help from the college, and the Municipality of Athens, in 2015 there was no much more funding. So, we begun conducting open innovation jobs with industries to finance it. It was a self-financed incubator within the college that has supported quite a few learners and researchers to uncover their way. This has now made into a staff of around 10 people today with the suitable mentality to help entrepreneurship. 


You have established and led a college accelerator. In your practical experience what are the best 3 pillars when it will come to bridging the gap amongst university spin-offs and the organization world? 

 I want to differentiate involving two audiences. The initially just one is the college students and the other a person – the researchers. Normally, the trouble college student entrepreneurs have is that they really do not have company experience. They do not know which dilemma to operate on. If you take care of to carry this group jointly with the market and the business provides the challenges and the insights, then good results come. Scientists, on the other hand, have technology at hand, they don’t want to do other factors other than their investigate. Number of people in the study neighborhood have formulated company expertise. 


Just one major pillar is to help students and researchers produce their entrepreneurial mentality and techniques. When you chat to a enterprise individual they assume matters to be at a very very good stage of professionalism and maturity. They never have time to waste. So, they hope an innovative strategy to be ready to roll out in a organization ecosystem. The second issue is to help the teams speed up the notion to come to be far more experienced, although they get opinions from the market. The 3rd pillar is networking and occasions to bring with each other the field with the innovation community. You have to do all a few, if you pass up a single, it doesn’t perform.


Is there one thing like an “instruction established for entrepreneurs” that universities can supply to make a fruitful setting for a lot more entrepreneurs? 

 I think we 1st will need to realize that these types of techniques are not created in a normal way in course. You are unable to educate entrepreneurship even though the pupil is sitting down at a desk. The only way to build entrepreneurial abilities and way of thinking is as a result of apply. The before you start out, the speedier you will establish. We converse about techniques and frame of mind that help you identify troubles and chances in the industry. To realize how to make it take place, how a lot it costs, how to come across the middle inside of your self to help you move forward, what other means we require, and monetary literacy. All these aspects are of crucial significance for the university student entrepreneur. 


Obtaining labored with so many youthful individuals, do you see any styles in all those who will go out and become entrepreneurs? Any student entrepreneur frame of mind that stands out? 

 Two aspects. A person is the capability of anyone to pay attention, not just to hear, but to just take in what they listen to. And the next is not to allow issues get to them, not to get let down with the initial impediment, the initially slip-up, the very first issue. You require to normally have the electric power to get over the challenges. Which is how we innovate. Which is how we move ahead. 


Greece’s startup ecosystem is developing speedy, developing its initial unicorns, and we have also found many productive exits of Greek startups in the previous months. What would you say is the driving force powering this? 

 I think there are 3 aspects that have seriously labored in direction of good results. A person is that, in standard, we have hugely proficient human funds. The 2nd is, for the reason that of the disaster, in the last 10 a long time very little was happening here. So anyone was experience internally big urgency to change issues, to choose the nation into the growth path. And finally,  the development of enterprise cash resources has played a catalytic role. And now you see extra and more persons having included in the ecosystem and generating a beneficial cycle.


How do you see the Greek startup ecosystem evolving in the up coming handful of yrs?  

 I just cannot quickly see a scenario that can halt the improvement now. We know how to cope with crises. We have now a great deal more people that glimpse into that way, they have the expertise but now for the very first time, they have also the urgency to go in that route. We have a significantly additional mature ecosystem, a large amount additional capital to aid what is going on, and a large amount additional arranged constructions to assist people. The entire ecosystem is on the right path. We just have to continue on. In purchase for Europe to be much more entrepreneurial, the whole modern society really should develop into a great deal a lot more capable to take risk-using, transferring ahead. To assume a lot more positively that points will go very well rather of becoming very conservative about matters.


What is the perfect infrastructure behind universities that can translate their investigate into business types in accordance to you? 

 We will need to create a technique for employing progressive principles with impression. First of all, to support folks develop an entrepreneurial mentality and skills early on. Then we have to assistance them and educate them in the system of developing tips, testing validation, and generating the first techniques by way of.


The entrepreneurship journey is risky and as a result scary. What is your suggestions to the now-graduating students who would like to commence their dream journey but are also frightened of the uncertainty? 

 For innovation, absolutely nothing is nicely described, every little thing is rolling. Anything is super unstable, and you just have to get the ball rolling. I imagine, very first of all, for the aspiring college student entrepreneur to get motion calls for doing work with their fears and contemplating positively that points will go nicely.