During 2014, more than 400 individuals have reached out to the Entrepreneurship Hub giving us the opportunity to interact with them and the entrepreneurial community for more than 6 hours each on average (seminars, training, evaluation etc).
The Entrepreneurship Hub has attracted prominent business figures to strengthen its network. In its first year of operation more than 30 invited speakers and a network of 10 mentors have supported its activities. We have also launched supporting legal and accounting services with Deloitte to facilitate participant teams with their important initial decisions and steps.
Venture Garden was conceived and is operated and managed by Anatolia Business School in Thessaloniki & ALBA Graduate Business School in Athens, with the support of The Hellenic Initiative
The joint project aims at supporting and helping people nurture their entrepreneurial mindset and work on their specific ideas, through a blended learning educational process, totally adjusted to the participants’ profile, needs and business potentialities. It is also important to note that the project and the courses included are free of charge and correspond to all people that want to comprehend the business environment and the operation of a sustainable enterprise. VentureGarden’s innovation lies on the fact that the project’s core-philosophy focuses on the person, rather than the idea. Taking into consideration this principle, the joint project welcomes all interested participants regardless of the entrepreneurial characteristics of their idea.
VentureGarden’s educational process consists of two stages of different content and scope of work that are however, completely aligned with the project’s main objective; to help people define their needs, explore their capacities and set the roadmap of their entrepreneurial goals. More specifically:
- A rigorous 5 week classroom based activity with two courses per week facilitated by a professor and delivered by experienced specialists. The initial stage is repeated twice a year (Spring and Fall)
- A 12 month support and mentoring phase built around a customized roadmap to entrepreneurial success. The formal training stage leads to 12 months of elective courses (online, self-taught and/or classroom based) in additional to mentoring. The process is based on a specific roadmap that each participant designs with the support of mentors, entrepreneurs in residence and project staff. Participants graduate after these 12 months and become the project’s alumni.
The John & Mary Pappajohn Business Plan Awards
The Annual John & Mary Pappajohn Business Plan contest awards the 5 best business plans among the ones submitted (annual application over 100). It is open to young people interested in starting up their own business in the city of Thessaloniki and its broader area. Winners of the contest are also provided with mentoring support to help them turn their ideas into real businesses. This support includes access to ACT’s resources and counseling from the Business School’s faculty and a network of business practitioners.
An important part of the evaluation process is also be the entrepreneurial skills of the participants, which will be evaluated during the presentations of their ideas that they will be required to deliver. The key features that are evaluated are the innovation, the viability and growth potential of the proposed idea. In parallel participants are judged based on their communication skills, their enthusiasm, their expertise in the sector of the proposed.
The John & Mary Pappajohn Business Plan Award competition has 4 phases:
- Phase1: All interested parties should submit their ideas (brief description up to 300 words)
- Phase 2: Interview to evaluate readiness to complete business plan and launch.
- Phase 3: Authoring of complete business plans based on the ideas selected after phase 2. Before the final submission there is a seminar on how to author a business plan and a short presentation of the plans (with the progress up to that point) to aid candidates and provide some feedback while authoring their plans.
- Phase 4: Participants are asked to deliver a presentation based on their completed business plans and the judging committee will select the 5 winning plans.
Entrepreneurship Camp for Children
Anatolia caters for a broad age spectrum from kindergarten to postgraduate studies and as such is uniquely positioned to change the entrepreneurial culture. Leveraging on this competitive advantage we launched entrepreneurship workshop camps for children in grades 5,6,7 and 8 in 2015. The entrepreneurship summer camp program - Young Business Creators - conducted by the Entrepreneurship Hub implements the know-how of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurship Center in University of Iowa, which has a history of successes of almost 20 years.