The ACT Entrepreneurship Hub acts as a start-up accelerator and provides:
- Workshops and training on start-ups
- Networking with partners, investors, markets
- Pitching events with investors and stakeholders
- Workspaces in the ACT Bissell Library and affiliated incubators
- Business Plan competitions to promote and reward the most innovative and sustainable ideas
- Information on “ΕΣΠΑ” funded programs, and other financial tools such as microcredit
Some of the most important projects we implement are:
Venture Garden was conceived and is operated and managed by Anatolia Business School in Thessaloniki & ALBA Graduate Business School in Athens.
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. The whole 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 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 and project staff. The program’s graduates become the project’s alumni.
GreenHouse, is a free, intensive, five-day startup business bootcamp organized in Northern Greece cities other than Thessaloniki, in partnership with local stakeholdrs, within the framework of VentureGarden. The ACT Entrepreneurship Hub has successfully implemented GreenHouse Bootcams in Kavala, Kozani, Xanthi, Trikala, Ioannina and Alexandroupolis.
The John & Mary Pappajohn Business Plan Awards
The Annual John & Mary Pappajohn Business Plan competition is open to people interested in starting up their own business. The competition awards the top 5 business plans among the ones submitted (annual application over 100) provided they turn into real businesses. Winners are also provided with mentoring support. This support includes access to ACT’s resources and counseling from the Business School’s faculty and a network of businessemen.
The key features which are evaluated are the skills of the startup team, the innovation, the viability and potential growth of the proposed idea. Participants are judged based on their communication skills, their enthusiasm, and their expertise in the sector of the proposed project.
Entrepreneurship Camp for Children
The Young Business Creators summer program is aimed at students completing the 4th, 5th and 6th grades of Elementary School. The program’s language is English, at a level that is understood by the students. Young Business Creators is based on the method of the Jacobson Foundation of the University of Iowa for Youth Entrepreneurship. The know-how and educational material were adopted by Anatolia College.
Through mentoring and teamwork, students as young entrepreneurs learn how to create their own small businesses. They start with the idea, the design, the brand name, the production, and the sales. They visit businesses in Thessaloniki where executives present them how a modern enterprise operates.
The Entrepreneurship Hub initiatives are supported by a network of 80 speakers and 30 mentors, prominent business executives and representatives of the business community.
The work of the ACT Entrepreneurship Center is recognized by many city agencies with which it has developed collaborations (Universities, research centers, incubators, businesses). Many teams that have gone through the Center today are successful businesses, offering prospects and income to their owners and employees.