"Partnership for Innovation and Entrepreneurship" – Collaboration for connecting educational and business activities
In 2013, ΜSD initiated a "Partnership for Innovation and Entrepreneurship" with the MBA International Program of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) and the NGO Industry Disruptors/Game Changers. These three organizations joined forces, forming a unique and forward looking combination of Education with the Productive sector, under a single cause that can benefit the real economy. The goal was to foster entrepreneurship that is based on innovation in Greece and this was achieved by supporting and strengthening the “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” major of the iMBA Program.
Within the context of its CSR activities, MSD leads the way with activities that improve peoples’ lives. It supports the acquisition of special skills through educational activities, this way promoting innovative entrepreneurship and delivers real results for local business and contributes in reviving the Greek economy. With this initiative MSD invests in Greece’s human capital, supporting the process of transformation of research results in business activity, therefore upgrading the quality of employment, productivity and development efforts. MSD exploits the research excellence of the Greek Public University, invests in public education and attempts to structure a world-class inter-discipline, post-graduate program that exclusively focuses on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
AUEB, Graduate Students from various disciplines, local community
Since 2012, continuing until today.
Within the context of this partnership, MSD has provided a total of 22 fellowships (10 during the first cycle and 12 during the current one) to graduate students that follow the major “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” of the MBA International (iMBA) of the AUEB. Additionally, MSD supported other horizontal actions that aimed at providing knowledge tools to the students for transforming their innovative idea or their research result into entrepreneurial activity.
The major aims at providing theoretical and practical skills to students with innovative ideas and a vision to create a business. The curriculum includes administrative and organizational skills for innovation and entrepreneurship, for the development and financing the business, international management, negotiation skills, geopolitics et.c.
Also, on the practical side, the curriculum includes specialized seminars on communicating business plans, on raising funds, on the life-cycle of spin-off businesses, on HR issues, on securing the property rights and overall on the required dexterities that will support the transformation of their innovation to business activity. The fellows of the full-time MBA International program are selected according to their research capacity or their innovative entrepreneurial ideas.
AUEB and Industry Disruptors/Game Changers
The development of the innovative business initiatives of the fellows of the first cycle have resulted in the following:
- 4 out of the 10 fellows already have established companies.
- 4 projects have evolved in new business ventures and have been structures so that they can seek funding.
- 3 companies have received funding.
- 1 of the fellows was the winner on the i-bank Innovation & Technology competition of the National Bank of Greece.
- 1 of the fellows is having his internship at Deutsche Bank in Berlin as an Analyst for Credit risk management for startups.
As to the fellows of the second cycle, some already have established a company, some participate in business incubators for start-ups (ACE in of the City of Athens), some have participated in internships and business trips in the USA, seeking funding etc.
At MSD Greece we have a vision to improve lives in Greece. And this is implemented not only through our innovative medicine but also through education. We consider knowledge that is gained through education as a form of medicine that can transform and enrich peoples’ lives.
At the start of this Partnership, we had a thorough understanding of the impact that the austerity measures especially had on young people. We had to contribute something to the young generation of Greeks and try to invert the brain drain. Innovation allows for building opportunity and exploiting bright minds by channeling them in productive, value adding processes that can be extrovert. And this model can be strengthened if it spreads throughout various disciplines and industries. This was our initial thought and today we are happy to have tangible results of our contribution via our Partnership.