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European Education and Culture Executive Agency

CORSHIP: Corporate EDUpreneurship – Benefitting Startups, Universities and Corporates across Europe

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Disruptive innovation and digitalization are challenging Europe´s business and educational worlds. The concept of “Corporate Entrepreneurship” (CE), in which established companies (corporates) team up with creative entrepreneurs, has  the potential to turn these challenges into opportunities. Corporates gain access to fresh ideas while startups –  faced with high failure rates and competition for venture capital – gain strong new partners.

Corporate EDUpreneurship (CORSHIP) is a diverse Knowledge Alliance that brings together universities, corporations and the start-up ecosystem. CORSHIP has assembled 7 carefully selected partners from 6 countries representing universities, corporates, start-ups and innovation networks along with 4 Associate partners who contribute additional business and entrepreneurship expertise.

The forum engages leading thinkers, educators, start-ups, and business leaders to foster intelligent and meaningful conversations to influence and shape a sustainable future and growth for society and organisations. This is achieved by connecting them through 3 core results. All 3 core results were turned into permanent offers to trigger a long-term benefit for start-ups, universities and corporates across Europe, enabling them to adapt to the digital age:

  1. The first micro-credential (a modular, flexible format stemming from MOOCs) Pilot worldwide on corporate entrepreneurship for 42 selected entrepreneurs, managers, students;
  2. The first MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) on corporate entrepreneurship (2.400+ entrepreneurs, managers, students);
  3. A unique corporate entrepreneurship Toolbox (guidelines, tools for 10.000+ users) designed to facilitate the collaboration between the 3 target groups.

Collaboration between start-ups, corporations and universities

The competitive landscape in Europe is changing. Technological advancements and changes in the markets disrupt industries across all sectors. To stay ahead of the competition, corporations are constantly looking for new innovative ways to reinvent themselves. Collaboration with external (startup) partners and adopting the startup way of working is emerging as a strategy for corporations to respond to the growing need for innovation.

Corporations are constantly searching for new ways to innovate and adopt new technologies to fulfil customer needs and solve customers’ problems. Collaboration with external innovation partners, such as startup companies or universities is one approach to addressing this challenge.

Sustainability of the project

To ensure the sustainability of the project all three core outcomes  were made available for the public after the project’s conclusion. Additionally, 11 collaboration agreements were signed with future users for a sustainable uptake of key outcomes. Partner institutions can offer all core outcomes for free beyond the project lifetime without the need for additional human and financial resources.

Q&As with CORSHIP project coordinator Dr. Christian Friedl:

How  did you come up with the idea for CORSHIP?

The concept for CORSHIP originated in the final phase of the BizMOOC project, a Knowledge Alliance exploring the potential of MOOCs for business training.  The innovation MOOCs received significant attention, leading us to continue and formulated an idea –We would touch the emerging topic of Co-Innovation between startups, corporates and universities and bring in MicroCredentials as new training format.

What was one of the most challenging moments of CORSHIP?

Interestingly, the largest challenges turned out to be the golden opportunities: First, the diversity of the partnership (from small to larger, from private to public, from industry to academia) with different cultures, compelled us to embrace a co-innovation mindset . Although this meant taking a step back, this multi-faceted perspective eventually leveraged the project’s quality, impact and partnership  to a new level. Second, the pandemic. It was challenging to switch everything (not only the partner meetings, but the whole training approach) online within days. However, it allowed us to reach a wider audience without the limitation of location.

From your point of view, how is the project contributing to the beneficiaries' real life and activities? Could you provide examples?

So many positive things resulted from CORSHIP that continues to impact our lives in various ways. A few examples:

  • The team has been invited to share our experiences in creating and implementing a MicroCredential in a high-level EU expert group, in national committees, with other projects, at conferences and within our institutions;
  • We have teamed up with Corporate Disruptors and jointly host events on Co-Innovation;
  • The project has been recognised as good practice at the “Ars Docendi” educational award;
  • Our learners created a Co-Innovation community on LinkedIn, with more than 300 members and we are still in touch with many of them;
  • Users of the Co-Innovation Builder, one of the project’s outcomes, keep sending us their adapted versions and provided us with insights how they use the tool in their business;
  • The project contributed to helping some beneficiaries take a new career shift into the innovation domain.

And what was the most rewarding moment?

We were ambitious, but the target group response exceeded all our expectations. Reaching almost 3000 people with our training offers was impressive, but the learners’ commitment and enthusiasm were most rewarding. As an example, the final part of the MicroCredential was a ten-week-long intensive Masterclass – fully online, with participants who had not previously met before.The team was thrown into a shark tank with a demanding jury during the interim presentation. Still, the completion rate was 95% - a remarkable achievement in such a setting.


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