The University of Luxembourg Incubator is located at the institution’s Belval campus, seen in a September 2015 library picture. Image credit: LaLa La Photo
It is not always easy for budding entrepreneurs to find support and tap into a business network when they may have limited professional experience and perhaps face preconceptions around their age.
Enter the University of Luxembourg’s Incubator, which aims to give students (and staff) essential guidance and help them establish their own track record.
The university said in a press release, when the initiative was formally inaugurated in March 2018 (although it started running in September 2017), that:
“The Incubator will support aspiring entrepreneurs from the university in developing the skills and competences that are related to entrepreneurship and eventually help them to create their business ideas and set up their own company in Luxembourg.”
The Incubator provides “space for workshops, infrastructure for prospective startups and individual consulting services for everything from idea evaluation to full business plans.”
In the same press announcement, Romain Martin, at the time a vice rector at the university, stated:
“The main purpose of the Incubator is to support startups in their very first steps while they develop and refine their ideas. Once they mature and are ready to enter the market, we pass them on to one of the established incubators, such as Technoport.”
Since the Incubator began operating in September 2017, “more than 1,000” people have participated in the programme, “more than 60 startup ideas” have been supported, a total of 36 startups have been incubated (including 18 currently hosted at the centre) and there has been a total of “42 jobs created,” a university spokeswoman told Delano on 7 February.
One of the Incubator’s flagship events is called Ideation Camp, a three-day workshop where students can develop a startup pitch from scratch. For example, GoldenMe, a digital community for active retirees that was profiled by Delano last year, got started as a project at the Incubator, winning first prize at the 2018 Ideation Camp startup competition.
The next edition takes place on 26-29 February. Ideation Camp is primarily meant for the university’s bachelor, master and doctorate students, postdoctorate researchers and staff researchers. However, the uni rep said, “a certain number of limited spaces is available for” external participants. Registration closes on 18 February.
“We will do a first pre-selection on May 26. The top 5 ideas will be selected for a final pitch on May 27,” the University of Luxembourg spokeswoman said.
Venture Mentoring Service
The university connects young entrepreneurs with mentors through its Venture Mentoring Service. The programme is quite selective. Since September 2017, the programme has seen “17 ventures supported by more than 35 mentors”, said the representative. “The VMS is open to all startups with a link to the [University of Luxembourg], for example, a founder of the startup is/was a student of the [University of Luxembourg],” she said.