Universities and technoparks are among the leading players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. In addition to the research conducted in academia, the cooperation established and the joint studies and activities carried out, especially between universities and industry are very important in the emergence of entrepreneurial behavior. Universities serve as a locomotive in the formation of entrepreneurial thinking and the development of innovative and creative ideas, both through technoparks and certain centers such as pre-incubation/incubation. Universities are the only facilitators for entrepreneurs to establish business networks while they are still students. From this perspective, the importance of the role played by IDEAL, established within our university, in creating an entrepreneurship ecosystem at Hacettepe University is clear.
In this context, Hacettepe IDEAL
- aims to provide all students with information about entrepreneurship and to increase their awareness of entrepreneurship.
- aims to introduce prospective entrepreneur students to the entrepreneurship ecosystem and develop their entrepreneurial skills.
- aims to enable entrepreneurial students to realize their business ideas and to plan and carry out the necessary studies to establish effective business networks.
In order to achieve these goals, a training program called “IDEAL Training- First Step into Entrepreneurship” has been designed to accelerate our students’ understanding and familiarization with the entrepreneurship ecosystem. In line with our mission, this education is offered free of charge to all our undergraduate students, regardless of faculty, department, or class. The main subject of this training is “professional experience transfer“.
In this context, topics such as business models, marketing, and finance are explained in both a theoretical and practical framework by experts in the field and entrepreneurial business people. Thus, students participating in this training not only learn basic information about entrepreneurship but also have the opportunity to expand their business networks.
“First Step into Entrepreneurship” is an 8-week training consisting of 4 basic modules. During this period, participants gain information about the following topics:
Module 1: Entrepreneurship Ecosystem – Opportunities, Challenges, Competitors, Innovation, Business Networks
Module 2: Business Model- Strategy, Competitive Advantage, Scaling, Sustainability
Module 3: Marketing- Product, Price, Distribution, Promotion, Market Analysis, Customer
Module 4: Finance – Financing Model, Budgeting, Profitability, Cash Flow Management, Investors
Certain students, selected from among the participants within a limited quota according to the maturity level of their business ideas, also receive “academic mentoring” services from faculty members of our Business Administration department throughout their training period. The academic mentoring process is a one-on-one and face-to-face mentoring support that is specifically prepared for the prospective entrepreneur student’s business idea. The academic mentoring process aims to assist student entrepreneurs in matters such as identifying new business opportunities, business model development, competitive analysis, strategy generation, market segmentation, budget creation, and break-even analysis.
Ultimately, the IDEAL Training program is the starting point of the four-layered process described below. Students who complete this training will be entitled to receive a “Certificate of Participation“. Academic mentoring support will also be provided to certain students selected among these students during their training phase. As a result of the evaluations made at the end of the training and academic mentoring process, students who will be determined among those who want to continue the program will begin to receive “peer mentoring” and “technical mentoring” support in the second stage.
The peer mentoring process is an interactive guidance process based on open communication that enables prospective entrepreneur students to work one-on-one and face-to-face with their peers for 8 weeks. Knowledgeable and willing students from the Department of Business Administration and Psychology, after going through a certain training process, are paired one-on-one with student entrepreneurs and start working as a team. The two main outcomes of this study are business plan and managerial skills. Entrepreneurial students create the details of their business plans under the guidance of peer mentors. In addition, measuring and developing the managerial skills of prospective entrepreneur students such as awareness, time management, communication, problem-solving, team management, conflict management, and creativity style are also structured within the scope of peer mentoring processes.
The technical mentoring process is shaped in line with the demands and needs of student entrepreneurs. People with experience and vision in fields such as software, industrial design, materials, and commercialization working in different departments of Hacettepe University come together with student entrepreneurs and guide them in line with their technical needs.