On 2 and 3 December, the “Innovations workshop 2.0: Technological Enterprises” programme organised by the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programmes (RUSNANO), was held at VSU. The idea of the event belongs to Denis Kovalevich, director of the Technospark nanotechnology centre.
On 2 December, at 9.00 in the entrance hall of the Main Building of VSU, a Start-Up Bar was opened, where visitors could get information about the Fund, register for a business game “Build a start-up. Sell a start-up”, or just get a cup of coffee. The head of the popularisation division of the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programmes, Sergei Filippov, addressed the students:
“Students often ask me: I finished a five-year university course, what now? I have no answer. Education is pointless, unless you know exactly what you are going to do with it. The aim of our game is to help students find their own way, to provide them with experience they cannot get anywhere else. We want the students of VSU to take part in our business game and see alternative paths, paths that are different from the ones their parents had to choose from during the industrial era - an era that is now over. We now live in the era of innovative economics. It is an era of start-ups and the dozens of innovation clusters that this era produces. And the centre of this is the technological entrepreneur. It is a person who can organise the whole process and connect all the parts of it – engineers, finance managers, producers, and marketing specialists. Today the technological entrepreneur is becoming a profession. We invite students to have a look at the future that is likely to become a reality in 5–10 years.”
Sergey Filippov gave examples of successful start-ups, based on good knowledge and intrinsic activity. He managed to persuade the audience that “ideas cost nothing, what is valuable, is the business that sells these ideas”.
On 3 December, a business game “Build a start-up. Sell a start-up” was held at VSU. The game is regularly held for the employees of nanocentres all over Russia, and this year the organisers decided to test it on students. Voronezh was the fourth city, after Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Uliyanovsk, that held such a game. Within the eight hours of the game, the participants could try out various roles – developers, entrepreneurs, or financial managers. They had a chance to see how they can use the knowledge they gained in university to run a real business.
Following the results of the game, four VSU students will represent our city at the final game in Moscow – Viktoria Perevoschikova (the Faculty of Mathematics), Andrey Sinetsky (the Faculty of Physics), Evgeniya Ryazhskikh (the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Informatics, and Mechanics), and Andrey Boronnikov (the Faculty of Computer Sciences).
“Our task was to create a ball bearing manufacturing company and develop prototypes using the materials at hand. The company was assessed based on its stability - the level of purchasing, sales, activity, capacity, personnel, and management. My company was evaluated as being worth 1000 points based on how well the idea was developed, which was the maximum sale price. The game helped me to understand that in any situation it is first necessary to figure out what is going on, and than decide what to do. It is also important to know how to cooperate and make deals, and stand your ground at the same time,” – said Viktoria Perevoznikova.
The “Innovation workshop” is a programme aimed at the popularisation of science, engineering knowledge, and nanotechnology. It was created by the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programmes in 2014, in order to involve students in research and practical activities in the field of nanoindustry and nanotechnology, as well as to inform people about the advances of national companies in this field.