Bridging the gap between Academia and entrepreneurship

SMARTUP is the result of a smart cooperation effort between higher education institutes, companies, the EU Crowdfunding Network and business foundations from nine EU countries and Stanford University. The project aims at developing smart educational tools – a master programme and a web portal – to support students and startuppers in the construction of their entrepreneurial spirit and mindset, and in the acquisition of the practical know how to go from business idea to market.

ECN will support the consortium in the coordination of dissemination activities and integration of crowdfunding dimension(support for the integration of a crowdfunding dimension in the serious game and reviewing and testing of tools), advice for the set-up of a crowdfunding tool and Support for social media strategy for crowdfunding campaigns. ECN will provide advice and expertise for training sessions and workshops. ECN will identify early stage investors (crowdfunding platforms managers, business angels and venture capitalists). ECN organise the final conference in Brussels in order to raise awareness about project results to stakeholders at EU level. ECN will facilitate exchanges with EU projects aiming at supporting entrepreneurship under Horizon 2020.

Expected results:

The main objective is to allow them to reach innovative contents and methods and share knowledge and know how – but also tricks and tips – about the challenging topic “how do I create a successful entrepreneurial venture?”, which includes how to cope with issues such as pitch, business plan, procedures & law, market, investors, funds, stress. These issues will be addressed by a transnational community animated by students, teachers, mentors, entrepreneurs and investors.

Another objective relates to the enhancement of universities’ ability to equip students, and especially would-be entrepreneurs, with competences and instruments that are adequate to address real world challenges. To reach this objective, participating universities will develop innovative and smart teaching programmes – designed with inputs from the practical mindsets and experience of companies – to promote the growth of startuppers among students.

Project details

Duration: Jan 2016- October 2018

Project funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ — Knowledge Alliances

Project partners:

University of Milano Bicocca

University of Thessaly

Haaga-Helia University

FH Joanneum University


Research Qualification

Totem Learning Ltd


Irradiare – Science for Evolution


Stanford University