The winner of the Intoa! Entrepreneurial Act of the Year award for the academic year 2020–2021 was announced at this spring’s Entrepreneurship Day in collaboration with LähiTapiola Varsinais-Suomi. The winner is the Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) Programme at Turku School of Economics. The award was handed out for the first time in 2016. Together with external partners, the University of Turku has supported entrepreneurial acts with almost a quarter of a million with the Entrepreneurial Act of the Year competition.
The Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) Programme, which was launched at Turku School of Economics in autumn 2020, has been selected as the winner of the Intoa! Entrepreneurial Act of the Year award. The winner was selected by a jury including Rector Jukka Kola (University of Turku), Director of Development Riitta Mustonen (University of Turku), Professor Jarna Heinonen (University of Turku), and CEO Olli Aakula (LähiTapiola Varsinais-Suomi). The Entrepreneurial Act of the Year award is €30,000, which is donated by the competition partner and sponsor LähiTapiola Varsinais-Suomi.
EiR is a programme that involves entrepreneurs in the activities of Turku School of Economics. The programme promotes students and teachers’ understanding of the realities of entrepreneurship and thus shapes their entrepreneurial attitudes. For entrepreneurs, the programme offers a viewpoint into the everyday life at the University and academia as well as access to the latest academic research and knowledge. The programme is unique in Finland and the Entrepreneurship unit has developed it on the basis of international models for the University of Turku.
– LähiTapiola Varsinais-Suomi as a regional insurance company has supported the Intoa! Entrepreneurial Act of the Year award because collaboration between business life and the University boosts the development of the Turku economic region. The Entrepreneurs in Residence programme strengthens the University’s connection to business life. For many students starting their career, entrepreneurship can seem like a natural option or goal, which is why promoting entrepreneurial mindset in the University is important, says partner of the competition, CEO of LähiTapiola Varsinais-Suomi Olli Aakula.
With the award, the jury wishes to give recognition to a new type of business collaboration. The programme makes the collaboration with entrepreneurs more systematic and involves entrepreneurs in the University’s activities.
– All the entrepreneurial acts entered into the competition had their own strengths and possibilities for further development. The winner stood out in its scalability for other faculties. The EiR programme combines the University’s entrepreneurship goals and strengthens our profile as the Entrepreneurial University, says the chair of the jury, Rector Jukka Kola.
The jury also granted an honourable mention to two other finalists for their significant actions for the University. The research, development and testing service TERTTU of Health Campus Turku and the University’s mentoring programmes received recognition from the jury for their great scalability and utilisation.
University of Turku Has Supported Entrepreneurial Acts with Nearly a Quarter of a Million
Through the Intoa! competition and together with an external partners, the University of Turku has supported entrepreneurial acts with 235,000 Euro. Versatile acts from different disciplines have been entered to the Entrepreneurial Act of the Year competition each academic year since the competition was established in 2015. The awarded acts have involved e.g. commercialisation of research, entrepreneurship training, and global educational services. Read more about the winners and runner-ups of the Intoa! Entrepreneurial Act of the Year award at https://www.yrittajyysyliopisto.fi/intoa-competition/
In the academic years 2019–2021, the competition has been organised together with LähiTapiola Varsinais-Suomi and the University would like to thank the company for great collaboration.