European expertise boosts Essex start-up

  • Date

    Fri 17 Mar 23

A University of Essex start-up business Hivemind Academy benefited from taking part in the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) Accelerator Programme hosted by the University of Antwerp.

This intensive training programme for selected high-potential start-ups is part of the Inno4YUFE project and was funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education.

This innovative Accelerator Programme welcomed a range of student and graduate start-ups and spin-offs,. giving budding entrepreneurs from across Europe the opportunity to collaborate and share best practice, while challenging business assumptions and encouraging reflective practice.

Over the three days, an international team of expert coaches guided participants through a series of workshops to equip them with the tools to boost their businesses and enhance their success. Workshops focused on key topics, such as understanding the customer journey, adopting tools to assess their business model, and preparing the perfect pitch.

PhD Data Science graduate Dr Madalina-Daniela Mihailescu was selected to participate to support the progression of her business Hivemind Academy, which offers sector-specific data analytics training. Madalina is currently developing a course for individuals wanting to pursue data analysis roles within the healthcare industry, boosting career development opportunities and reducing on-the-job training.

Madalina said: “The Accelerator Programme was intense, but extremely valuable in supporting my business development.

“The next stage of my business plan is to launch a pilot for the course I’m developing. The YUFE Accelerator Programme has boosted my confidence in preparing for this, having had the chance to participate in an interactive pitch deck and a marketing and branding workshop tailored to my business needs.”

Start-up teams linked to different YUFE-universities came together to receive coaching from experts in entrepreneurship from Maastricht University (the Netherlands), Nicolas Copernicus University (Poland), University of Antwerp, and the Voka Antwerp-Waasland Chamber of Commerce (Belgium).

Head of Essex Startups Andy Mew., from the University of Essex, also provided expert coaching tips to participants. Andy said “This programme provided a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurial talent to collaborate with peers, academics, and industry professionals from across Europe. By supporting this YUFE Accelerator Programme we have been able to harness the personal ambitions of all participants and contribute to the overall expansion of the community of European innovators.”