At IST, in order to enhance employability skills and extroversion, while at the same time encourage the new generation, we have, for the 4th consecutive year, organised the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Contest “Crazy Business Ideas”. It is amazing to see young people come up with innovative ideas, being competitive and achieving amazing results. The committee evaluated the ideas with objectivity; making comments and giving feedback and advice to the teams who presented their ideas. Other than the awards, it is this evaluation process that participants are after in entrepreneurship contests because it helps them improve their ideas and their implementation prospects. So, on Wednesday, November 19th, in the midst of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, IST awarded the 3 Crazy Business Ideas teams that stood out, celebrating the end of a contest which consistently, for 4 years, motivates young people to dare turn their idea into business. It is also impressive, that two of the six teams which presented their idea (one of the teams is the one that won the first prize in the contest) were 2nd Grade Lyceum Students. So, it came as no surprise, that the General Secretary of Research and Technology of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Christos Vassilakos, stated that "Because we believe that the state should support and reward such creative efforts, especially so if they are the offspring of young people, the General Secretariat of Research and Technology will additionally reward the six finalists of the contest, by giving €4,000 to the 1st prize winner, €3,000 to the second prize winner, €2,000 to the 3rd prize winner and €1,000 to each of the other 3 finalists. The aforementioned monetary prizes will be given to the beneficiaries based on proposals they are going to submit to us for further continuation and promotion of the products and services they wish to launch in the market".
In the context of this extroversion, both the government and the executives of the Ministry of Education are placing their efforts on defining a strategy for the internationalisation of education, as well as the integration of critical, legislative interventions that aim at putting Greece on the map as an educational hub, attracting thousands of foreign students and creating new jobs. A delegation to China is planned in early December (China is a first priority extroversion destination), aiming at informing the Chinese about studying opportunities in Greece, networking for cooperation in research programs and exploring other opportunities for cooperation between the educational institutions of both countries. Since 2003, at IST, we attract a small number of Chinese students every year. A typical example of internationalisation are two female students at IST who did the first two years of their Bachelor’s degree in China, completed their final year at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK and continued in Athens, at IST, doing an MBA. Today, these students are working in California in a Greek shipping company with trade relations with China! In short, these students made the most of their background!
Companies with dynamics that exhibit growth prospects are looking for employees who, in addition to knowledge, possess skills such as excellent use of language, intercultural skills and ease of communication! The aforementioned became obvious in the 4th Congress of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce held with the support of Manpower for 'Employment and Insurance', Congress which I was invited to attend on November 12th. The reforms made by the Ministry of Education aim at supporting young people regarding their right to work. With Greece ranking 96th in competitiveness, Spain 36th and Germany 6th, the institutional framework needs stability in order for Greece to attract new investments. With 7.5 million unemployed at the ages of 15-25, the programmes of study and related activities for young people aim at helping them hope for a job.
Moreover, IST participates in the Employee Training Programme in Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Union of Hellenic Chambers. This programme, with the implementation of approximately 170 training programmes in 13 Greek regions, provides an opportunity for executives from all private sectors of the economy, to further develop their entrepreneurial skills and more specifically, their competitiveness. Each programme comprises 80 hours, 60 hours of which are theory and 20 hours practice. During practice, students will develop “Entrepreneurship Plans” which, they will then propose to the company they work for.
At IST we try to eliminate barriers and create the appropriate conditions for our students’ progress so that they continue to dream, shaping new paths. Each target is a challenge! Therefore, aim as high as possible!