• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site
For visually-impairedUser profile (HSE staff only)SearchMenu

Early Support for Technological Entrepreneurship: How Russian Universities Encourage Students' Startups?

Student: Valeria Latsenova

Supervisor: Ekaterina Streltsova

Faculty: Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge

Educational Programme: Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2021

This study is aimed at the investigation of supporting mechanisms provided by Russian universities to student startups. Currently, universities worldwide are widening their functions. In addition to professional students’ preparation to labor market requirements and scientific research, they are encouraged to act entrepreneurially, to commercialize innovations and to support startups creation. These functions became inevitable elements of cutting-edge foreign universities. More and more of them create entrepreneurial ecosystems intended on students’ business skills development providing them with incubators and accelerator facilities, mentorship services, special trainings, courses and events. In Russia, the necessity to prepare students entrepreneurially is also recognized on a high level. The development of needed facilities is fixed as a target in Innovative Development Strategy of the Russian Federation up to 2020. Nevertheless, mentioned activities still remain novel for our universities, and the topic of student entrepreneurship support continues to be debatable and understudied. To fill this gap in knowledge, this study was conducted. It is run by the two research questions: “What educational practices and infrastructure facilities are employed by Russian universities to assist students in startup creation?”, “How do Russian universities’ encouragement practices contribute to student startup activity?”. To answer these research questions, mixed methodology was applied. To answer the first research question, content analysis of 255 federal universities websites representing all the eight federal districts was conducted. For the second research question, eight students and graduates whose startups were supported by universities were interviewed. The results of the empirical study demonstrate that the practice of student startups support is rare for the majority of Russian universities. Only 2,7 % of the analyzed universities provide students with all the conditions for their startups launch and development. In other universities, the following practices are applied partially: provision of specialized bachelor and master programmes and infrastructure, organization of specialized events, accelerator and business incubators facilities, participation in the “Startup as a Thesis” programme. According to the interviewed respondents, university environment plays a crucial role in the motivation of setting up own technological startup. Some of them highlighted the impact of their practical teachers and supervisor who acted as lobbyists and inspired them to become entrepreneurs telling stories from their own real-life experience. Besides, they shared positive opinion regarding the participation in business incubators and accelerators. However, the respondents’ evaluation of knowledge and skills obtained from educational courses and masterclasses is not so enthusiastic. The startup founders emphasized the value of networking of such events but underlined their theoretical character and the lack of understanding of how to apply the acquired knowledge in the real life. Therefore, they gave recommendations for the improvements of university support provided to students’ startups.

Student Theses at HSE must be completed in accordance with the University Rules and regulations specified by each educational programme.

Summaries of all theses must be published and made freely available on the HSE website.

The full text of a thesis can be published in open access on the HSE website only if the authoring student (copyright holder) agrees, or, if the thesis was written by a team of students, if all the co-authors (copyright holders) agree. After a thesis is published on the HSE website, it obtains the status of an online publication.

Student theses are objects of copyright and their use is subject to limitations in accordance with the Russian Federation’s law on intellectual property.

In the event that a thesis is quoted or otherwise used, reference to the author’s name and the source of quotation is required.

Search all student theses