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Faculty of Computer Science Holds its First Entrepreneurship School

At the end of August, the Centre for Internships, Projects and Entrepreneurship of the Faculty of Computer Science, with support from the HSE University Business Incubator, held the first summer school on entrepreneurship. More than 40 HSE University bachelor’s and master’s students participated in it. The school was aimed at developing the students’ entrepreneurial skills and introducing them to the art of presenting ideas and products.

The participants had a week of workshops with experts in entrepreneurship. The students were able to join the workshops online, while all the major work on projects was done in person. Speakers at the school included experts from Yandex, Sber, Tinkoff, Gonzo Trade, Zoon and other major companies. Representatives of these companies also served as the expert jury for the final presentation of projects.

The Entrepreneurship School was held at the HSE University campus. Participants also visited Sber's office, where they were given a tour and had the opportunity to present their projects before the experts of Sber's Centre for Promising Business.

Irina Plisetskaya, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science

A year ago, the faculty created the Entrepreneurs Club, which aims to help students create and develop their own businesses, as well as to form a community of entrepreneurs. The club offers workshops and meetings with company founders; it has created a scholarship for young entrepreneurs, and now a school on entrepreneurship.

Students of the Faculty of Computer Science and other HSE University faculties could take part in the school. On the first day, each participant presented their project. All in all, ten projects were selected to be developed during the school. I am pleased that the participants were able to find collaborators, and many of them plan to continue joint work.

In the future, we would like to grow the audience that knows of and participates in the life of our Entrepreneurs Club. We also want to expand the range of opportunities we can provide, including communication with businessmen and investors.

Tatiana Lobok, Head of the Centre for Internships, Projects and Entrepreneurship

The idea for the school came spontaneously. Irina Plisetskaya and I discussed the development of entrepreneurship in the faculty, and she suggested holding a summer school. We wanted the programme to be useful primarily to students who are just starting out on the path of entrepreneurship—a place where they could express their ideas without fear, get feedback and understand their future direction of development.

We didn't have a lot of time to organise, but I think everything went perfectly. Over five days, we managed to give the participants enough information: there were lectures on what distinguishes a good project, how to assemble a team, choose an idea and a target audience, how to develop a marketing strategy and calculate unit economics. Interesting speakers spoke at the school and presented tasks, solutions and a general picture to the participants. Of course, it is impossible to work through a project in a week, but we hope that the students at least got an approximate idea of important issues for startups, such as finding the target audience.

I would like to thank everyone who helped us in the organisation; it was a real team effort. And I especially want to mention our speakers—many of them not only gave lectures, but also discussed their projects with participants after class, sometimes even into the night.

Igor Malinin, founder of The Business Pill advertising company

I was pleasantly surprised and inspired by the wonderful students at the summer school! The participants were 19–20 years old, but they were caring, mature individuals—real creators and entrepreneurs. I was lucky enough to host two workshops and serve as a jury member during the final presentation of projects. Every minute, I was aware that I was communicating with an appreciative audience, not just giving a talk. Now, we are talking with the students on social media, discussing projects and even life values!

Ksenia Danilova, Faculty of Humanities student

This was the first time I participated in such a school and I was incredibly pleased. The experience was invaluable! There was good organisation, the speakers were interesting and they really helped us with our project and gave practical advice. I liked the selection of lectures—absolutely all of them were necessary for creating a startup. We got everything that we wanted to get from this school: networking, support, knowledge, and even more!

Maxim Stavtsev, Faculty of Computer Science student

Many thanks to the organisers and the participants; they were very open and willing to give me some tips and help. I got a huge buzz from it!

Special thanks to the organisers, who told us about the opportunities for young entrepreneurs and introduced us to each other.

Yuri Schepetkov, Project Manager at Yandex

Such events and schools are needed to form an entrepreneurial spirit in students. Students will be able to land their ideas, test their hypotheses and make their first MVP. And then, it is worth trying out for major foundations and getting funding.

In the final presentations, there were a lot of different topics and projects ranging from virtual makeup to NFT image individualisation. The students did a good job on their presentations. I am sure that they will be able to make their first sales. I would like to wish the students good luck, and I wish the Entrepreneurship School development and prosperity!

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