Master School Students Create Business in 96 Hours

With the coordination of our French office, KIC InnoEnergy’s Master School students can now participate in an original entrepreneurial experience, the ‘Masteriales’, challenging students to create their own business in just four days. The summer programme, organised together with the Grenoble Institute of Technology, offers students a unique insight into entrepreneurship and the key steps of the business creation process.

An intense and practical programme providing unique entrepreneurial experience for our students working in the field of nuclear innovation.

Working in groups of five, the student teams go from idea to market launch in record time, with the help of a team of coaches, who are responsible for imparting vital business-building tools and supervising teamwork sessions between classes. Over the four days, current entrepreneurs also share their start-up stories, providing students with real-life examples of the stakes involved in company creation and underscoring the importance of financial and managerial strategies. At the end of the programme, the students defend their projects to a professional jury.

The focus on learning about entrepreneurship helps develop individual vision that can enhance project management in large companies. In addition, it also feeds entrepreneurial insights for future projects, boosting students’ current and future employability. We interviewed some of the coaching team responsible for the programme to learn more about their experiences:

Why do you think it’s important to teach engineering students about business and entrepreneurship? How does it contribute to their development?

Véronique Girod-Roux, Independent Business coach and consultant: These students need more than just management training; they need commercial and interpersonal skills to “sell” their research. Working on a sales pitch helps them discover hidden talents within themselves. Before they even start to work, we introduce new ways of accessing the business world. This allows them to make better professional choices from the beginning. It helps engineers tackle projects more collaboratively, enhances curiosity, acculturation, interpersonal skills and the ability to work with different partners.

Michel Cezon, Business coach and consultant at COGITEO: Our programme is innovation boosting, and prepares students for different, unique careers. Teaching entrepreneurship gives them new perspectives and creates opportunities. Some of them even react like entrepreneurs and suggest market opportunities to the real entrepreneurs. We didn’t expect that!

Why do you think Masteriales is a good concept for engaging students?

Virginie Cupillard, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Business Educational Officer at KIC InnoEnergy France: Masteriales is an original, fun way for students to live a bit of the entrepreneurial experience. We are here to question, confront and inspire. By experimenting with entrepreneurship, they learn about its demands, and its absolute need for teamwork. The best technology in the world will not succeed without a team and the capacity to sell, because the team is essential for investors and the capacity to sell is priceless. Young people choose a path to follow in their studies, but life isn’t linear and they will change direction and evolve many times during their professional careers.

Christian Guicherd, Director of the Entrepreneurship Center of the University of Grenoble: Entrepreneurship is an essential part of our economy; it’s vital for pushing innovation and creating jobs. Masteriales examines the realities and interdependence of each
aspect of management in a practical setting. Meanwhile, the strong coaching team results in a strong student team. For students who may never have worked, this is the best way to discover the world of business. The key to success is creating an entrepreneurial, adventurous spirit!

Last but not least, how does the Masteriales programme support the development of the intercultural skills of the students?

Michel Cezon: We make the programme fun and interesting, push students out of their comfort zone and get them to engage in unknown subjects like the soft sciences. They learn together and have a common goal that unites the group.

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