Report on the TBrainBoost Workshop 1.0 “Academic to Entrepreneur: Essential Strategies”

Report on the TBrainBoost Workshop 1.0 “Academic to Entrepreneur: Essential Strategies”

The TBrainBoost Workshop 1.0, a three-day event hosted by ZRS Koper at the Tiepolo-Gravisi Townhouse in Koper, Slovenia, showcased a unique blend of academic insights and entrepreneurial expertise. The workshop, which took place from February 12-14, 2024, brought together TBrainBoost partners, external experts and online contributors, fostering dynamic engagement and networking opportunities.

Day 1 highlights:

The first day featured a series of presentations from TBrainBoost partners, academic-industry synergies and real-life stories from TBrainBoost companies. The opening remarks were delivered by Rado Pišot (director of ZRS Koper), who set the stage for exploring the transition from academia to entrepreneurship. Uroš Marušič, the TBrainBoost PI, gave an insightful introduction to the TBrainBoost project. Uroš Marušič, Tim Goecking, Kevin De Pauw, Eric Eils, Barbara Toplak, Michael Schwenk, Jurij Dreo, Daniel Seebacher and Jure Jemec jointly presented TBrainBoost partner presentations and shared stories from TBrainBoost companies, offering practical insights that combined theoretical knowledge with real-world application.

Day 2 highlights:

The second day focused on critical topics such as support for start-ups, support for researchers from the European Innovation Council and challenges in neurology. Key presentations included Dorijan Maršič’s presentation on “Supportive environment for start-ups”,” in which he highlighted the opportunities that incubators offer to support start-ups. Igor Milek explained the “European Innovation Council – Support for Researchers and Deep Tech Innovators” and highlighted the opportunities offered by the EIC.

Vesna van Midden’s presentation on “Current Challenges and Needs in Medicine: A Case for Neurology” addressed the complex landscape of neurology, from diagnosis to treatment, with a focus on improving patients’ quality of life. Rado Pišot returned to the stage with “Decoding Motor Control and Learning: A Bridge Between Theory and Innovative Mobile Applications,” drawing on his 40-year career in motor control and skiing to illustrate potential business ideas.

Polonca Pangrčič moderated the “Think Tank Session”,” which provided a platform for innovative ideas and strategies in the fields of neurology by Vesna Van Midden, kinesiology and physiotherapy by Uroš Marušič and ICT and AI by Matej Mertik.

Day 3: Practical sessions and future outlook:

The third day offered three practice-oriented sessions. Robert Blatnik provided insights in “Beyond the Lab: A Guide to Technology Transfer and Spinouts” an overview of the opportunities in academia and presented examples of successful spinout companies. Mateja Vadnjal led a practical session on the “Basics of Design Thinking, Business Model Generating,” and motivated participants to use the canvas to drive their entrepreneurial ideas forward.

In a parallel session, Ana Šajn, Anja Inkret and representatives of German universities discussed the “Academia-Business Contact Point Establishment.”

The recordings of the sessions are available to registered participants and upon request and are a valuable resource for continuous learning and knowledge dissemination.

Looking Ahead:

TBrainBoost is looking ahead to upcoming events, including the TBrainBoost Workshop 2.0 at AMEU, Koper, June 6-8, 2024, the TBrainBoost Summer School 1.0 at ZRS Koper, Piran, July 16-20, 2024, and the TBrainBoost ERA Week 1.0 at VUB Brussels, Belgium, April 25-26, 2024. Stay tuned for more details and announcements from TBrainBoost as it continues to bridge the gap between academia and entrepreneurship.

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