Master's Students To Lead Future Technologies Accelerator Projects

With a new academic year starting in September, the Future Technologies startup accelerator and the Chair of Production Management and Technology Transfer of the Department of Technological Management and Innovations plan to involve Master’s students in the preparation of business projects. Young professionals in Economics and Management will be joining budding entrepreneurs, to create a new company based on advanced technologies developed in the University. Their work with fellow developers will also form the foundation of their master thesis.

“ITMO University has strong technical specialists, who unfortunately do not have enough experience in business development. This is why we want to develop this project so that Master’s students who have strong technical competences can start joining a startup already from their first year of studies and thereby learn through real life projects. At the end of their studies we will have founders of small businesses who are focused on practice and can reinforce their work with a scientific point of view.” – emphasizes Andrey Myaskov, the managing partner of Future Technologies accelerator. According to him, many university projects are in dire need of specialists in the field of business development: they need project management, a team, product development and customers.

Marina Makarchenko, Head of Chair of Production Management and Technology Transfer Department explained that Master’s students often lack real practical skills upon graduation, but we want them to have both academic and entrepreneurial skills so that they will be in demand.

From September of this year, entrepreneurial work will become obligatory for Master’s students and will become an official part of their research work. The first to get involved will be students from the “Economics of Technological Innovation and Technology Transfer” Master’s program. Ms. Makarchenko explained that the biggest plus of this program is that it is new and independent of any deep-rooted educational traditions. In addition, twenty state-funded places should attract a good number of Master’s students who can participate in the accelerator’s projects.

The range of work for the students of the Chair will be great: first with organizing the work of the project team, and ending with the promotion of products on the market. They will be able to build on the ideas of the developers – form their business plans, implementation plans, proper schedules, assist with market analysis, identify target segment, and so on.

"For us it is important that Master’s students become full founders of companies – with all the pluses and minuses. We understand that a usual project manager or marketer will not be able to master the creation of a company without sufficient motivation. Look at the world around us: the founders of some American companies are still students, but are already creating a real working business, obeying the harsh laws of the market. I am sure that this is how it must be also at ITMO University, for our students to start their first company within the walls of the University.", – said the managing partner of Future Technologies.

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