CREATIVE DESIGN SEMESTER AND UNISTARTAPP GIVE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS TO ACQUIRE THE FEATURES BY EMPLOYERS OF TODAY

The Warsaw Design Factory, located in the Warsaw University of Technology, aims to build an innovative university in order to develop skills in their students. With this initiative, the university aims to develop professional skills that are missing in formal university curricula; improve the interdisciplinarity achieved through multifaceted teams with students from different areas; but also improve the competences of their academic staff.

The Creative Design Semester is an additional semester targeted to 1st and 2nd degree students from various faculties of the Warsaw University of Technology to prepared them to the business world. One of the most important projects implemented jointly with the authorities of several cities in Poland was UniStartApp. This project combined the academic education, giving their participants ETCS points for this project, while remaining consistent with the startup creation methodology.

The UniStartApp was run through some defined stages and milestones assigned to each one of them: from the application idea, through competitor analysis, identification of user requirements, creation of the final product vision, together with supporting business model, requirement specification, summary of business-system analysis and final programming workshop.  This project begun in the early 2016 and was concluded in November of the same year, with the Gala event at Warsaw University of Technology, attended by all the project partners as well the representatives from the Ministries of Development and of Digitization, the Office of Electronic Communications, venture capital organizations, tech companies and the Polish Agency for Entrepreneurship Development.

DEVELOPED SKILLS AND COMPETENCES

Interdisciplinary teams, composed of students from the faculties of management, finance and IT worked on the concept and prototype of an application in line with the idea of ​​smart city. Qualified experts have supervised the group’s activities, leading to the creation of applications aiming at helping job seeking activities, organizing events, improving urban infrastructure, among others.

The UniStartApp project was a unique and innovative initiative preparing students to be the entrepreneurs of the future. Some of these competencies were:

  • Interdisciplinary communication within teams (particularly between programmers and not tech participants)
  • Learn how to work virtually with teams, improving cooperation capacity in a virtual environment – competency highly expected in a digitalized business environment
  • Widening horizons
  • T-shape people, which means that each student learned skills outside their training area
  • Entrepreneurship education

Traditional university structures are, yet, not ready for interdisciplinary and interorganizational cooperation that are at the core of future startup leaders’ formation process. Ecosystems like the one tested within UniStartApp project, can be a valuable reference point for similar initiatives in the future.


Main partners

Warsaw University of Technology

Warsaw Design Factory
Municipality of Warsaw