The expansion of Spark*

During the past two years Spark* has expanded with units at Nord University and Chalmers University of Technology.

By Silje Bechmann Granås

Now even more students have the opportunity to pursue their business ideas with help from other students with startup experience. There is also hope for an even bigger expansion in the years coming.With 450 ideas during the past six years it is obvious that the student-to-student mentoring model works at NTNU. Spark* North and Spark* Chalmers has also proven that this can be done at other institutions as well. They are both in early stages but have managed to host events for idea holders and have about 15-20 projects in mentoring each. Spark* has also generated interest from Denmark. Aarhus University has reached out to Spark* NTNU regarding their own initiative, Ignite. They have their own name and brand but have taken inspiration from Spark* NTNUs student-to-student model and are now in the process of applying this on their own.

Many universities and other institutions for higher education have innovation and entrepreneurship as focus areas but might be missing something important: an arena where students can try and fail with help, but without any stakes. Therefore Spark* has a lot of potential to expand in the time coming. The work has already started in small steps by establishing contact with NTNU Ålesund, University of South-Eastern Norway and University of Agder. Two girls from NTNU has also explored the possibility for establishing a Spark* organization in Nairobi. The strategy for expanding Spark* forward can be divided in three parts:

1.    To look at the already existing environments for entrepreneurship at Norwegian universities. Initiatives like Start is a great basis for understanding the right conditions

2.    Establish contact with universities who has venture creation programs. Here, students are taught entrepreneurship in practice, and not only in theory.

3.    Help other universities who have noticed Spark*s work and wants input and/or help

By focusing on these areas, it is easier to find the three main ingredients for establishing a successful Spark* organization: engaged students, key employees at the faculties and financial partners who can help fund startups in early stages and make the Spark* organization viable.

Are you eager to learn more about the work that Spark* does? Please send an e-mail to project coordinator Silje Bechmann Granås at silje.bechmann@sparkntnu.no

Fakta

Spark Chalmers

  • Four employees
  • 14 groups in mentoring
  • 70+ hours of mentorship

Spark Nord

  • Four employees
  • 10 groups in mentoring
  • 125+ hours of mentorship

Read more about Spark*