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					                                                                  PROPLUS Methodology
                                                                    19th December, 2005

Deliverable 1.3 – Final version of PRO PLUS manual

CONTRACT No.: IPS-2001-41103


TITLE: Collaborative Validation and Transfer of Regional Support
       Measures for Start-Ups Creation and Growth in Five NAC

                                           ROBÓTICA, S.A. (CARSA)



Date of issue of this report: 14/11/2005

                                                Project funded by the European Community
                                                under the “Innovation and SME Programme”

                                               PROPLUS Methodology
                                                 19th December, 2005


        Project :Collaborative Validation and Transfer of
                 Regional Support Measures for Start-ups
                 Creation and Growth in Five NAC Regions
        Acronym: PRO PLUS
        Ref. Nr: IPS 2001 41103

        Authors:    CARSA

        Date:       November 2005
        Version:    Pro Plus Deliverable 1.3 Final version of PRO
                    PLUS manual.doc

                                                                                         PROPLUS Methodology
                                                                                           19th December, 2005


Introduction.............................................................................................................. 4
PROPLUS METHOD ............................................................................................... 5
THE PRO PLUS METHODOLOGY ......................................................................... 7
PRO PLUS METHODOLOGY FLOWCHART ....................................................... 12
   Example of regional stakeholders involved in the customisation of the
   methodology and relevant implementation plan ................................................. 16
Complementary Modules:...................................................................................... 19
Entrepreneur Identification Module........................................................................ 20
Training Activities Module...................................................................................... 34
Financing Start-Ups Module .................................................................................. 63
Incubation Module ................................................................................................. 71

                                                             PROPLUS Methodology
                                                               19th December, 2005


The Pro Plus Methodology has been developed within the frame of the European
Project Promotor +. The project objectives have focused on modeling and test a
complete methodology for the promotion and enhancement of New Technology
Based Firms in less developed areas.
The final Methodology will be the result of gathering and harmonising previous
“donors” partners’ experience, adapting the proposed methodology to the reality of
the “recipients” partners’ regions, and enriching it with the lessons learnt in these
The Methodology, presented hereby is the first version of the gathered and
harmonised methodology proposed by “donors” partners. This methodology is
based on the Promotor Methodology developed by CARSA and already
successfully applied in three different regions in Spain (namely, Castilla la Mancha,
Basque Country and Canary Islands). The effectiveness of this methodology has
made it to be considered as the backbone for the PRO PLUS methodology, being
enriched and complemented by the knowledge, expertise and consolidated know-
how of Universität des Saarlandes - Wissens- und Technologietransfer GmbH,
Kaernten Technologie GmbH and PARAGON.
These four partners in addition to bringing in their know-how, will undertake the
role of mentors on the recipients regions so that these can customise and then
implement properly the scheme proposed.
This documents presents an overall approach of the backbone methodology and a
posterior description in detail of a number of modules that have been considered of
special interest for the proper use of the methodology presented hereby. By the
means of this structure it is expected that the user of this methodology can have
first of all an overall view on the complete methodology for later on be capable of
considering partial parts of this in detail.
The methodology manual has been properly updated gathering experiences and
punctual examples of the validation experiences in 5 regions in Eastern European
countries, which participated in the project and whose activity derived in the
support to more than 70 entrepreneurs (when this document was written, 38 had
founded their own enterprise and 36 were in process of constitution).

                                                                                                                                 PROPLUS Methodology
                                                                                                                                   19th December, 2005

                                                                    PROPLUS METHOD

           This will be the mainstream of the “PROPLUS concept” throughout the development of the project:
                                               VALIDATION OF PROPLUS METHODOLOGY
Inward validation            Internal validation     Integratory validation Adaptatory validation                Implementation validation        Post-
Upgarading the scheme by     Further upgrading of the   Introducing coherence       Adopting the matrix and      Customization of validation      Learning lessons
incorporating lessons        scheme by                  into the whole validation   the modules (overall         toolbox, field implementation of form
learnt during                complementing it with      toolbox, integrating        framework and specific       methodologies customized to each implementation,
implementation of original   expertise coming form      holistic approach of the    instruments) to the          of 5 NAC regions reflecting the  evaluation of
PROMOTOR,                    MS partners,               overall framework and its   specifics of NAC regions     diversification of needs         methodologies
by CARSA                     by all MS                  specific instruments/       based on analysis of their                                    applied in specific
                                                        schemes                     needs and                                                     NAC regions
(Matrix)                     (matrix) + (modules)       (matrix + modules)          transferability potential





                                      +      …

                                                                                        PROPLUS Methodology
                                                                                          19th December, 2005


             First contact interface - matches/ couplings between 1 MS - 1 NAC region

   GROUP OF DONORS                                                                         GROUP OF RECEIPIENTS
Module/   MS partner                                                                     NAC partner
main area                                                                                Regional catalyst
M4        SPAIN                                                                          WIELKOPOLSKA           PL 1

M 2/ 1   AUSTRIA                                                                         SLOVENIA               SL

M 2/ 3   GERMANY                                                                         LATVIA                 LV

M3       GREECE                                                                          BULGARIA               BU

                                                                                         DOLNY SLASK            PL 2

                                      Concentrated expertise - flowing 'from All to

                                                             PROPLUS Methodology
                                                               19th December, 2005

                     THE PRO PLUS METHODOLOGY
         A methodological approach to NTBFs supporting schemes
                        in adverse environments

No spontaneous solution, experts say.

Spontaneous overcome of the techno-economic gap between more and less
developed regions is no longer accepted as possible. Quite on the contrary, those
regions which have more advanced technological capabilities tend to create
internal markets and industrial environments that exploit these capabilities.
Furthermore these internal markets create the base for an increase in the gross
added value of the region and strengthen the region's potential for export and
further economical growth. This positive loop favours the NTBF-based ecosystem
at regional level, which has been identified as a cornerstone for the long-term local
socio-economic evolution.

Therefore, spontaneous market mechanisms work systematically against less
developed regions, which are forced to marginality in their industrial activity and
condemned to permanent trade deficits. Moreover these technologically less
developed regions feed back significant resources to those more developed
through the import of technological intangibles and technical assistance services
which are required by their production processes. More advanced regions can
spend this extra income to further technological innovation and the creation of
NTBFs to exploit the opportunity. Thus, technologically weaker regions do not
decrease their technological gap.

A similar, though not identical, mechanism operates when considering SMEs
versus larger corporations. It needs not to be said that a double negative force
operates against SMEs that operate in less developed regions.

Information dissemination alone is exciting but produces deceptive results.

Conventional approaches to action against the spontaneous tendency of the
techno-economic gap are based on information dissemination actions and/or
training actions in pilot demonstrations alone, with no framework programme
supporting the overall approach. An immediate result of this approach is the
appearance of social consciousness of the problem within the managerial and
economical elites of less advanced regions, already a necessary step forward but
absolutely not sufficient or cost-effective.

Two questions arise in the minds of the approached technologists and managers
once this consciousness acquisition process becomes mature:

                                                             PROPLUS Methodology
                                                               19th December, 2005

        1. How will I identify potentially interesting projects?
        2. How will I support the following creation and consolidation of NTBFs?

The presentation of these two problems has led to the next step in the conventional
approach: overall support in the NTBFs domain, both regarding general information
and applying technical resources. Major resources have been applied to this effort
in the latest times by a large number of regional authorities. NTBFs have been
launched in a number of pilot cases.

However results have fallen behind expectations in many cases. What went

No more disaster stories.

Regions exposed to hard technological transfer projects or trying to generate an
encouraging local NTBFs ecosystem are not a greenfield. On the contrary, they
present strong cultural, organizational and managerial barriers towards such
acquisition of technology, development of RTD activities and/or set-up of related
NTBFs. As already mentioned, information/training alone do not overcome such
barriers, while poor, unstructured or inadequate operations destroy the
potentialities of pilot NTBFs as showcases.

Internal barriers can only be overcome by a well-managed changing process. To
this end and based on extensive practical exercises in a variety of less developed
regions, a specific method is available today to regional administrators facing the

The PRO PLUS Methodology is a specifically designed encouraging programme
directed to manage the NTBFs-support process in regions coping with
technologically adverse environments. This supporting method is directed to
facilitating and encouraging the establishment of a advantageous NTBFs
ecosystem at regional level (therefore, trying to promote the creation and
consolidation of NTBFs).

Companies/projects participating in the PRO PLUS Methodology will effectively
receive the necessary specialised assistance and basic knowledge required to
ensure their positive evolution in the market. The method is grounded on the belief
that technology is never transferred nor acquired by pure exposition to information.
On the contrary, technological innovation, as key factor/source for the set-up of
NTBFs, is a process which is based in well documented procedures and requires
specific management.

Innovation: an individually managed process.

                                                             PROPLUS Methodology
                                                               19th December, 2005

The PRO PLUS Methodology is not only directed to individual companies, but
better to a region or a particular set of companies within a limited timeframe.
Practice proves that technological change processes within specific industrial
communities present significant commonalities. Moreover the method is grounded
in the fact that similar major trends and causes underline all innovations processes.
The launch of new technology-based projects as part of a regional coordination of
complementary initiatives is the base on which the PRO PLUS Methodology has
been developed. Nevertheless, our method considers that NTBF-set up requires a
professional and individual approach to each individual project involved in it.
Problems and structural barriers may be common, but each company has a
particular history underlying its current position. So, the approach is GLOBAL in the
awareness- and idea-mining-related phases, and INDIVIDUAL in the support-
related steps.

Through a well planned combination of common and individual action, the PRO
PLUS Methodology is a programme directed to the whole ecosystem, always
technology-related players, within a certain region that present a technological and
competitiveness gap in reference to the leader regions in the international scope.

Neither of us can afford to waste effort.

Being a method directed to a wide community but with a significant company
specific content, the PRO PLUS Methodology cannot afford to waste the scarce
regional resources in those companies/projects/ideas whose profile falls well
behind the minimum required by a successful technology-based identification
programme. Therefore, our PRO PLUS Methodology includes a capabilities’
diagnosis and exhaustive project selection phase.

Each selection programme is methodogically adapted to suit the specific objectives
of each regional technological innovation plan. No standard filtering system is
applied, but rather a flexible programme of capabilities identification.

As the next step, a synergic management training is directed to the entrepreneurs
of each project. The specific know-how components of all management issues are
facilitated in seminars of high technical and managerial content but with an easily
assimilated format. Participation and communication are encouraged within
participants, thanks to a cooperative atmosphere and collaborative exercises.
Those management communication links have proven to last and evolve in more
mature forms of inter-company collaboration, usually out of the programme's

Real NTBFs are established in the PRO PLUS Methodology.

                                                                           PROPLUS Methodology
                                                                             19th December, 2005

It is not easy to find a consolidated community of real, promising and long lasting
NTBFs just established following abstract schemes or simply group-based
approaches. Critical barriers to NTBFs development stop being sectorial or just
common while evolving behind each firm’s walls.

Keeping this in mind, the PRO PLUS Methodology builds on the potential of each
individual project to design a specific plan to overcome the barriers and to build the
strengths that each enterprise requires to effectively develop the main concept it
needs to success in the market.

PRO PLUS Methodology

The PRO PLUS Methodology has been developed within the frame of Promotor +
project supported by the European Commission, using as a back bone
methodology the PROMOTOR methodology developed and validated by CARSA
under the scope of the PROMOTOR project which was supported by the Regional
Government of Castilla la Mancha (less developed region in Spain).

PRO PLUS Methodology follows a step-based approach in the regional process
(already proved as critical for the regional development) of creating and
implementing a successful method to establish regional programmes to stimulate
the creation of profitable Start-ups, mainly New Technology Based Firms.

The main stages are the next:

(Out of the scope of PROPLUS project)

Task 1.1 Regional SWOT analysis of “Start-ups Ecosystem”.
Task 1.2 Analysis of regional policies.
Task 1.3 Draft customisation of the method.
Task 1.4 Roundtables with key players.
Task 1.5 Final customisation of the method.
Task 1.6 Definition of objectives/indicators.

Task 2.1 Draft Workplan (definition of: financial supporting schemes, awareness
plan, ideas-mining programme, etc.).
Task 2.2 Roundtables with key players.
Task 2.3 Final Workplan.

    To be implemented only once our method has been validated through PROPLUS project

                                                                                                  PROPLUS Methodology
                                                                                                    19th December, 2005

Task 3.1 Previous tasks (image of the programme, database filtering, specific
agreements, etc.).
Task 3.2 Implementation of Awareness actions.
Task 3.3 Implementation of Ideas-mining programme.
Task 3.4 Implementation of Training activities.
Task 3.4 Implementation of Mentoring actions.

Task 4.1 Objective/indicators assessment.
Task 4.2 General evaluation of the method and lessons learnt.
Task 4.3 Identification and reporting of best practices.
Task 4.4 Regional method improvement.
Task 4.5 Official presentation of results.

The objective of the PROPLUS is establishing a continuous scheme at regional
level. After the general assessment of the programme and improving the method
with the lessons learnt, the validated programme should be implemented again
with the regional consensus.

The PRO PLUS Methodology follows the next interaction chart, where the level of
assistance intensity (specialized support) increases while focusing on a reduced
number of NTBFs (the most promising ones):

                             Number of
                             potential EIBTs
                 Intensity of assist.

                                                                                             Best practices

                                          General     Presentation   Training   Individual       Best
                                        Information                             assistance     Practices


 Specific tasks to be implemented will depend on the final Workplan. The tasks presented here are just a
generic approach

                                                         PROPLUS Methodology
                                                           19th December, 2005

The next flowchart is supporting the implementation of the PRO PLUS



Description of Blocks:

This stage of the whole Methodology comprises the strategic definition of the
approach to be followed.

Start-Ups Ecosystem: The promoter shall identify the current situation of the
region, being capable of identifying the circumstances that enable and/or difficult
the settlement of NTBFs. This reality will determine the nature of action to start
with. In this stage, the promoter of the whole action shall be capable of identifying
the different existing sources of potential entrepreneurs, the fields on which new
firms can have a more long lasting successful existence, the existing instruments
for supporting the NTBFs activity, the potential source of employees for the new
firms, …. A complete picture of the situation in the region.

Regional Policies: So as to get the best synergy between the action to be
carried out and with the Regional Policies, the promoter shall bear in mind the
political priorities defined for the stimulation of growth in the region.

Methodology Customisation: Taking into account previous issues, the
promoter shall be capable of adapting the proposed methodology to the reality of
the region, so that it can have a more effective and wider impact in the area.

Key Players: Given that so as to get a complete impact the promoter shall need
the involvement of the stakeholders and key players of the area, it will be crucial
to involve them in the final definition of the methodology. For this purpose, the
promoter shall identify, convene and introduce them in the whole action, and in
particular on the approach of how to implement the proposed generic
methodology in own region.

Consensus on Methodology: Key players will contribute with their expertise
(and interests) to enrich the approach of the customised methodology proposed,
that shall finish with the common acceptance by all parts. In case of key players
would disagree with the approach presented, the promoter will either redefine the
whole customisation of the methodology or ignore these key players and
implement the methodology by his own.

Workplan: Following the same philosophy, the promoter shall define in detail a
workplan for following the methodology proposed.

Key Players: Once more, key players in the area shall agree on this workplan.
With this purpose, they will be convened for analysing and accept the proposed

Consensus on Workplan: As in the case of the methodology, the experience
and interest of the key players in the area, shall be taken into account in the final
description and definition of the final workplan to be implemented. In case of key
players would disagree with the approach presented, the promoter will either
redefine the whole customisation of the methodology or ignore these key players
and implement the methodology by his own.

At this stage of the overall methodology, the promoter will act upon the
methodology and workplan.

Awareness: This stage of the action will aim at disseminate the purposes of the
overall action so that potential entrepreneurs can become participants in the
whole process.

Ideas Mining: Following established workplan, the promoter will launch a call for
applicants, offering a number of benefits to entrepreneurs willing to participate,
will evaluate the proposed business ideas, and based on predefined criteria will
select those business ideas to be supported.

Profile of Entrepreneurs: After identifying those business projects to be
supported, the promoter will analyse the average profile of the entrepreneurs
behind those business ideas. This identification of profiles will permit the
promoter to have a clear picture of how the entrepreneurs are and therefore
define a customised supporting plan.

Customisation of Training: Most of entrepreneurs have biased profile and
background (normally having a strong technical knowledge but lacking business
managerial background). Taking into account such average biased profile and
background, the promoter shall define a customised training programme in order
to complement as much as possible the lack of knowledge. This customisation
of the training programme will not be only on the content but also on the
schedule, taking into account the most frequent availability of entrepreneurs
(taking into account if they are working, studying, …). The intensity and duration
of the course will depend on the resources of the promoter assigned to this

Training: Following previous customisation, the entrepreneurs will be trained on
the issues programmed. Training will combine both theoretical and practical
approaches. At the end of the training courses, entrepreneurs will have to
prepare an in deep business plan, for the activity of their firm to be constituted.

Mentoring: Based on the businesses plan prepared, business projects will be
evaluated and depending on the number of entrepreneurs, resources and prizes

available, these will be distributed to most promising business projects. Selected
entrepreneurs will be mentored and supported by the promoter during the first
stages of their business career. The promoter shall support he entrepreneurs
helping him to overcome problems and solving situation news to him.

This stage will evaluate the effect of the actions taken, in both scopes analysing
the activity and influence on the activity of the entrepreneurs (microeconomic
scope) and analysing the impact in the area (macroeconomic scope). The result
of this evaluation shall be used ,by the promoter and responsible of the region for
economic development, to assess the suitability of repeating the experience,
refine the approach of the overall methodology or withdraw the support to this
type of actions.

Best Practises
Shall the experience be repeated, the entrepreneurs supported shall become
active members of the awareness campaign, showcasing their cases. Through
this means, it is intended to provoke a imitation effect, providing new
entrepreneurs examples to be followed.

Methodology Improvement
Taking into account the whole experience, the promoter shall get conclusions on
how to improve and enrich the methodology applied. This will permit to provide a
wider and more enriching approach to further stages of the programme.

Example of regional stakeholders involved in the customisation of the
methodology and relevant implementation plan

      Wielkopolska region (Poland)
      During realisation of Pro Plus project in Wielkopolska, partner started
      cooperation with main regional authorities:
      - Poznań Municipal Office, offered us possibility of training organization,
         gave us rooms, trainers and training materials, we started common
         actions concerning support for academic start-ups.
      - Marshall Office of Wielkopolska – financial support for NTBF
      - Voivodship Employment Office – help in dissemination, possibility of
         the action continuation in the next years
      Partner cooperated with rectors of main high schools in Poznan (source of
      potential NTBF, promotion, dissemination) :
      - Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań
      - Poznań University of Economics
      - Agricultural University of Poznań
      We started cooperation with big consulting company DGA SA. They were
      our partner during organization of the competition. They offered us:
      - professional business consulting (first during competition and next for
         the new created companies)
      - professional business training for our winner
      - contact with business environment in Wielkopolska.

      Lower Silesia region (Poland)

      At the beginning of preparations for the competition for NTBF there are
      selected following personalities representing scientific and entrepreneurial
      environment of Lower Silesia Region. The main stakeholders in Lower Silesia

      1. Wroclaw University of Technology
      2. University of Wroclaw
      3. The Agricultural University of Wroclaw
      4. Wroclaw University of Economy
      5. Wroclaw Municipal Office
      6. Marshall Office of Lower Silesia Voivodship
      7. Bank Zachodni WBK S. A.
      8. Wroclaw Technology Park
      9. CMM - Consulting Marketing Management sp. z o.o.
      10. "Wyborcza" newspaper
      11. Radio ESKA
      12. Polish Television (an outlet in Wroclaw)

       PTP worked in close relation with regional development agencies,
       municipalities, business support centres, innovation experts as well as
       universities and other higher education institutions. There were about 15
       such institutions actively involved.

       The potential target groups of the project were enterprises, associations,
       governmental institutions, politicians, regional governing institutions,
       innovation support structures and R&D institutions.
       PROMOTOR+ relevant actor consortium in Latvia is consisting of:
          Latvian Investment and Development Agency,
          Latvian Technological Centre,
          Development Council of Riga Region,
          Latvian Ministry of Economics,
          Riga and regional Universities,
          Regional development offices,
          Business Advisory Service Centres,
          Latvian Ministry of Education and Science,
          Hipoteku Bank.
       Also representatives of the Regional Government, universities, financial
       entities, leading industries and partner regions were included.
       At the beginning of the project external partners expressed their wish to
       promote the development of innovation policy in Latvia and to develop
       start-up companies’ support schemes.

       Latvian Ministry of Economics is responsible for innovation system’s
       development in Latvia. They are extremely interested in innovative start-
       up support programme development, in organization of business plan
       competitions for entrepreneurs and students, as well as on other pilot
       actions leading to the development of Latvian innovation environment.


All Bulgarian institutions responsible for the Innovation policy and start-ups
support were identified in the very initial stage of State-of-the-art analysis
development. CIST team has cultivated stable relations to and collaborates
actively with almost all state and public institutions in Bulgaria, which bear on the
subject of PROPLUS tasks and objectives. The team built a clear strategy of
attracting experienced specialists from all relevant state and non-governmental

structures, as well as from the private sector. Aiming at their active inclusion in
the Project’s main activities, the team not only took advantage of their expertise,
but also ensured the direct information flow to the respective decision-makers,
thus paving the way to including the PROPLUS Methodology in the governmental
documents, referring to the innovation policy on national and local levels. Sofia
University invited the Bulgarian SME Promotion Agency, the Ministry of Economy,
the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, Bulgarian Chamber od
Commerce and Industry, and some NGOs to nominate their senior experts in the
start-ups selection committee. They became members of the assessment
committee, as well as members of the Bulgarian PROPLUS team. Later on, some
of these experts delivered training courses on the most important topics.

                   Complementary Modules:

Module 1: Entrepreneur Identification
Module 2: Training Activities
Module 3: Financing Start-Ups
Module 4: Incubation

       Entrepreneur Identification Module

Entrepreneur Identification Module

 Project :Collaborative Validation and Transfer of
          Regional Support Measures for Start-ups
          Creation and Growth in Five NAC Regions
 Acronym: PRO PLUS
 Ref. Nr: IPS 2001 41103

 Authors:    CARSA

 Date:       October 2005
 Version:    Pro Plus Deliverable 1.3 Final version of
             PRO PLUS manual v1.0.doc


This document reflects the guidelines of the Pro Plus methodology module,
which focuses on the identification of entrepreneurs in the selected specific

Given the particular idiosyncrasy of the every single region, and the non
suitability of applying the same workplan in different regions, current document
reflects general guidelines that should be customised and adapted to the local
General guidelines reflected hereby are based on the experience run in three
different regions in Spain. The application of this in such different frames has
permitted the abstraction of its approach, and therefore, structure it to become
the starting point of the particular definition in the local recipient areas.

These general guidelines are structured as follows:
   – Definition of the strategic aspects to be fulfilled.
   – Definition of basic generic lines in the description and establishment of
      paces to be taken in the definition of customised action plan.
   – Pre-identification of activities and tools to be used for the application of
      particular action plans (in addition to the generic guidelines, some specific
      documents are included).

All action should lead to the identification of entrepreneurs willing to settle their
enterprise. Posterior selection of most promising business projects will be done
based on established selected criteria, and entrepreneurs launching these most
promising business projects will be supported with training courses, mentoring
activities and prizes that shall be defined by local promoter.

Definition of the Strategy

Given the importance and the impact sought with the execution and application
of measures for the settlement of new technology based enterprises, the
promoter should define a strategy to reach the optimal effect of the efforts and
resources invested.

At this stage, the promoter should have a clear picture of the “AS IS” local reality,
in term of relevance of industrial sectors, research centres, high level educational
centres (Universities, Business, Schools, …).

Taking into account the actual “AS IS” local reality, the promoter should
know/determine the type of enterprises to foster, in order to reach the “TO BE”
business local fabric. The determination of the “TO BE” local reality shall take
into account which sectors should be promoted, type of business activity,
industrial presence, …

The determination of the sectors and, therefore, the type of enterprises to be
promoted shall permit the promoter to focus its objectives and priorities for this
Pro-Plus project action. This regional policy oriented approach will permit to seize
all efforts in order to contribute to the enhancement of the national/regional
economy in a structured and sustainable way.

Taking into account the starting point of the regional reality and the objectives
addressed, the promoter should be capable of defining a working and fabric
stimulation strategy. This will permit the promoter to define in a rough sequential
actions for reaching its stimulating goals.

Based on these premises, the promoter should be capable of identifying the
collectives to be addressed in order to promote the entrepreneurship attitude
(universities, technical research centres, unions, vocational schools, chambers of
commerce, unemployment centres, ...).

 -       Identification of the “AS IS” regional industrial, sectorial and educational and
   training reality.
 -       Identification / Definition of the “TO BE” regional industrial fabric.
 -       Priorization and time frame allocation of optimal sequential enhancement of
   specific sectors and type of firms.
 -       Identification of potential entrepreneurs sources.

Action Plan

In order to be capable of identifying a number of potential entrepreneurs willing
and ready to launch a new enterprise, the promoter, should define an specific
action plan to reach a minimal guarantee of success, in accordance with the
strategic issues mentioned above.

In order to be capable of carrying out effectively the identification and selection of
potential entrepreneurs, the promoter shall define an specific Action Plan as well
as will have to prepare some background works that will permit the execution of
the tasks defined in the Actions Plan.

Note: The Background Work will not have to be defined before the whole Action
Plan, but it will have to be carried out in parallel with the definition of the Action

Background Work:
1st Stage: Identification and involvement of entrepreneurs sources
–       Identification of potential entrepreneurs sources: Following the strategic
  lines described, as defined above, the promoter shall identify those sources of
  potential entrepreneurs that could reasonably reinforce the industrial fabric of
  the region. Therefore, taking into account the features of the region, the actual
  real situation and potentialities of the sectors selected, the contractor shall
  priories the entrepreneurs sources, namely Research Centres, Universities,
  Educational centres, Vocational Centres, Large Enterprises, Old Fashioned
  sectors, Unions, Business Federations, Regional Administration, Inventors,
  Chambers of Commerce,... .
–       Identification of constraints and search of tools to overcome these: The
  promoter shall be aware of the constraints the creation of an enterprise can
  face in its region. These general constraints shall be complemented with those
  specifically derived from the profile of the entrepreneurs and the sectors
  addressed (sectorial regulation, documents to be fulfilled, incompatibilities of
  positions, ani-trust and dumping measures, lack of facilities to settle the
  enterprises, difficulties to find competent collaborators or employees, ….). In
  this sense, the promoter shall identify the best way to relieve as much as
  possible these constraints, and be capable of propose the less worst way to the
  entrepreneur. The identification of radical and tight constraints may change the
  selected source of potential entrepreneurs.
–       Definition of attraction tools for attracting entrepreneurs: The promoter
  shall define training courses and mentoring activities for complementing the
  entrepreneurs background and capabilities for launching a sustainable
  enterprise. In addition to this valuable but already existing support, the
  promoter shall define a prize policy for stimulating the participation in this

  frame. Based on the profile of the potential entrepreneurs, the promoter shall
  identify those instruments, that he is able to use, by which can make the
  entrepreneur become decided to take the pace of creating a firm, and to do it
  under the frame of the action launched. Attraction tools could be such as free
  services (support in the definition of a marketing analysis, support in the
  definition of an export plan, support in the identification of a foreign partner for
  further developments, support in the search of professionals, hosting the
  enterprise in own facilities for a period of time for free, …), assignment of a
  recognition label that they can use as distinguishing reference, financial
  support, grant support, preference at the access of national or regional
  structural funds, undertake the role of guarantor in front of financial entities,
  reach agreements with banks for favourable credits, ….
2 Stage: Dissemination
–       Definition of a clear message for attracting entrepreneurs: The promoter
  shall identify the message by the means of which the potential entrepreneur
  understands and sees the programme and the action as a opportunity that
  makes him feel motivated and stimulated to take the step. Message shall be
  based on the description of the programme itself as well as a description for the
  users of the programme with a detailed description of the benefits derived from
–       Customisation of message to the nature of the source: Depending on the
  source of entrepreneurs, their profile and the supporting measure, the message
  to be launched shall be customised in order to make it more accessible to the
  entrepreneur to be. i.e. an union member will need a different message and
  stimulus than a university student.
–       Identification of dissemination means to be used for attracting
  entrepreneurs: Based on the selected entrepreneur sources and the
  entrepreneurs profile, the promoter shall identify those communication and
  dissemination means which can be more effective in the dissemination action.
  i.e. Institutional personal addressed letters, Sectoral press advertisements,
  Radio ads, News papers, Universities publications, Unions bulletins, …
–       Elaboration of customised dissemination material: Based on the means
  selected for the diffusion and dissemination, the promoter shall customise the
  message to the nature and frame of the selected means. Once the promoter
  has a clear message to be launched to entrepreneurs, he shall reflect it on
  proper dissemination material (brochures, letters, posters, websites, emails,
  articles, official bulletins, …).
–       Preparation of seminars and customisation of their content to the expected
  audience: In addition to the general and mass dissemination, the promoter shall
  carry out dedicated seminars so as to give a direct and complete message to
  those entrepreneurs to be. These seminars will have to take place in those
  areas and spots where expected audience can have better access (University
  conference room, Chamber of commerce room, …). Message to be launched

   shall be in accordance with the profile of the expected audience and their
   expectations. It would be desirable to count with a previous case to be used as
   an example to be taken into account and followed. Attendants shall be informed
   and convened with time enough to guarantee an optimal impact.
3 Stage: Evaluation process
–       Definition of logistics for recompilation of applications: The promoter shall
   take into account how to arrange the logistics issues for the reception of the
   application and the procedures for its preliminary evaluation and selection.
   These logistics and procedures protocol should be clearly defined. This can not
   become problematic if the number of applications is small but a large amount
   can become a drawback that can delay the whole process.
–       Definition of criteria for selection of entrepreneurs to be supported: Based
   on the strategic lines defined, the promoter shall define criteria for selecting the
   entrepreneurs to be supported with mentioned prize. The criteria shall take into
   account aspects such as sector addressed, potential market repercussion,
   business plan approach, potential employment creation, environmental effects,
   potential extension of the business, confluence with regional policies, potential
   showcase effect on other entrepreneurs, ….
–       Decision of how to communicate to participants the outcoming resolution:
   The promoter shall take a decision on how to communicate the resolution of the
   entrepreneurs selected. This means could be via official letter, email, fax,
   newspaper communication, Official Bulletin, …

Action Plan Definition:

The promoter shall define a specific action plan in order to be capable of carrying
out this phase of the whole project in an ordered and coherent way. When
defining the Action Plan, the promoter will have to bear in mind the associated
background work to every workpackage and task.

The action plan shall include a description of the task to be carried out, allocation
of this task in a timeframe, an allocation of resources to carry it out, assignment
of responsible for the execution and a number of milestones in order to allow its
follow up and it progress evaluation.

As mentioned above the action plan shall be defined taking into account the
particular features of the region tackled, requiring a customisation of the
definition of such plans.

Nonetheless, assuming the preliminary work has been properly carried out, this
action plan shall include at least the following actions:

WP 0: Contacts and involvements of stakeholders

This task should have been carried out in advance. Shall the promoter have not
carried it out yet, he would need to proceed urgently.
T010: Identification and contact with potential supporting entities
T020: Negotiation with potential supporting entities
T030: Commitment agreement

WP 100: Contacts and involvements of interlocutors in the specific potential
sources of potential entrepreneurs
The promoter shall get in contact with the representatives of the already
identified sources of potential entrepreneurs in order to get their involvement and
therefore a more effective approach to their audience.

T110: Identification and contact with potential “provider” of entrepreneurs:
Following the priorities settled in the selection of the most suitable and potentially
most adequate sources of entrepreneurs, the promoter shall identify the most
adequate interlocutor within the organization so that he can commit the support
in the awareness and dissemination campaign. Once the interlocutor has been
identified, this shall be informed on the programme as well as the benefits for the
region, the institution and the entrepreneurs themselves.

T120: Negotiation with potential supporting entities: It may happen that the
chosen entity will ask something in return. The promoter shall need to reach an
agreement with the entity contacted.

T130: Definition of a cooperation scheme: Both parties shall define specifically
commitments to be undertaken (i.e. The promoter will make a seminar while the
collaborating entity will enable own facilities to make own potential entrepreneurs
become more comfortable, or will support in the dissemination enabling
dedicated communication channels, …).

WP 200 Dissemination:
In order to get a sound effect of the programme and sufficient number of
applicants, the promoter shall make a proactive dissemination campaign.

T210: Relay of dissemination material: The already prepared material shall be
relayed through the means selected. The relay of this material shall be done in
accordance with the working calendar (events and seminars calendar, deadline,

T220: Seminars celebration: So as to make an effective campaign for arising the
entrepreneurship spirit and encourage the participation of the potential
entrepreneurs in the programme, the promoter shall make specific and dedicated
seminars. It is highly recommended to invite an entrepreneur from the same

collective that can help the potential new entrepreneurs see clearly a concrete
case and example to follow.

T230: Hot line service for answering doubts: So as to permit the potential
participants and applicants to participate according the bases, the promoter shall
enable a contact (through telephone, email, web, …) to answer any potential
doubt about the programme. The person/s to be assigned to carry out this
supporting service can be members of the own staff.

WP 300 Application management:
The issue of a call for applications requires a logistics management system that
although simple must be taken into account in order to avoid misallocation of
efforts or problems with the information provided by the applicants.

T310: Launch of the call: In order to make it official, the promoter shall launch the
call for applications through an official means. This shall include information of
the whole programme as well as guidelines for participation.

T320: Hot line service for answering doubts and problems: So as to permit the
potential participants and applicants to participate according the bases, the
promoter shall enable a contact (through telephone, email, web, …) to answer
any potential doubt about the programme. The person/s to be assigned to carry
out this supporting service can be members of the own staff.

T330: Recompilation and preliminary store of applications: All application shall be
collected properly and stored in a place that will guarantee the non disclosure of
the applications content. We must take into account that the information sent is
completely confidential and applications are competing one against the other.

T340: Checking of compliance with call requirements: All applications will be
preliminary revised in order to detect those that have not submitted all the
required information.

T350: Corrections claim: Those applicants having submitted an application
missing any relevant information shall be contacted and the information properly
required to be resubmitted before 10 days time. Communication shall be done
via email, reinforced by fax communication.

T360: Final preparation of all application for being evaluated: Every single
proposal/ application shall be prepared for evaluation, ordered and filed in a
defined precise way.

T370: Storage of applications: All application shall be properly stored in a place
that will guarantee the non disclosure of any applications content to people not
directly involved in the selection process. We must take into account that the
information sent is completely confidential and this confidentiality shall prevail
even after the evaluation process. Shall the proposal not be selected this shall be

WP 400 Evaluation process:
The evaluation it self will have to follow a specifically defined procedure that may
guarantee transparency to the whole process.

T410: Convene evaluation panel: Taking into account the priorities settled, the
supporting schemes and the early stage of the action, the promoter shall
convene the evaluators panel for selecting the entrepreneurs (normally the panel
shall be constituted mainly by own promoter entity’s key staff complemented with
one or two representatives of the supporting entities).

T420: Definition of common agreed criteria for evaluation: The whole panel shall
agree on the consistency of the criteria to be used for the selection of the
projects of enterprises to be supported. The promoter will define a evaluation
template for enabling the panel evaluate the applications in a coherent and
formal way. These templates shall enable an objective ranking afterwards that
will allow to order the projects in a objective way.

T430: Evaluation: Based on the established criteria, the panel shall evaluate the
applications of the potential entrepreneurs. The evaluation shall use the
evaluation template and shall agree on the final punctuation.

T440: Selection of business projects to be supported: The evaluated projects will
be ranked and ordered so that the panel will be able have a clear picture of those
to be supported.

WP 500 Communicate resolution and convene selected entrepreneurs for
further stage:
In order to close the overall process, the promoter shall communicate the
applicants the result of the complete process.

T510: Communication of resolution: Based on the result of the ranking process,
the promoter shall communicate the resolution to all applicants, either these have
been selected or not.

T520: Convene selected entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs selected shall be
convened and officially introduced in the next process, being instructed on what
to do and how to proceed.

With respect this specific tasks description, herewith is presented a table
summarizing the complementary information:

                                                                Responsible Resources Start
Task                                                                                  date
WP 0: Contacts and involvements of stakeholders
T010: Identification and contact with potential supporting
T020: Negotiation with potential supporting entities
T030: Commitment agreement
WP 100: Contacts and involvements of interlocutors
in the specific potential sources of potential
T110: Identification and contact with potential “provider” of
T120: Negotiation with potential supporting entities:
T130: Definition of a cooperation scheme:
WP 200 Dissemination:
T210: Relay of dissemination material:
T220: Seminars celebration:
T230: Hot line service for answering doubts:
WP 300 Application management:
T310: Launch of the call:
T320: Hot line service for answering doubts and
T330: Recompilation and preliminary store of
T340: Checking of compliance with call requirements:
T350: Corrections claim:
T360: Final preparation of all application for being
T370: Storage of applications:
WP 400 Evaluation process:
T410: Convene evaluation panel:
T420: Definition of common agreed criteria for evaluation:
T430: Evaluation:
T440: Selection of business projects to be supported:
WP 500 Communicate resolution and convene
selected entrepreneurs for further stage:
T510: Communication of resolution:
T520: Convene selected entrepreneurs:

-        Definition of Gant Diagram: The promoter shall define a graphic
    calendar representation so that the actions can be easily allocated to concrete
    and specific time periods.

-         Definition of Milestones: So as to guarantee a posterior effective
    monitoring and progress evolution, the promoter shall determine concrete
    interim objectives for specific dates. The assessment of these will permit to
    estimate its complete

Milestone 1: 30th of September: Project launched and bases published.

Milestone 2: 1st of November: Applications received and available to be

Milestone 3:15th of November: Projects selected and applicants informed on

-       Development of relevant background work. The background work to be
  carried out shall permit the effective implementation of the Action Plan. It shall
  include issues related to the definition of the working scenario, preparation of the
  dissemination material, set up of the infrastructure and arrangement of logistics for
  the evaluation.
-       Definition of specific Action Plan. This should include description of tasks,
  time calendar allocation, resources allocation and responsible assignment. Tasks to be
  reflected within here shall comprise at least those for the involvement of the
  “entrepreneurs providers”, project logistics, evaluation, … The Action Plan shall be
  complemented with Milestones that will enable the follow up of the whole process.
-       Definition of Gant Diagram: The promoter shall define a graphic calendar
  representation so that the actions can be easily allocated to concrete and specific time
-       Definition of Milestones: So as to guarantee a posterior effective monitoring
  and progress evolution, the promoter shall determine concrete interim objectives for
  specific dates.

Execution and follow up

Making use of the Action Plan ,the promoter shall execute the activities and tasks
described within the timeframe described.
Shall the promoter need a support from partners, collaborators, stakeholders,
these shall know the details of the workplan so that they can react and participate

The promoter shall be responsible for assuring the accomplishment of the tasks
described. In order to be capable of monitoring the whole process, the promoter
will have to analyse periodically the tasks carried out versus foreseen. This will
permit to evaluate the working pace and the consumption of resources. This
evaluation process shall be done in depth with the analysis of the assigned
milestones. These milestones will be as interim evaluation point, the result of
which may determine to follow the established calendar, to reassign and
distribute efforts, to shift the resources, or to change the overall strategy.

 -    Execution of the Action Plan. The promoter shall follow the own defined
   Action Plan investing deemed resources for the proper performance of tasks.
 -       Monitoring of the Action Plan. So as to guarantee the effective execution, the
   promoter shall follow up the working pace and tasks execution, through the
   assessment of partial interim objectives (milestones).
 -       Reallocation of efforts. Taking into account the assessment of partial and
   interim objectives. The promoter shall redefine the Action Plan and related resources
   allocation for a better and more effective execution.


As described above, we extremely recommend to:

          1. Make a strategic analysis of the region policy, in order to be
             capable of measuring the impact of the action in the area
          2. Define an customised Action Plan with relevant background work
             in accordance with the strategic analysis carried out beforehand.
          3. Follow up the Action Plan, monitor its evolution and when
             necessary reassign efforts and strategic approaches.

Key aspects to bear in mind during the whole process:

   -   All actions must be defined taking into account the idiosyncrasy of the
   -   The final goal to be sought is the enhancement of the entrepreneurship
       spirit, not the execution of an isolated action.
   -   Potential entrepreneurs will feel attracted to the action by a potential
       benefit that they could not reach if they wouldn’t participate in this action.
   -   The message must be customised to the specific collectives addressed.
   -   A criteria has to be defined for selecting those projects with better chances
       to survive the nursing stage.
   -   Whenever possible use previous experiences to stimulate imitation by new

Summary of tools suggested to be used in the different stages of the whole

   -   Dissemination: Poster, catalogues, articles, press bulletins, websites,
       seminars, letters form official institutions,...

   -   Stimulation of participation tools: Institutional label recognition, agreement
       with bank entities for advantageous conditions, financial support, provision
       of services for free, professional support, …

   -   Collectives addressed: Unions, Business, Universities, Technical schools,
       Technology centres, unemployment centres, general population,
       Chambers of Commerce,...

   -   Promotion: Use of previous experiences as examples to follow.

   -   Selection of candidacies: Application with Exploitation Plan and assessed
       by panel of experts, Analysis of technological interest, Selection of key
       collectives, Maturity of business idea, ….

            Training Activities Module

  Training Activities Module

Project :Collaborative Validation and Transfer of
         Regional Support Measures for Start-ups
         Creation and Growth in Five NAC Regions
Acronym: PRO PLUS
Ref. Nr: IPS 2001 41103

Authors:    CARSA

Date:       October 2005
Version:    Pro Plus Deliverable 1.3 Final version of
            PRO PLUS manual.doc

The basis for the training activities has been delivered by the german partner
“Universität des Saarlandes Wissens- und Technologietransfer GmbH” (which
means Saarland University Knowledge and Technology Transfer Ltd – in the
following only called with the german abbreviation “WuT GmbH”).
Training of future entrepreneurs is one very important part of the overall service
for future entrepreneurs at Saarland University. This service has originally been
outlined and realised by the "Kontaktstelle für Wissens- und Technologietransfer
der Universität des Saarlandes/ KWT" (Office for Science and Technology
Transfer). The offer for students, graduates and young scientists was established
as one of the first of those programs at a German University. It makes use of the
scientist's know-how as well as of the experience of specific experts from

The initiative for future entrepreneurs at Saarland University was launched in
December 1995, when the „Starterzentrum“ (incubator centre) was set up on the
campus in Saarbrücken. Because of room shortage, the necessary professional
and economy-priced infrastructure for start-ups in the beginning could only be
offered to five young firms. At that early stage, the development of an overall
coaching and teaching program for entrepreneur was developed as well, and in
March 1996 the first crash-course for future entrepreneurs could take place. Up
to now an outstanding experience in entrepreneurship could be gained at
Saarland University: a skilled complementary program that covers the needs of
the entire start-up process was built up, evaluated and constantly improved. It is
now managed WuT-GmbH, which was founded in December 2001. WuT-GmbH
is a limited liability company that closely cooperates with Saarland University.
Apart from organising congresses and evaluating and commercialising patents, it
handles all the concerns about entrepreneurship, setting up businesses and
evaluates coaching to patent application.

The "Starterzentrum" is the only incubator centre in Germany that allows
technology - or science-based - firms to start up directly on an university campus.
The very close vicinity to the university makes it easier for the entrepreneurs to
cooperate and to exchange experience in the field of research and development.
A central secretary, meeting and teaching rooms, and a high speed internet
connection is available. The period of lease at the Starterzentrum is limited to two
years. During this period it should have become obvious whether the business
idea is successful, and if the company afterwards is able to continue at another
site (e.g. in the "Science Park" which is a Technology Parc near the University).
The figures of nearly 160 start-ups and more than 800 jobs show the very
successful development of the "Starterzentrum" at Saarland University. The firms
are operating within the scope of communication technologies, internet providing,
business consulting, pharmaceutics and biotechnology. The survival rate of this
companies is very high. More than 87% of the companies are still operating.

In order to ensure a successful management of the start-up-firms, crash courses
for students and graduates are offered, which provide the necessary basic
knowledge in business management and administration. In March 2006 this
seminar with a length of 2 weeks with 25 lectures of two hours will take place for
the 21th time.

In 1998 the additional lecture "course of studies" was established. The course
for students, graduates and also for future entrepreneurs from outside the
university lasts two terms and consists of 30 lectures. It covers the most
important topics of business administration such as business management,
marketing, accounting, taxation. The first seminar was attended by more than
400 potential entrepreneurs, the courses in the following years started with more
than 100 participants.

In small groups the entrepreneurs can practise and improve their strategic,
communicative and social competetence in attending workshops about time
management, training of selling, successful marketing etc. The coaching program
at Saarland University is completed by round table meetings, a network of
experts as consultants (attorneys, insurance managers etc.) the close
cooperation with regional and transnational institutions such as "Saarländische
Risikokapitalgesellschaft" (operating venture capital) or economic promotion
corporations for the exchange of profiles of start-ups to strengthen bilateral
cooperations and further efforts for sites in technology parks abroad.

A virtual network of excellence provides information for all stages of business
creation. It is coordinated by the Starterzentrum in close cooperation with
regional 'Business Angels'.

Nearly all entrepreneurs in the Starterzentrum attended either the course of
studies or the crash course for future entrepreneurs and gave them a good
rating in the evaluation questionnaires. The courses, developed as an important
part of the overall service for future entrepreneurs, have been the model for the
training activities in the pro plus project.

In the following two chapters first the original programme will be explained with
all its contents and then the adaptation in the pro plus project will be addressed.

Training activities in the framework of the overall service for
start-ups by the KWT

Most of the future entrepreneurs at universities have gained a very sophisticated
know-how during their studies, but they have not learned how to run a company

of their own. What they first of all need to become an entrepreneur is a
fundamental qualification in business administration. In order to ensure not only
a successful initiation but also a subsequent running of the start-ups, courses,
workshops and permanent consult have to be offered in all phases of the
formation of a business. The objective of the overall service for future
entrepreneurs is to provide a high level qualification to future entrepreneurs in the
field of business administration and also to strengthen their social competence.

Course of Studies for Future Entrepreneurs

The duration of the course of studies is one year and it consists of 30 lectures.
The program starts with introductory lectures about the most important topics in
business administration, which are followed by four case studies. At the end
there is the possibility either to obtain a certificate of attendance or to take part in
a written examination which means the possibility to obtain a certificate with a
grade. In the following the scheme of the course is described and after that the
content of the single lectures is specified.


Management and Accounting
Duration: 6 evenings with 2 hours each
Cost accounting
Duration: 3 evenings with 2 hours each
Investment and Financial management
Duration: 5 evenings with 2hours each
Financial reporting
Duration: 3 evenings with 2 hours each
Company taxation
Duration: 3 evenings with 2 hours each
Duration: 2 evenings with 2hours each

Case study 1
Business accounting and Financial reporting
Case study 2
Cost accounting
Case study 3
Investment management
Case study 4
Financial management
Duration: 1 evening with 2 hours each

Moreover there are four additional lectures for supplementation of the program in
form of one day seminars which cover the following fields:

   -   Law (legal forms and types of companies)
   -   Possibilities of financing (Bank loans, Public Funding possibilities,
       Entrepreneurship support programs, Venture Capital, Business Angels
   -   Market analysis (situation and development of the market, analysis of
       costumer needs, analysis of competitors)
   -   Marketing and sales management (product, price, place and promotion,
       techniques how to win costumers)

Written examination

Content of the Course of studies for future entrepreneurs

Management and Accounting

Entrepreneurial thinking and economic knowledge are the base of managerial
decisions. Therefore it is important to point out the close connections between
the economic objectives and the management.
The accounting has to provide the basic data for managerial decisions. The main
part of business accounting is the bookkeeping as a system for systematic
documentation of the company development. The bookkeeping builds the
platform for the business analysis in form of accounting for externals, e.g. the
balance sheet and the income statement as well as the basis for the decision-
supporting information, e.g. the cost and activity accounting.
In particular business management should take steps towards a successful
management of the employees and a successful marketing management. Based
on the techniques of the strategic management (”to do the right things“) the
techniques of the operative management (”to do the things right“) are eventually


Links and Definitions
    economic objectives, strategy and management
    business management and accounting
    bookkeeping and accountancy technique

Business Accounting, Bookkeeping and Balancing
   balancing and income statement as method to document the business
   fundamental terms of accountancy
   legal regulations about keeping an account and the balance sheet
   basic principles of accountancy
   accounts and accounting records

   techniques of accounting with income statement
   techniques of accounting without income statement
Business Management and Accountancy
   survey input-orientation
   human resource management
   survey output-orientation
   marketing management
   survey of techniques and elements of accountancy (cost accounting,
     investment, financial planning, financial statement, company taxation)

Cost Accounting

Against the background of increasing pressure of competition and growing
information transparency on the costumer side, the entrepreneur needs
information about the cost accounting in order to make adequate goal-oriented
Many questions will rise in the process of setting up a business. Most notably
there is the vital question about the “right price” which at least covers the
expenses. A detailed cost accounting and a subsequent cost analysis provide the
information, required to set the prices at a level, which will enable the
entrepreneur to make a adequate profit.


Tasks and Sections of Accounting
       tasks of accounting
       sections of accounting

Basic Terms and Principles of Cost Accounting
        basic terms
        basic principles
        sections of cost accounting
        cost accounting systems
        the term “costs” and criterions for the classification of costs

Areas and Approaches of the Cost Accounting
        cost type accounting
        cost centre accounting
        cost unit accounting

Cost Accounting Systems
       general survey

      flexible standard costing based on margins
      development possibilities

Investment and Financial Management

Investment decisions are always important, as once the investment is made, it’s
quite difficult to call it off and furthermore there is usually much capital remaining
locked up for a long time. In this sense investment management offers the best
possible assistance to execute investment decisions rationally. However the
investor should be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the individual
methods of investment management. The part „investment management“
provides the knowledge concerning the methods, which are used in the common
practice, and examines them critically.
Setting up a business should be based on a solid financial plan, enabling the
company to operate successfully on the market. The part „financial management“
shows how to determine the capital need, what kinds of financial resources are
available and how a financial plan should be structured. The end of the course
features the preparation of a business plan.


Relationships and definitions
      relationship between financial and production process
      the terms “investment” and “financing”

Instruments of the Capital Spending
      static methods of investment management
           o shared characteristics of static methods
           o cost comparison method
           o profit comparison method
           o profitability comparison method
           o amortisation methods
      dynamic methods of investment management
           o mathematical basis
           o shared characteristics of dynamic methods
           o net present value method
           o anuity factor methode
           o internal rate of return (IRR)
           o dynamic amortisation methods
      taxes and investment

Fundamentals of Financing
      structure of a financing management
      liquidity and financial balance

       profitability

Determination of the Capital Need
       survey of the possibilities of financing
       the most important characteristics of own capital and credit capital
       possibilities of external finance:
              financing with own capital
           o functions of own capital
           o self-financing of companies without stock exchange quotation
           o self-financing of companies with public offering
              external financing
           o short-term external financing
           o long-term external financing
       own capital vs. long-term external financing
       leasing as an alternative of buying
       possibilities of internal financing:
          self-financing
          financing by depreciation
          financing by reserves

Financial planning
       tasks of financial planning
       development of a financial plan
       cash-flow-analysis

Credit-worthiness and asset ratio test

Financial Reporting

The course ”Financial reporting“ provides the know how that is required for the
interpretation of a balance sheet and an income statement. It helps to obtain
skills enabling to exploit the options available within the legally accepted practice
to prepare the annual balance sheet according to your strategic objectives.
Consequently the entrepreneur will be able to achieve his goals in front of
creditors, potential investors and fiscal authorities.


Introduction into financial reporting

Conceptual and legal basic principles of the financial reporting
       terms and tasks

      legal regulations

Important principles of financial reporting
      standards and regulations of accounting and balancing

Balance sheet
      capital assets
      circulating assets
      own capital
      reserves
      liabilities
      others

Income Statement

Balance Sheet Analysis

Company Taxation

In this lecture the basic knowledge about business taxation is given. There is a
short introduction to the most important taxes such as the income tax, the
corporate tax, the trade tax and the sales tax. Furthermore, theoretical skills will
be supplemented with practical case studies. These will present the impact of
taxes on business decisions.


      contributions, taxes, concession taxes
      classification of taxes
      types of taxes
      sources of regulations

Income tax
      income tax assessment
      important tax allowance, blanket allowance
      consumption of losses
      guidelines

Corporate Income Tax
      basic principles
      determination of the corporate tax

Trade tax
       determination of the trade tax

Sales tax
       input tax deduction
       taxation

The impact of taxes on business decisions
     case study: differences between the taxation of a Ltd. and an individual
     fiscal differences between a business partnership and a capital company

Business plan

The most important aspect in the process of setting up a new company is to write
a business plan. This plan is necessary in order to calculate risks and chances of
a company which will be founded. The business plan covers the following points:

       Past and Presence:
        soft skills

       Market-Analysis:
        situation of the competition

       Marketing:
        4P: product, price, place and promotion

       Plans of Realisation:

      area of operation

     Forecast, Fiscal Planning, Financing:
      business volume
      profit and loss statement
      business ratios
      possibilities of financing

     Controlling:

Crash course for future entrepreneurs


The objectives of this crash course is to give the future entrepreneurs basic
knowledge of business administration. Moreover it covers important questions of
setting up a business in a short time. The crash course takes 2 weeks including
25 lectures of 2 hours each.
During the first week the participants will learn the basics of business
administration. This knowledge will be engrossed during the weekend by case
studies where all participants are actively involved. Questions related to practice
will be covered and answered during the second week. A closing meeting will
complete the crash course after two weeks.

Schedule of the Crash Course:

               5.00 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.        6.45 p.m. – 8.15 p.m.

Monday         Welcome Address and Management and Accounting

Tuesday        Business Accounting        Balancing

Wednesday Financing                       Developing a financial budget

Thursday      Cost Accounting            Pricing of the product

Friday        Company Taxation           Investment and Financial Management

Saturday      8.00    – 10.00 a.m.       Case study 1: Business Accounting and
                                         Financial Reporting
              10.30   – 12.30 a.m.       Case study 2: Cost Accounting

Sunday        8.00    – 10.00 a.m.       Case study 3: Investment Management
              10.30   – 12.30 a.m.       Case study 4: Financial Management

               5.00 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.       6.45 – 8.15 p.m.

(Fee:    Students: 100,-- EUR / Academic staff: 200,-- EUR)
Monday       Legal forms and types Legal forms and types of companies
             of companies          (Company Law and Labour Law)
             (Company Law and
             Labour Law)

Tuesday      Financing:                Financing:
             Entrepreneurship          Bank credits, Venture capital
             support programmes,

Wednesday Patent right,                Presentation of the overall service for future
                                       entrepreneurs of the Saarland University
                                       Experience reports of former start-ups
Thursday     Insurance coverage        Marketing: Sales Management

Friday       Questions of Taxation     Closing meeting


Objectives of these courses are to give future entrepreneurs the know-how that is
needed after the formation of a company. In order to provide practical know-how,
these lectures are given by experts from industry. The following courses are

      Project management
      Conflict-management, conducting difficult conversations with employess

Personal Training
      Time-management
      Personal Training of Success
      Strategies for coping with stress

Marketing and Distribution
      Crash-course “How does a young entrepreneur achieve fruitful profits?”
      Successful presentation – effective performance
      Product presentation
      Market analysis
      Customer acquisition
      Customer advisory service

      Contract Law

Project-Management – Professional Planning and Controlling of Projects

      What is project-management?
      The 7-S-Model of McKinsey as frame of the project-management:

       '3 Hard Ss':
       • Strategy: The direction and scope of the company over the long term.
• Structure: The basic organization of the company, its departments,
          lines, areas of expertise, and responsibility (and how they
       • Systems: Formal and informal procedures that govern everyday activity,
         covering everything from management information systems, through to
         systems at the point of contact with the customer (retail systems, call
         systems, online systems, etc).

       '4 Soft Ss':
       • Skills: The capabilities and competencies that exist within the company.
       What                                                                     it
         does best.
       • Shared values: The values and beliefs of the company. Ultimately they
         employees towards 'valued' behavior.
       • Staff: The company's people resources and how they are developed,
       trained,                                                              and
       • Style: The leadership approach of top management and the company's
         operating approach.

Conflict Management -Conducting difficult Conversations with Employees

Conversations with employees are an important and useful instrument in order to
give and to get feedback – both from the manager to the employees and vice
versa in order to agree on future objectives and the development of perspectives
of the staff. The contents of such conversations could for example refer to

      the further development of the competences of an employee
      the job performances
      the objectives of the company
      the expectations of the management concerning the employees
      the expectations of an employee concerning the management
      conflicts between management and employee(s) and in teams of the

It is not easy for anybody to address problems, different goals and performance
reviews. In this seminar at first the potential of conflicts between boss and
employees will be analyzed and the view to the differences of the external
perception and the self-perception will be sharpened up.
Research results of the theory of communication and the management of
conflicts will help with the analysis and the solutions concerning the development
of a strategy. In addition difficult conversations with employees will be simulated
and trained in role-playing. A variety of solutions will be found.

Personal Training

Everybody has the same amount of time at his/her disposal. Everyone uses it
according to her/his needs. The more aware and determined we use our time,
the more efficient we do use it according to our intention. During the workshop
the most important steps for a effective time-management are presented.
Objectives, planning, decision, realization, controlling, information and
communication with the emphasis on a reasonable planning and clear decisions
are the subject of this workshop.

Personal Training of Success

Objective of the workshop is to analyze and to reflect one’s own appearance.
Topics are:

      Self-perception vs. outside perception
      Self-perception and observable own behavior
      Body language and nonverbal signals
      Recognizing and valueing the impact from outside by feedback
      Listening and Understanding
      The sender-receiver-model of the communication and its limits
      Conducting conversations

An essential part of the workshop are practical exercises, recorded by a video
camera in order to be able to analyze the situation and to optimize the own

Strategies for Coping with Stress

When does stress operate as a stimulatory elixir and when as only an excessive
demand? What are the underlying points and how can I control in order to keep
powerful and balanced? The workshop covers theoretical knowledge, and gives
hints how to deal with stress and practical experiences.

Marketing and Distribution
Crash-Course:      „How does as a young entrepreneur achieve fruitful

The 3-Step-Concept:

Step 1 - My USP-tender

      How marketable is my offer / my service on the market?
      What is my “unique advantage” of my service (USP!)?
      Which offers of the competitors will be compared with my offer by the
      Which value does my offer have in order to achieve the goals of my

Step 2 - The management of the target group

      “The fish must savor the bait – not the fisher”
      The identification of my customers: How do I accompany them to their
      The socio-gram of the group taking buying decisions: The trade, the
       extent, the intensity of competition and the expectations of the main
       customers as determinants of my instruments of acquisition
      The selection of the desired customers among the determinants of liquidity
       and the leadership of opinion with respect to the following sales

Step 3 - My instruments of acquisition including the to-do-list

      “Who does what until when – how?”
      Call-Mail-Call as “basic-package” of my strategy of acquisition
      Management of offers
      How do I use my first orders for my strategy of acquisition?
      How do I qualify my references?

Successful presentation – effective performance

      To arrange presentations effectively
      To present the company, the products and services
      Theoretical knowledge and practical exercises

The capability to present information in a well-sorted and convincing way is
essential in all situations, no matter if giving a speech, presenting a project,
organizing a sale-presentation, motivating employees, for all situations is
important: to present verbally and visually, to convince the auditors.

The workshop will deal with:

       Preparing a well-defined and clearly arranged presentation
       How to get and keep the auditors’ attention
       What you can do in order to be convincing
       How to deal with difficulties

Contents: Key-concepts and psychology of communication, structure and
arrangements of a presentation, visualization and the use of the media, elocution
and stile, nonverbal behavior.

Product Presentation

A striking presentation is an important factor for the successful acquisition of
costumers. The seminar will give information about the fundamentals of a
presentation. Presentations of the participants will ensure that they are not
provided with only theoretical knowledge but also with practical one.

Market Potential

The business idea decides if a start up will be a success or not. Therefore the
bearing capacity of the idea is to check on the basis of a market analysis. In this
regard the following questions are to be answered:

       How is the market allocation?
       What is the real market potential?
       Do you know your competitors?
       How can I make out my competitors and how can I find out their way of
       Which trends of development will be expected for your company?

The participants will learn to carry out a market analysis by getting to know
practical examples.

Customer Acquisition

Strategic thinking and phases of the customer acquisition:
proceeding of the customer acquisition

Winning addresses: Letters to customers, phone calls
Sales talk: The basis of success; the five phases of a sales talk – beginning,
need (motive and aim); proof; end (agreement, commitment); exit
Post-processing: Write the minutes of the meeting


Contract Law

Future entrepreneurs face more and more issues of law. During the set-up-phase
of a company they often don’t have time enough to deal with those issues. Not
until specific cases have occurred, legal assistance is engaged. The workshop
will offer a quick and directed orientation. Having knowledge of issues of law
young entrepreneurs can act early and directed in order to avoid unnecessary
and high cost for the young company.
The most important point during this early stage of the company is the contract
law. The relations to customers, suppliers, co-operation partners are regulated or
still must be regulated by contracts – often long-dated. The basis of the workshop
are the kind of contracts which are most important – that is contract of
purchase/sale and contract for work and labor/services.
The most important topics are:

          Liability for defects and guarantee
          Default and default interest
          Liability for damages and possibilities of exclusion of liability
          Interrogatories
          Limitation – beginning and end


The Contact Office for Knowledge and Technology Transfer of Saarland
University offers also individual coaching concerning the setting up of business
plan, consulting in law questions and also in management and marketing
questions. These consulting is given by the Contact Office for Knowledge and
Technology Transfer, the Institute for Setting Up Business (SME) and
experienced companies located at the start-up-centre.

The Overall service for future entrepreneurs is summarized in the following

Adapted Training Activities in the framework of pro plus

The described courses in the last chapter built the input for the pro plus training
activities. By adapting the program the following topics have to be reflected:

Who will be the provider/lecturer of the training activities?
What will be the length/intensity of training measures?
What will be the content of the training measures?

Definition of persons / institutions as provider of training activities:

As it is the case at Saarland university courses have been lectured either by the
partners itself or by external experts. Sometimes it was difficult for the NAC-
partners to find adequate experts but during the project life cycle the situation
was improving because the general awareness in questions of entrepreneurship
is rising. In Bulgaria for Example now the chamber of commerce has also
established regular training courses for future entrepreneurs.

Definition of the length / intensity of training measures:

The course of studies at Saarland University is a very important long running
measure. It addresses people that plan to start their own business after they

have finished their studies. During their studies they can also acquire the relevant
knowledge for future entrepreneurs and they start doing so a year or two before
they pass their exam. Due to the restricted project time and the facts that not
every project partner had a university background and that it takes time to
establish such a program crash courses, seminars and workshops have been
chosen as the better instruments to qualify the future entrepreneurs.

Definition of the content of the training measures:

The content provided by the program of the Saarland University was in general
regarded as very appropriate by the whole consortium and the training courses
held in the NAC regions mainly addressed the topics of the training courses
developed at Saarland University. But of course there have been some
adaptations to local circumstances for several reasons:

The content of the German program was developed against the background of
the german laws. Some lectures - especially the lectures about the legal forms
and types of company, patent right and also the lectures for taxation - have of
course been adapted according to the local law and regulations.

The point that was particular interesting for nearly all NAC-partners in
comparison to the Saarland University model was “financing”. The lack of money
and sometimes the lacking structure of the financial markets are problems the
companies in former east block countries have to cope with. Therefore was a
great need to learn about the existing financing possibilities and also a strong
interest to learn more about funding possibilities from institutions like the EU and
from Venture capital.

Also there have been additional requirements for courses. In Latvia for example
there was an additional requirement in the area of international business
because of its specific geographical situation. Courses addressing that topic
have been added to the program as well. There was also a need for
entrepreneurs in industrial and technology-oriented branches for lectures about
certification by standards of ISO 9001 and ISO 140001 (case of Bulgaria). In
order to prepare the people well courses with that topics have been offered. (The
Saarland University is not a technical oriented University therefore such courses
are not part of the program).

Sometimes it was also a problem to find adequate experts for special training
topics within the limited financial budget and the training program was
customized according to the available experience and the financial

In the following annex an overview of the training programmes is shown in order
to give an impression of the customized training programs:

Annex: Examples of Realised Training programs in the pro plus project

10 workshops were organised for the participants of the competition, each
workshop for each chapter of a business plan. The workshops were organised on
Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 13 p.m. They were held by university and PTP
staff, as well as by external experts from the field of human resources. The
participants obtained basic knowledge of specific fields of a business plan, as
well as worked on practical exercises and their own cases. After each workshop
they had a possibility to individually consult each lecturer.

        Nr.       WHAT & WHO
                  Development of a company and entrepreneur
                  Egon Tomažič, Pragma d.o.o.
                  Product / service, company, branch
                  asist. Igor Prodan, Fakulteta za management Koper
                  Research and market analysis
                  asist. Miran Kovač, Politehnika Nova Gorica
                  Sales plan and marketing strategy
        4         asist. Miran Kovač, Politehnika Nova Gorica
                  Hermina Ogrič, Primorski tehnološki park
                  Development and production
        5         pred. Klemen Kavčič, Fakulteta za management
                  Management, organisation and ownership
        6         asist. mag. Denis Juričič, Fakulteta za management
                  Financial plan
        7         asist. mag. Denis Juričič, Fakulteta za management
                  Risk assessment
        8         Time planning
                  Erika Zuodar, Primorski tehnološki park
                  Business plan summary
        9         Business plan presentation
                  Erika Zuodar, Primorski tehnološki park

                     Hermina Ogrič, Primorski tehnološki park
                     How well do I know myself?
                     Andrej Frančeškin, univ. dipl. psih.

Poland: Program

Time         Title           Content                                  Provider
2 lectures      Company      legal forms and types of companies, Poznań Centre of
of 2 hours      and          legislation:     patents,  industrial Enterprise Support
each            Labour       property law, trade marks, industrial
                Law          designs, copyright and related
17.00    –                   rights, unfair competition
3 lectures Management        economic objectives and business         Poznań Centre of
of 2 hours and               management, bookkeeping and              Enterprise Support
each       Accounting        accountancy technique, balancing
                             and     income    statement,     legal
9.00     –                   regulations concerning keeping an
13.00                        account and the balance sheet,
14.00    –                   human      resource    management,
16.00                        survey of in- and out-put orientation,
                             management of marketing
1 lecture of Cost            business objective and business          Poznań Centre of
2 hours      accounting      planning,    basic    concept     and    Enterprise Support
                             principles of the management
9.00     –                   accounting,     components        and
11.00                        proceeding of the cost accounting,
                             system and types of cost accounting

           Company           types    of  taxes,     sources     of Poznań Centre of
2 lectures taxation          regulations,            contributions, Enterprise Support
of 2 hours                   concession taxes

12.00    –
2 lectures Marketing         market analyse, past and presence, Doradztwo
of 2 hours and business      marketing, plans of realisation, Gospodarcze DGA
each       plan              forecast, fiscal planning, financing,
           preparing         controlling
17.00    –
3 lectures Financial         methods of financing, determination Poznań Centre of
of 2 hours management        of the capital need, financial Enterprise Support
each       and financial     planning, conceptual and legal

           reporting        principles of the financing report,
9.00     –                  balance sheet, income statement,
13.00                       balance sheet analysis
14.00    –
3 lectures Possibilities    possibilities of receiving financing
of 2 hours of financing     from institution listened above      Micro Fund, Bank
each                                                             PBH         PBK,
9.00     –                                                       Gospodarcze DGA,
13.00                                                            Polish Agency for
14.00    –                                                       Enterprise
16.00                                                            Development


The Pro plus project organised three phases of training for entrepreneurs. The
first on can be seen as a basic training phase for future entrepreneurs and the
other two as early phase of company development

Training Phase 1 “Business plan development – Part 1”
During the first stage, the accent of training content was concentrated on
business planning, design, and practical exercises on estimated business

Training Phase 2 “Business plan development – Part 2”
The second phase focused on the development of a high quality business plan.

Training Phase 3
Part 1: “EU Financial resources, appropriate for the small and medium-sized
European financial resources appropriate for participation of SMEs (EU
programmes, funds, initiatives) their principles of functioning and ways for
accessing them. Attention was paid to the relevant legislation and regimes
Part 2: “Preparation for acquisitioning of certificate by standards ISO 9001 and
ISO 140001”
This part was based on the requirements and procedures of international
certification of companies ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001.

Leading specialists in the chosen thematic areas were invited to give lectures
and lead courses. The content of the training syllabuses, the teaching and study
materials, and the agenda of the courses are published on the Internet site of the
project (only partially translated in englisch): http://www-it.fmi.uni-

Example: Programme of training phase 1:



The business project as an enterprising economical conception
– 2 hours

The perspective business idea – the investment project
intellectual basis
1.1   What do people and organisations buy – the benefit, not the characteristics
1.2   Conception for investment project and business project
1.3   System and classification of business projects
1.4   Aims and structure of a business project
1.5   Business project indications
1.6   Participants in the business project
1.7   Who and why is interested in the business project implementation
1.8   Project management

Functions and principles for planning an enterprise – 2 hours
1.9 Purpose of the business plan and its basic elements
1.10 General principles of the internal company planning
1.11 Composition and structure of a business project
1.12 Strategy reference marks of a business project
1.13 Business project scope
1.14 Input for pre-investment researches
1.15 Analysis and alternative choice
1.16 Principles for planning and managing an investment project
1.17 Life circle of an enterprise, business project and product
1.18 The business plan as a basis for the business project

Stages in developing a business plan – 8 hours
1.19    External sources of new ideas and their reflection in the business plan
1.20    Main subjective factors for arising enterprise ideas
1.21    Main sources of enterprise values
1.22    Main stages of stating the enterprise business plan grounds

1.23 Steps of the selection, evaluation and implementation of the enterprise
    ideas in the business plan
1.24 Purpose and content of the enterprise mission within the market
1.25 Valuable orientations and their connection with the objective preferences
1.26 Differences between mission and objectives of the enterprise
1.27 Model classification of the enterprise objectives
1.28 Requirements concerning formulating enterprise objectives
1.29 Process of establishing and modifying enterprise objectives
1.30 Connections between the enterprise objectives
1.31 Settlement of the conflict between objectives and their modification
1.32 Enterprise objectives tree
1.33 Model structure of the enterprise objectives
1.34 Examples for objects setting at the enterprise functional departments
1.35 Factors which influence the enterprise activity
1.36 Main factors for the enterprise development
1.37 Four-sided analysis of the enterprise strategic opportunities
1.38 Triangle of competitors
1.39 Enterprise development strategies
1.40 Matrix of the opportunities by products (markets)
1.41 Enterprise crisis management

Software for modifying and developing business plan – 2 hours
Business project effectiveness evaluation – 2 hours
Net Present Value
1.42   Internal Rate of Return
1.43   Profitability Index
1.44   Investment pay-back period
1.45   Others
Risk and risk management – 2 hours
Investors’ audit of the business plan. Investment decision-taking
– 2 hours
Process and organisation of the enterprise planning. Plan
indicators, rates and norms – 2 hours
Enterprise planning systems
1.46 Model organizational structure of the enterprise planning-economic
1.47 Organizational structure of planning a middle-size enterprise
1.48 Methods for rate establishing


Confidentiality memorandum
Feasibility study
Industry description
1.49 Level of industry attractiveness for the business
1.50 Main factors for choosing enterprise activity sphere
1.51 Brief description of the main business types

Enterprise description
1.52   Enterprise as a production system
1.53   Basic methods for establishing an enterprise
1.54   General model for choosing organisational-legal form of enterprise activity
1.55   Shares to workers in an enterprise
Choosing the type of activity (products, services, activities)
1.56   Product development process
1.57   Quality levels of the production (service) as goods
1.58   Product and service life circle
1.59   Product main characteristics and service               life   circle   stages.
       Typical marketing activities of the enterprise
  Marketing plan
1.60      Main directions in the market conditions researching
1.61      Characteristic of the main market types
1.62      Seller’s market and buyer’s market
1.63      Consumers` markets classification
1.64      Types and characteristics of the enterprise markets
1.65      The     principle   of   complexity of      the    commodity markets
1.66      Main tasks and directions of the commodity markets researching
1.67      Comparative       assessment     of   some    methods        for demand
1.68       General model for demand forecasting
1.69    Special features of the choice of parameters. Versatility of segmentation of
        markets for commodities for industrial use
1.70    Enterprise price policy
1.71    Factors which influence the price level and dynamic
1.72    Commodity price and quality
1.73    Methods for setting the basic price
1.74    Price and quality. Marketing communication elements
1.75    Defining the preliminary scope of the sells

Analysis of the typical mistakes and disadvantages of business



In Latvia there have been two courses which focused on the marketing aspect
and on international business plan development. Because of the special
geographical situation of Latvia there are a lot of companies that want to go
abroad with their business. Therefore the training courses focused not only on
business plan development but also emphasized international aspects.

1st Seminar: Marketing training programme:

1st day:

   1.   What is Marketing
   2.   Information, consultation and education in Marketing
   3.   The behavior of clients/consumers
   4.   Strategical Marketing
   5.   Planning process of Marketing and budget
   6.   Product un product policy
   7.   Price policy in Marketing

2nd day:

   1.   Marketing communication
   2.   Innovative selling forms
   3.   Internet Marketing
   4.   Products Marketing for producers
   5.   Marketing of Intellectual Capital

2nd Seminar: International Business Plan Training Course

Course Programme

Day 1             19 May 2005
8:35              Registration

9:00      Welcome and introduction of participants

          "Approach towards internationalisation of SMEs" –
          Gintas Janusonis, Latvian Technological Centre, Project
9:30      Lecture:
          "Intercultural business communication and networking" –
          Professor Roberts Kilis,
          Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
          Language of instruction: Latvian
11:00     Lecture:
          "International business planning: Structuring your
          business expansion" –
          Dr. Jorge Vieira da Silva,
          Founder and Director, MTA - Marketing & Technologies
          Advances, Paris, France
          Language of instruction: English
11:30     Coffee break
12:00     Lecture:
          "Market Research and Competitive Analysis" –
          Dr. Jorge Vieira da Silva,
          Founder and Director, MTA - Marketing & Technologies
          Advances, Paris, France
          Language of instruction: English
13:30     Lunch
14:30     "Financing and Financial Planning of International
          Business Expansion" -
          Mark Miller,
          Managing Director of Cat Cap GmbH, Hamburg, Germany
          Language of instruction: English
16:00     Coffee break
16:15 …   Individual coaching sessions and working on business
          Language: English

Day 2

9:00            Lecture:
                "Marketing and sales in a multicultural setting" –
                Dr. Jorge Vieira da Silva,
                Founder and Director, MTA - Marketing & Technologies
                Avancees, Paris,
                Language of instruction: English
10:30           Coffee Break
11:00           Lecture:
                “Cross-Cultural Communication” –
                Larry W. Stout,
                Associate Professor of Business Psychology at the Stockholm
                School of Economics in Riga
                Language of instruction: English
12:30 – 13.30   Lecture:
                “Learning from experience – An entrepreneur’s view on
                crossing borders”
                   1. Juris Lauznis, INTEGRIS Ltd.
                   2. Juris Vanags, BIO-TECHNICAL CENTRE Ltd.
                Language of presentations: Latvian

            Financing Start-Ups Module

  Financing Start-Ups Module

Project :Collaborative Validation and Transfer of
         Regional Support Measures for Start-ups
         Creation and Growth in Five NAC Regions
Acronym: PRO PLUS
Ref. Nr: IPS 2001 41103

Authors:     CARSA

Date:    October 2005
Version:  Pro Plus Deliverable 1.3 Final version of
PRO PLUS manual.doc

Methods used by the Kärnten Technologie GmbH.

Kärnten Technologie is the Development Agency Carinthia. We are supporting
companies with services and consulting. There are no funds or other financial
instruments we can use directly for financing Start-ups.

Promoting Start-ups – Strategy and Tools for Carinthia

The following grid shows witch tools Carinthia and Kärnten Technologie use for
attracting and supporting start-ups. We separate therefore in three phases with
different support focuses.

Before Start:       Business Planning, Risk Assessment, Risk Minimizing,
Start-up:    Operative Support, Coaching, Financing

Growth:      Financing (VC, private Equity), IPRs

Description on Instruments:

Biz.plan and biz,plan@school:

Business plan and –idea Competitions for attracting new ideas which could be
incubated. Focus lies on people who have ideas and people planning to start any
business. Mostly they have no orientation how to do and are insecure about the
risks. Core of the competition is a training program for entrepreneurship and so
called coaching-evenings were the entrepreneurs work with experts and
consultants on their ideas.
Result are complete business plans as a base for further steps as individual
incubation coaching (for members of the technology parks or for virtual
members), membership in the “build” incubator, special support in the case of
IPRs and Financing (biz.cube) or only use of the classical technology park
Target Group:            Target group is wide. Entrepreneurs from all types of
business are welcome (Production, Technology, Services, Trade, Handcrafting,
Tourism )

Build – Academic Incubator:
In Austria were – founded by goverment – 6 Academic Incubators established
since 2001.
This so called A+B Incubators support few (5 to 10) entrepreneurs in the phase
before starting their company. The candidates get infrastructure, research
facilities, support services, prof. consulting and money (!) for working on their
business idea. The entrepreneurs get also a kind of loan. So is possible to work
on an idea without havy risks.
Target Group:       Target group is very lean. The program is made for
academic researchers and academic personal. The ideas must be highly
innovative and in the field of high-tech.

K-Tech Centers:
K-Tech Centers are the Carinthia Technology Parks and the Impulse Centers
operated by Kärnten Technologie. There we offer a wide range on services
separated in

Infrastructure services,
Support services (Secretary, Call Center, etc.)
Networking services (B2B Contacts, Cooperations, Cluster development)
Consulting services
Target Group :        Entrepreneurs and companies with growth projects in all
innovative fields (innovative service companies, mid-tech and high- tech

Success-promoting and detaining factors of influence on the establishment
process in Carinthia
The establishment financing is one of the most important emphasis and the basis
for the successful structure of an establishment project. The determination of the
capital requirement as well as the representation of the procurement of capital
are important elements for a solid establishment of an enterprise.
A good financing is the basis for the successful structure of an enterprise. The
exact determination of the capital requirement belongs therefore to the
substantial tasks of each founder. To this belongs the capital requirement for the
investments, the capital requirement for goods and material stores and the
current capital requirement.
As evident, the financing has effect on the most important ranges of an
establishment enterprise. Before the formal establishment the founder have to
determine its capital requirement and the potential financial sources. The
procurement of capital have in most cases be guaranteed by an external
financing, since for instituting enterprise an internal financing is not or only with
difficulty possible.
The capital applying can be divided into external financing and self financing.
Own capital funds are the resources of the owners. Futhermore capital resources
are own savings, venture capital, participation, admission of partners or the stock
exchange (over initial public offering IPO) are also counted among the capital

Outside capital (credits, e.g. bank) is placed to the enterprise from outside capital
givers and must be secured. Sources of outside capital are bank credits, national
supports (public promotion), hypotheken or leasing.

Problems of self financing
One of the main problems, which a future enterprise founder must overcome, is
the development of his own source of capital for the realization of his

establishment project. Newly created enterprises are still unknown and difficulty
to evaluate from own capital funds givers. Thereby it concerns innovative ideas,
whose conversion is connected with much risk. Also the risk capital market with
venture capital is still moderately pronounced in Austria, and therefore the
possibilities for the self financing for enterprise founders are limited. In practice
the support is marked by drastic selection methods and to receive determined
profitability expectations is very difficult, and beyond that, expensively for an
enterprise founder. In some cases there gives less information about financing
elements and existing advancement programs. In this case the Kärnten
Technology supports founders with consultation.
These difficulties the own capital funds procurement stand in the contradiction to
the increased own capital funds need during the business startup. It prevails a
disturbance between capital provider and capital seeker. The causes are
confidence and information problems. One criterion of choice should be the
economic expectations of the idea.
The more own capital funds, the better:
-   as safety and risk pads, in order to avoid financial problems, which can lead
    to a bankruptcy
-   as indications of the credit-worthness opposite backers (capital owner).
Sources of own capital funds are also relatives and friends, own capital funds aid
programme (help existence founders to “liable own capital funds”, partners
(participator) and equity investment companies (public promoted or private
holding companies, where venture capital givers do not enter yet because the net
yield is to small)

Venture Capital

Capital for innovations and growth. They mostly do no invest in founders,
because the risk is to high. Venture Capital societies acquire usually only
minority participation. They do not want to intervene in the operative transactions,
but they wanted to be informed comprehensively by the business process and
have the right to form fundamental decisions.

Equity financing
The equity financing has the following advantages: Warranty capital for the
creditors and so basis for the outside financing. Substantial safety factor for the
management, because it does not cause expenditures, e.g. by interest
payments. The capital are at the disposal to the entrepreneur without temporal
limitation. In addition, the equity financing also has disadvantages: The supply of
own capital can lead to disadvantages by the dominant tax laws.

Problems of outside financing
The difference between own capital funds and the amount, which are needed for
the implementation of the idea, can be covered only by outside capital. The
procurement of capital is difficult from the outside, because it is extremely
problematic to open external sources of capital. In addition enterprise founders
possess a strongly independence feeling, and beyond that they have not the
possibility to finance the business with own gained profits.

The complication is to measure the establishment-necessary capital requirement
as exactly as possible in order to procure the necessary funds. The capital
requirement depends often also on the time interval on the beginning of the
business activities up to the completion of the product and/or the service and on
the time of the first market profit and on the dates of payment (this depends on
the economic situation).
This is an obstacle for enterprise founders without business past and without
necessary capital. Usually an external source of capital develops only on the
offered collateral, which is carried by reference numbers of the past. Therefore
the founder has to create an establishment concept (business plan), which
passes a critical analysis by the potential financial giver. Also the more strongly
safety requirements of banks are evaluated as barrier for a founder.
The outside financing, particularly by the admission of bank credits, is a good
way for a founder, because it offers the possibility of carrying out the own ideas
without influence from partners to. But this kind of the financing has a lot of
disadvantages for the existing enterprise. The liquidity load is to be called by
continuous payments of interest and repayment as well as the limited availability
of the capital, since credits are scheduled.

Loan of credit institutes:
Depending upon running time in briefly -, short and long-term
bank overdraft, credit granted by suppliers
Investment loan (The investment loan serves for the financing of the fixed assets.
They are granted on a long-term basis)
Each financial institution only gives a loan, if it is safe, to get back the borrowed
money. This depends on: Person of the founder, qualification, enterprise concept
(business plan) success-promising profit (mortgages, endorsements, life
insurances, etc..)


Leasing is a relatively frequent financing alternative, where capital goods are
rented. Advantages are the presence of own capital funds and the small frame
from having credits.

Financing with promotions
For founders exist different possibilities of economy development promotions.
Kärnten Technologie gives founders a overview about the optimal promote-mix
by federation and national promotions. We give also concrete assistance during
the request creation.

Financing Tools for Entrepreneurs and Start-ups used by Kärnten

FFF (Family, Friends and Fools):      The most used financing for the very
beginning is private money brought by the founders self. In Austria there is the
possibility to insure such money. The governmental company AWS (Austria
Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft) has a program for guaranteeing this equity
money to the investor in the case of bankruptcy of the founder (excluded are
near family members).
The AWS also serves insured loans to founders, usable in the first three years.
Founder subsidies:              According to the EU – law there are possibilities
to attract promotions up to 25% of investments also for founders. The problems
in most cases are:
-   there are to less investments for attracting promotions due to limits.
-   the cost and investments needed are not promotable (e.g. used machinery)
-   the financing of the other 75%

Business Angels:
Kärnten Technologie is partner in an Austrian Wide Business Angel Network
where Entrepreneurs and Investor match their ideas.

Venture Capital Companies:
There are some companies with activities also in Austria, but the chance to get
money in this days is very low. VCs has now no role in the financing portfolio we
are working with.

Carinthian Future Fund:

The Carnithian Economic Promotion Fund KWF has a program for financing
technology oriented entrepreneurs with equity. Therefore they hold shares of the
founded companies.

Experience from our projects:
We advice mostly a mix from all these instruments. Basic is to get private equity
from private persons – used the model of AWS combined with a fair basic
financing from a bank institute. When big investments are planed we try to
attract subsidies, combined with money and guarantees from banks and
business angels.
The service we offer in the incubation process is to make together the financial
plans, to co-write the proposals and to build up the contacts to the bank institutes
and business angels. In this phase we are like a “lawyer” for the entrepreneur.

               Incubation Module

     Incubation Module

Project :Collaborative Validation and Transfer of
         Regional Support Measures for Start-ups
         Creation and Growth in Five NAC Regions
Acronym: PRO PLUS
Ref. Nr: IPS 2001 41103

Authors:    CARSA

Date:       October 2005
Version:    Pro Plus Deliverable 1.3 Final version of PRO PLUS


Business Incubators (or plainly referred to as “Incubators”) provide a broad range of
services for start-up entities, and it is of added value to the user to provide to the
perspective entrepreneur or team of entrepreneurs a clear idea as to what Business
Incubators are and in effect to understand the services they provide.

Definitions may be identified through many sources; such a definition, with relevant
accuracy, is provided via a very well know and identifiable internet resource, specifically
the WIKIPEDIA (, which is a free and
open internet encyclopaedia:

“Business incubators are organizations that support the entrepreneurial process,
helping to increase survival rates for innovative startup companies.
Only entrepreneurs with feasible projects are admitted into the incubators, where they
are offered a specialized menu of support resources and services. The resources and
services open to an entrepreneur include:
 provision of physical space,
 management coaching,
 help in making an effective business plan,
 administrative services,
 technical support,
 business networking,
 advice on intellectual property, and
 sources of financing.
The incubation process is intended to last around 2-5 years.

Business incubators can be private or public. Private incubators are for-profit firms that
take equity or receive a fee for the business services they provide to their clients. In
essence, they are a consulting firm that is specialized in new firm creation. In the last
twenty years, many developed and developing countries have started large systems of
public business incubators to encourage and assist entrepreneurship. In many cases,
public incubators are designed to stimulate the development of new products and services
in high-tech industries. For science-based business incubators, an effective collaboration
with universities and research institutions is essential to motivate researchers into taking
the risk of initiating a company.

Incubators have many partners in addition to universities. Since new firms require
finance to grow, incubators have close relationships with many kinds of investors. Seed
capital and venture capital funds, business angels, and banks provide most of the seed
and start-up capital for incubated companies. Since business incubators are powerful
economic development tools, they collaborate actively with regional and national
government agencies, from which they often receive financial grants. In many countries,

business incubators have national associations to represent their interests and organize
meetings where best practices are disseminated.

Evaluations of business incubators in Europe and the U.S. suggest that 90% of incubated
start-ups were active and growing after three years of operation, which is a much higher
success rate than that observed in start-ups launched without assistance.
Science-based business incubators are thought to be particularly useful from a policy
perspective because they can simultaneously promote knowledge diffusion, technology
transfer and high-tech firm creation”.

In the WIKIPEDIA, in the pages providing specific definitions, additional information is
provided, such as External Links to sites of relevance and interest with respect to the
definition shown. It is of particular interest to note that for the specific definition of
“Business incubator”, some of the external links provided are direct links to Incubation-
specific databases created by the European Commission to facilitate European-wide
incubator identification, namely:
 Cordis Incubators, (single entry point to all
  registered -to the database- business incubators in Europe, regardless of country, type,
  business sector or location),
 EC Business Incubators Database, (overview
  of over 700 business incubators in the EU Member States, the EEA countries, and

As one may see, the activity fields and services offered by Business Incubators also
include and/or overlap with other vital matters that are addressed by the PROMOTOR+
method, such as management coaching and help in making an effective business plan
(training), sources of financing, etc.


The purpose of this module is to provide a structured information guide-overview of
sources/services through which Business Incubators (and the respective incubation
services they may offer) may be identified towards the benefit of perspective
entrepreneurs. As the PROMOTOR+ method has been developed and applied in Europe,
and is intended for use by European citizens in various professional positions, it is of
importance to provide and present, a main starting point/single-access source for
information concerning Business Incubation services identification. Such a single-access
information source is CORDIS (Community Research & Development Information
Service), a vast integrated information service created and sustained by the European
Commission, through which all main Incubation entities and Incubation schemes/projects
may be found.

The following list and accompanying information with regards to Business Incubators or
Business Incubation services is not exhaustive, and focuses on highlighted information
and services sources that are most relevant to start-ups incubation.

CORDIS: Community Research & Development Information Service

Among the many sections comprising CORDIS, the most dedicated to the subjects of
innovation and start-ups, is none other than the “European Innovation Portal”, located at

The main themes upon which the Portal is structured upon are:
 Innovation Policy in Europe
  (directions and priorities of the EU in the innovation domain)
 Services for Enterprises*
  (direct access to innovation services for companies)
 Innovation in the Framework Programmes
  (funding opportunities within the 6th Framework Programme for Research &
 Innovation Studies
  (latest studies related to Innovation).

All of the above mentioned themes are of importance to SMEs and start-up firms
established and active in the European market. The theme that is of main importance to
the theme of “Incubation”, within the frame of the PROMOTOR+ methodology, is
“Services for Enterprises” (the word “enterprises” referring not only to established
SMEs but also to start-up firms).

The “Services for Enterprises” section of the European Innovation Portal provides direct
links to available on-line services in Europe for support and guidance with respect to
innovation matters, i.e.:
 Technology Transfer
    Innovation Relay Centres [IRCs]
    Technology Marketplace
 Business Planning and Access to Finance
    Gate2Growth [G2G]
    Intellectual Property Rights Helpdesk [IPR Helpdesk]
 Supporting Start-Ups
    Business Innovation Centres [BICs]
    Business Incubators
 Other Support Services
    Euro Info Centres [EICs]
    Support Measures and Initiatives for Enterprises [SMIE]
    Dialogue with Business
    Europe direct

Supporting Start-Ups

Business Incubators (

The Business Incubators service is a single entry point to all business incubators in
Europe, regardless of country (in Europe), type, or business sector. The main aims and
objectives of the service are (i) provide assistance to entrepreneurs with new business
ideas, identify the incubators to develop these ideas into commercially and technically
viable products and/or services, (ii) to facilitate networking among business incubators in
Europe, and (iii) to help national, regional and local authorities to access information on
more than 950 business incubators spread throughout Europe today.

Via the “SEARCH Incubators” function, one has access to an Incubator search engine,
whereas registered (to this database) Business Incubators throughout Europe may be
identified, either through general search criteria, e.g., selecting only country, and/or to
additionally select the industrial/business activity that the perspective entrepreneur may
be interested in for establishing a start-up firm, such as for example Advanced
Engineering, Aeronautics, Food, and a great many other options.

As a trial example of the search engine, if one were to choose in the “Select country”
field, one of the regions participating in the PROMOTOR+ project, e.g., Latvia, results
returned will display (with links to):

              1. Latvian Technological Center
              City: Riga | Country: LATVIA
              2. Riga Stockholm School of Economics
              City: Riga | Country: LATVIA

whereas one of the two options, i.e., Latvian Technological Center (LTC), is the
representative partner for Latvia in the PROMOTOR+ project (please visit the
PROMOTOR+ project website,, in order to obtain the contact
information for the PROMOTOR+ partners in Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia).

The Business Incubator service also provides two additional sources of information,
which are very useful not only to SMEs and start-ups support services and entities, but
also to regional development agencies and established incubators. These sources are
listed in the “Financial Support” and “Useful links” sections.

The Financial Support section is comprised of three sub-sections providing direct links
a) EU Funding Opportunities (references only)
PRO-INNO, Europe INNOVA initiative; European Commission Proposal for a
“Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme”;              The Multi-annual
Programme for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, particular for Small and Medium-sized
Enterprises 2001-2005; BONUS scheme; LIFE III - Environment, Intelligent Energy

Europe     (2003-2006);  Information    Society   -    E-Content    (2002-2005);
The Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (2002-
2006); EUREKA - A Network for Market Oriented R&D, Gate2Growth Initiative.

b) National & Regional funding (references only)
ERDF-European Regional Development Fund (finances infrastructure, job-creating
investments, local development projects and aid for small firms); European Social Fund
(promotes the return of unemployed and disadvantaged groups to the work force, mainly
by financing training measures and systems of recruitment aid); EIB-European
Investment Bank (the task of the European Union's financing institution is to contribute
towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the
Member States; EIB finances large projects only, but SMEs can benefit indirectly from
thes, e.g., for example, through incubators, science parks or guarantee facilities); EIF-
European Investment Fund (the EIF's activity is based on two instruments, both of which
are complimentary to the Global Loans provided by the EIB to financial intermediaries in
support of SME financing, such as EIF's venture capital instruments and guarantee
instruments); European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development, est. 1991, uses the tools of investment to help build
market economies and democracies in 27 countries from central Europe to central Asia; it
provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses, both for new ventures and
investments in existing companies); EAGGF: European Agricultural Guidance and
Guarantee Fund; Financing of UK Incubators and Incubation Programmes, Regional
Development Agency (RDA) for the West Midlands (UK); The UK 2005 Budget Report
"Investing for our future: Fairness and opportunity for Britain's hard-working families"
(published on 16 March 2005, £5 million are forseen for business incubation); The DTI's
Business Support Solutions, Accelerator Fund (EGF)- for South East England; Ministère
délégué à la Recherche: incubation et capital amorçage des entreprises de technologie;
Starting a Business in Ireland - Enterprise Platform Programmes; Enterprise-Ireland;
Carbon Trust - The Incubator programme: a development process (the Carbon Trust's
Incubator programme supports a number of clean energy incubators, Imperial College
Innovations, LIFE-IC, and Angle Technology, whose purpose is to increase the
likelihood of successfully commercialising technologies with carbon saving potential);
The Brussels Enterprise Agency.

c) Other Types of Support (references only)
Réseau canadien de technologie - Programmes de préincubation et d'incubation;
Summary of Policy Recommendations on Business Incubation (OECD - Alistair Nolan);
CDTI Financial Support.

The Useful links section is comprised of four sub-sections providing direct links to:
a) Supporting Start-ups* (references only)
ANVAR - The French Agency for Innovation;
Business Innovation Centres,

    “European Community Business & Innovation Centres or EC BICs as they are
    officially known are support organisations for innovative small and medium-sized
    businesses (SMEs) and entrepreneurs” (please see page _ for more information);
Euro Info Centres,
    “The EIC network is part of the b2europe initiative, aimed at enhancing co-
    operation between Community business support networks”;
    ESFRI - European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures;,
    “The portal aims to provide European small and medium enterprises with extensive,
    clear and practical information on all legal aspects of e-business”;
    Entrepreneurship Development Group Europe (EDGE);
Innovation Relay Centres,
    “The IRCs are namely supporting direct access to different sources of innovative
    technologies for transfer or access to market” (please see page _ for more
The Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research; Luxinnovation (National Agency
for the Promotion of Innovation and Research); NATIBS (project-new approaches and
tools for incubated biotech SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises); OSEO - (FR);
SPICE (Science Park and Innovation Center Experts) Group, http://www.spice-
    “Global network of individual experts with the following main fields of expertise:
    business incubation, innovation centers, science and technology parks, regional
    economic development, technology transfer and entrepreneurship and policies related
    with these areas”.

b) Financing innovation (references only)
Business Link: Practical advice for business
Gate2Growth (Incubator Forum),;
The European Investment Fund (EIF),;
Access to finance; LINK: Partnering for New Opportunities; EBAN - The European
Business Angel Network;
EURADA        -     The    Association      of   Regional     Development       Agencies,;
Small Business Finance (cut through the confusing world of small business finance and
put yourself on an equal footing with the finance experts); Start-Ups Network and Start-
Ups Providers network (SUN&UP); I-Cubed (the Incubation and Innovation Initiative);
Pan European Business Co-operation Schemes (supported by the European Commission,
the PES are implemented by the EIC Network and Eurada and encompass 6 projects
involving more than 100 partners from 30 European countries. The projects will connect
4,000 enterprises in 32 matchmaking events at major international trade fairs).

c) The Member Associations (references only)
ADT (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Technologie- und Gründerzentren); Amsterdam
Science Park; ANCES - Asociación Nacional de CEEI Españoles; APRE (Agency for the
Promotion of European Research); APSTI (Associazione Parchi Scientifici e Tecnologici

Italiani); APTE (Spanish Association of Science and Technology Parks); ASTPA
(Association of European Science and Technology Transfer Professionals); Business &
Science Park Enschede; CECOP - European Confederation of Workers' Cooperatives,
Social Cooperatives and Participative Enterprises; Czech Technology Park;
EBN - European Business and Innovation Centre Network,;
EIG - Walloon Info Centres Grouping; ELAN - Réseau des dirigeants de Pépinières
d'Entreprises, EMERIT - Les solutions e-learning sur mesures, FISPA - Finnish Science
Park Association, FTEI - France Technopoles Entreprises Innovation, Grouping of CEEI
in Wallonia;
IASP - International Association of Science Parks,; - A Global Community of Incubators, Start-ups and Investors,;
Jyväskylä Science Park; Latvian Technological Center;; METU-
Technopolis; Mjärdevi Science Park AB; NBIA - National Business Incubation
Association;     Norwegian     Science    Park      Association;   Oberösterreichische
Technologiezentren; Romanian Business Incubators and Centers; Science Parks of
Southern Denmark; SISP - Swedish Incubators & Science Parks; Taguspark - Parque de
Ciência e Tecnologia, Tartu Science Park; Technopark Heerenveen; TII - Technology
Innovation Information; UKBI - UK Business Incubation; UKSPA - The United Kingdom
Science Park Association; VTÖ - Verband der Technologiezentren Österreichs; Zernike
Science Park.

d) Other links (references only)
Directory of over 200 worldwide incubators,
EADS Développement; Info veille biotech

BICs - Business Innovation Centres (

The non-profit making association, European B.I.C. Network (EBN), established in 1984
and based in Brussels (B), offers services aiming at:
 the co-ordination of the activities of the BICs,
 the development and promotion of the BIC concept within and outside the European
Since its creation, the EBN has exhibited substantial growth and now comprises of 160
BICs (full members) in 21 countries in addition to 70 associate members who share the
same objective of SME support and development.

EBN fits within the B2Europe initiative, launched by the EC aiming at connecting
harmoniously the main Community SME support networks:
   Business & Innovation Centres,
   Euro Info Centres,
   Innovation Relay Centres,
and others.

Mission and Services

The promotion of the growth of Business and Innovation Centres (within and outside the
EU), whose aims are to:
 set-up new small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and/or,
 set-up new activities within existing SMEs based on new ideas with growth potential.

In order to achieve these aims, the activities of the EBN are organized around three
activity blocks, these being:
 Services to members (strategic lobbying & members promotion; technical assistance;
  thematic networks & EC- projects; network animation),
 Customised studies to organizations,
 Management of the BIC trademark on behalf of the European Commission.

Business Innovation Centres

An entity regarded as a Business Innovation Centre can be a:
   Support organisation, public or private, for innovative small and medium sized
    businesses (SMEs) and entrepreneurs,
   Incubator/Business resource center dedicated to Innovation, officially recognised
    by the European Commission through a certification scheme,
and whose activities include:
   contribution to regional and local economic development through the creation of new
    innovative SMEs and innovative projects in existing SMEs,
   offering of a range of integrated strategic guidance for innovative projects,
   grouped together within and benefiting of common services and tools provided by
    EBN (The Association representing the European BIC Network).

A Business Innovation Centre is an innovation tool, active on regional level, for
economic development with aims such as:
 to ensure the implementation, with maximum efficiency, of all required activities and
  services, to favour the creation of new innovative businesses as also to help existing
  ones to innovate in a context of internationalization,
 to give priority to a minimal set of services to be implemented, amongst which are,
       promotion of entrepreneurship,
       detection of innovative projects,
       strategic guidance (incubation and follow-up),
       sign-posting towards business support organizations.

In order to achieve the above set aims, a BIC offers a customized integrated system of
services, that includes:
 Core-business services: pro-active detection of innovative projects (individual,
  collective, entrepreneurs, SMEs), Strategic guidance; during incubation: risk
  analysis, business planning support, mentoring, access to premises and to financing,
  follow-up after creation: financial engineering, internationalisation and sign-posting
  towards existing service providers and other support organizations,
 Services and activities to be implemented if not otherwise supplied in the area:
  offering of physical incubation and related services for innovative projects,
  internationalisation of innovative projects, technological assistance of innovative
  projects, spin-off and spin-out engineering, training of innovative entrepreneurs,
  co-operation (including clustering) between innovative businesses.

For further detailed information concerning Business Innovation Centres, their
geographical coverage and services, please consult the “European Commission Official
BIC Guide”, available for free download at:


The EBN Network is comprised of over 150 Business Innovation Centres, which are Full
Members, and over 50 Associate Members.

A detailed listing, with accompanying direct internet links, of the Full Members of the
network, can be found at,

Full Members are BICs that are recognised by the European Commission. They are
organisations that act and develop their activities in line with the concept of Business and
Innovation Centres (in correspondence to terms of reference defined in EC-BIC model).
These organisations support the development of innovative small and medium

A detailed listing, with accompanying direct internet links, of the Associate Members of
the network, can be found at,
Associate Members are regarded as organisations that are interested in/connected with the
activities of BICs in regional development, innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship.

Incubator Search Facility

An additional source whereas individuals and/or organizations may locate Incubators is
the EBN Database at,
In the Search fields “Country” and “Type of Organisation”, for the values „All Countries”
and „Incubator‟ respectively, the EBN Database returns a search result for 38 such

Business Planning and Access to Finance

Gate2Growth, G2G (

Pan-European Business Platform for:
 Entrepreneurs seeking financing (Business Matching),
 Investors (InvestorNet),
 Technology Incubator Managers (Incubator Forum),
 Knowledge Transfer Offices (Incubator Forum),
 Academia in entrepreneurship, innovation and finance (Academic Network),
 Innovative companies seeking expert service providers (Service Centre).

The most relevant segment of the G2G initiative for individual and/or team of
entrepreneurs is the Business Matching Service for Entrpreneurs, which overall offers
financial service for entrepreneurs and innovative companies that seek venture capital.

The team behind the Business Matching Service provides services and tools for:
 business plan development, and,
 pro-active support for the identification of suitable investors in order to raise financial
  capital for innovative ventures of entrepreneurs and innovative companies.

Entrepreneurs can utilize tools available on the G2G website and/or the offline support
directly provided by the Business Matching team. Specifically, the off-line support and
tools are customized to the needs of entrepreneurs with excellent business plans. Through

the contact with the Business Matching team, entrepreneurs are subject to, and experience
a practical approach that comprises of services such as:
 assistance in the preparing of information for pitching to investors,
 relevant investors identification, from across Europe,
 access to a personal network of investment managers in top venture capital
 saving management time.

Gate2Growth Toolbox: Toolbox for Entrepreneurs Overview

Business Planning Toolbox

A collection of on-line business planning tools, which includes the following:

 Online Tutorials
Contains an online tutorial „guide2financing‟. This tutorial outlines:
 the different sources of finance that exist,
 what the expected investment criteria are, and
 the ways on to approach these investment criteria.
Topics covered include venture capital, business angels, commercial banks, stock
markets, etc. The section is complete with an on-line „Glossary of Financial Terms‟.

 Downloadable Tools (Business Planning Tools)
 The Gate2Growth Guide to Business Plan Writing
                     a practical, step-by-step business plan outline,
 The Gate2Growth Guide to Financial Calculations
                      explaining how investors look at financials,
 The Gate2Growth Budgeting Module
         a set of practical spread-sheets for different business plan scenarios,
 The Guide to Financing Innovation
                              outlining the funding process.
 Case studies of technology business plans in different industries and examples of
  funded companies complete the set of tools, together with:
      o Directory of Public Support Schemes for financing innovation,
      o Further Readings and Articles,
      o Useful Links.

   Interactive Tools: Business Plan Company Profile module

An interactive tool, which guides the entrepreneur through a set of questions, and
facilitates the development of a complete picture of (a) the business project and (b) of its
The Profile can either be printed or listed in a data-room as a 3 page presentation
template, which will contain all the information required by investors.

The service to entrepreneurs of provision with detailed feedback from an investment
expert on the business plan of an entrepreneur, and its investor-readiness, is one of the
valuable interactive services for entrepreneurs, and is introduced in “The Guide to
Gate2Growth Business Plan Diagnostic Services”.

The Service Center allows for rapid identification of the most appropriate providers of
business support services in the near vacinity.

   Access to Investement Expertise

    The investment experts of are available to entrepreneurs who are
    registered to the service, and their availability extends throughout the business
    planning process. Workshops and seminars are scheduled throughout Europe, where
    entrepreneurs can meet and discuss with investment experts.

** The majority of the tools available in are also available in hard
  copy in the following languages: English, Italian, Swedish, French, Greek, Danish,
 German, Dutch,Finnish,Spanish, and Portuguese.

These services and more, available in the Entrepreneur Toolbox from Gate2Growth, may
be seen in further detail at the Entrepreneur Toolbox webpage of Gate2Growth at the
address listed at the beginning of the section.

Gate2Growth Service Centre

The G2G Service Centre offers a complete range of:
 services,
 resources,
 industry foresight, and
 networking opportunities,
which can be accessed by Entrepreneurs and Investors, and facilitate the rapid
identification of such qualified partners and for evaluation of respective offerings.

In addition, the database of contains experts and service providers.
Listed experts and service providers offer a wide range of resources for innovative
businesses, including
 incubators,
 patent lawyers,
 accountants,
 training providers, and others,
in every European country. The search operation of the database allows search queries by
subject, competence, sector, industry, country, etc. Furthermore, detailed and ad hoc
searches (with specific search criteria) can be performed at any time. Users that are
registered can access the database of expert service providers.

Technology Transfer

Innovation Relay Centres (IRCs) (

Innovation Relay Centres have been created in order to facilitate the transfer of
innovative technologies to and from European companies or research departments. The
IRC network has become a leading European network for the promotion of:
 technology partnerships, and
 transfer mainly between small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
The IRCs are innovation support service providers and are mainly hosted by public
organisations such as university technology centres, chambers of commerce, regional
development agencies or national innovation agencies.

Most IRCs are set up as consortia. Each centre is staffed by personnel who have
extensive knowledge of the technological and economic profile of the companies and
regions they serve.

“Technology Transfer”, which is an important topic for both entrepreneurs (such as the
creator(s)/owner(s) of an innovative technology, technique, etc.) and/or for established
SMEs, is achieved when an organisation and/or company makes an innovative
technology available to another organisation and/or company.
Technology Transfer can take place in the form of a licensing agreement, a joint venture
agreement, a manufacturing agreement, and/or a commercial agreement with technical
The IRCs, in the capacity of their position and role, enhance the ability of clients to
perform technology transfer, to audit their technological needs, to identify suitable
technologies and/or partners, and to support their clients throughout all the steps of the
technology transfer process, e.g., assistance in the negotiation process and/or advising
clients on matters concerning intellectual property rights or innovation financing.

IRCs support innovation and transnational technological co-operation in Europe through
a range of specialised business support services. These services are primarily targeted at
technology-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These services can also
be extended to larger clients, such as large companies, research institutes, universities,
technology centres and innovation agencies.
At present (since 1995 when the first IRCs were established with the support of the
European Commission), 71 regional IRCs span 33 countries (EU 25, Bulgaria, Romania,
Iceland, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Chile).

The majority of IRCs are operated by a consortia of qualified regional organisations
(Chambers of Commerce, Regional Development Agencies and University Technology
Centres). Overall, the 220 partner organisations which are involved, ensure a wide
geographic coverage.

Innovation Relay Centres Services Overview

 Advice on Innovation, Technology Transfer and Exploitation:
  IRCs adopt a one-to-one approach with local companies. As part of the service, IRC
  experts visit individuals at the company‟s premises, to discuss potential interest in the
  opportunities that the IRC network offers. Staff of an IRC can arrange for a
  technology assessment of the organization to be carried out, and based on this, they
  can advise on the opportunities for introduction of new technologies into one‟s
  company, as also assist in the promotion of one‟s own innovative technologies to the
  rest of Europe.
 Identification of Technology Need and/or Technology Potential:
    (i) Technology to Offer/Promotion of products in European markets
    Each IRC Network member can assist a company in:
        the creation of a technology profile in English (as also selection of the right
          technology keywords), documenting the innovative aspects and main
          advantages, etc.,
        the identification of potential partners for licensing and/or manufacturing
          agreements throughout Europe,
        the agreements negotiation process.
    (ii) Technology Needs/Finding technology solutions for your business
    For entities that wish to be more proactive in the identification of innovative
    technologies, IRC local contacts can provide details of one‟s technology need to the
    71 Innovation Relay Centres across Europe, and assist in:
        the creation of a technology profile in English, as also selection of the right
          technology keywords), to describe one‟s technology requirements,
        the identification of businesses or R&D centres in Europe that can supply new
          technologies or ideas,
        the identification of new business opportunities.
 Identification of Partners in Europe:
  Technology profiles produced by the IRC can be utilized in a number of ways in
  order to identify business partners, such as,
   Partner Search via the IRC network:
    The 71 IRCs are connected by intranet and facilitates the rapid diffusion of
    technology profiles across Europe, and are stored in a searchable database.
   Partner Search via Trade missions:
    Local IRCs can utilize technology profiles to match customer companies to others in
    Europe. Companies identified may be interested in visiting the companies from
    which the technology profiles belong to (or visa versa) and these visits are sectoral
    in nature (in general) and are based upon a series of pre-arranged meetings (social

     events, travel and accommodation can be provided as part of the package by the
    Partner Search via Technology Brokerage events:
     Local IRCs can utilize technology profiles to facilitate the organization of meetings
     for client companies at European brokerage events. In the event that a client cannot
     attendm, the IRC can act as a representative. The Relay Centre can also promote
     one‟s technologies at exhibitions, trade fairs, partnering events and through the day
     to day interaction that takes place the rest of the IRC network.
 Further Support and Advice:
    Advice & Signposting on issues relating to Innovation Financing:
     Local IRCs can provide assistance with the selection and identification of projects,
     which are suitable for innovative financing, the organization of meetings with
     business angels and venture capital funds operators, the organization of
     transnational innovation financing brokerage events, and in the event that the
     expertise is available, to assist the client company with the preparation of the
     technical part of the business plan for investors.
    Advice & Signposting on issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights:
     Local IRCs can provide advice on how best to protect a company's innovative
     technologies, either through IRC staff, and/or third party entities, patent lawyers,
     etc, employed by the Relay Centre.
 Contract Negotiation Assistance:
  The IRC in addition to the previously listed services, also provides assistance during
  the negotiation phase of the contract. Such assistance may include services such as:
   the drafting of a confidentiality agreement,
   the organisation of the first meeting with provision of a venue and if necessary a
   the organisation of the visit to the partner,
   the provision of model technology transfer agreements, etc.
  Some IRCs may be in the position to assist in the complex process of valuing never-
  before-seen technologies, in unfamiliar industries. IRCs can direct a client to specialists
  who are in the position to provide advice on the value of different types of agreement
  and so ensure that the clients pays or receives a fair price for a technology. Such
  assistance can lead to greater efficiency in negotiating licensing agreements and it can
  help the client organization to set financial targets for technology transfer.

The Services Schema of the Innovation Relay Centres can be clearly seen in the
following figure (from the IRC website):

Local Innovation Relay Centres Search Facility

Individuals and/or organizations that are interested in or require the services provided by
the Innovation Relay Centre network, are able to locate their local IRC representatives at
the IRC webpage located at

Other Support Services

Euro Info Centres (EICs)

An important source for information, for SMEs and for entrepreneurs, which covers a
broad range of topics, are the Euro Info Centres (EICs). Euro Info Centres inform, advise,
and assist businesses on Community issues. In addition, EICs provide feedback to the
European Commission concerning community matters affecting SMEs.

EICs are in contact with the European Commission and have access to a vast business
support network (of more than 300 centres across more than 45 countries).

A main activity of the EICs is to inform enterprises about EU matters and assist them
with their queries. These queries cover a wide range of issues, e.g., business co-operation,
Commission programmes, funding, general EU matters, etc. Furthermore, companies
obtain information through awareness-raising activities and through a range of
publications offered in local languages. The advisory activities of the EICs extend
through a wide range of business sectors, coupled with specific expertise in areas of
particular interest to companies such as, public procurement, business co-operation,
financing, market research and European legislation.
EICs also help companies to apply for Commission projects and fulfill administrative
formalities. This includes advising companies on opportunities provided by Commission
programmes, and on current and proposed Community legislation.

EICs can provide assistance to a company, whether it is familiar or not with European
affairs, in order for the company to benefit from business opportunities and be introduced
to markets and possible partners in 46 countries with just one call. EICs also organise
trade missions and provide information on programmes which relate to both EU and non
EU countries, as well as to internationalisation.

Main Euro Info Centres Services

Information and assistance offered by the EICs cover a broad range of areas:

 Legislation (provision of information and advice on European legislation):
  An example service provided is the Info Watch service, whereas a company is invited
  to complete an online form, which allows them to select the different areas for which
  they would like to receive information from the EIC. The added value of this service is
  the saving of considerable search time normally required by companies, through the
  provision of information they require.
 Public Procurement:
  SMEs are informed about procurement opportunities (and of those opportunities
  falling below the EU thresholds), and are provided assistance in the different steps of
  the bidding procedure. The majority of EICs offer a tender alert service based on daily
  searches of the TED database.
 EU Financing:
  Facilitation to SMEs for the identification of relevant EU programmes or
  Commission-proposed financing solutions. EICs can also assist with the application
  procedure, and guide the company towards useful contacts, if such is required.
 Market Access:
  In the case that a company would want to invest in or export to a foreign country,
  EICs can provide information and products in order to alleviate the internationalisation
  process. EICs can provide advice on matters such as:
       customs regulations,
       legislative restrictions and requirements,
       investment incentives, etc.
      In addition, information regarding the country of export can be provided, i.e.,
      documentation, guides, factsheets.
 External Trade:
  EICs provide advice on customs regulations, legislative restrictions and requirements
  and investment incentives.
 Conformity Assessment:
  EICs have been providing for many years information and advice concerning
  certification and CE marking and can provide lists of local certification bodies.
 Research & Development:
  Provision of information on Commission research and development programmes and
  calls for proposals.

 Information and Communication Technologies (ICT):
  The EIC Network‟s role in facilitating the Commission‟s e-Europe strategy (to
  strengthen Europe‟s position in the field of new information and communication
  technologies) concentrates on cross-border e-commerce, facilitated through its e-
  business campaign. Some EICs also provide assistance and training to SMEs on
  specific topics such as marketing on the web and increasing web visibility.

Euro Info Centres Business Cooperation

International co-operation is a vital strategy for the European companies and for SMEs,
in order to enhance their competitiveness in the enlarged domestic EU market and
abroad. For the EIC, Network, international Business Co-operation means a process of
logical steps divided in 3 main phases, (i) preparation, (ii) partner search and (iii)
realization. Each of them corresponds to SMEs' needs and to related EIC services with
added value. EICs assist companies to assess their cooperation readiness and to define the
type of co-operation required. This is achieved through a specific methodology and with
the assistance of tools developed by the Network.

In order to better assist entities for the identification partners, a specific Business
Cooperation database has been launched (April 2004). The aim of this tool is to become
the reference for business cooperation between enterprises in Europe. A company may be
listed in the database following a face-to-face meeting between the EIC and the interested
enterprise, whereas the EIC later encodes an exhaustive profile in the database. The
profile is then made available to more than 600 centres, all over Europe.

 International Trade Fairs and matchmaking: Essential to the creation and growth
  of trust and confidence, as pre-condition to make business, are the face-to-face
  contacts between companies and SME entrepreneurs. The trade fair is one ground
  which offers the opportunity for companies to meet. For this, the EIC offers:
   Company-driven programme of Business to Business events:
    The possibility to take part in „matchmaking‟ events. These events gather
    businesses searching for partners, and sectorial international trade fairs.
   Coaching programme:
    SMEs can be “coached” in their process of internationalisation. Preparatory
    trainings to matchmaking events are offered, and a steady and professional follow
    up is ensured.
 Pan European Business Co-operation Schemes: The “Pan European Business Co-
  operation Schemes” is a project supported by the European Union. Six consortia
  have been selected by the European Commission to organise matchmaking events all
  over Europe, mostly in the frame of major trade fairs. The Schemes include five EIC
  led projects, covering a variety of industrial sectors and trade fairs. For more details
  on individual projects, please consult the “Pan European Business Co-operation
  Schemes” project website at

Local Euro Info Centres Search Facility

Individuals and/or organizations that are interested in or require the services provided by
the Euro Info Centres Network, are able to locate their local EIC representatives at the
EIC webpage located at


Individuals and/or organizations that are interested in or require the services provided by
the Euro Info Centres Network, are able to locate their local EIC representatives at the
EIC webpage located at


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