The eight finalists with the panel of the SpinUOC 2021, in the final gala (photo: UOC)
RubÚn Permuy Iglesias
The University will select eight initiatives to receive personalized mentoring and take part in the final gala, where three prizes will be awarded
SpinUOC celebrates its 10th anniversary by supporting responses to global challenges
Are you a current or former student at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)? Are you a tutor, instructor, professor, researcher or member of administrative staff at the University? If you're a member of the UOC community and you have an entrepreneurial project or idea, now's the time to submit it. Likewise, your bachelor's or master's degree final project could be turned into a business idea. With this in mind, the UOC is calling for applications to its entrepreneurship programme: SpinUOC. You have up to and including 23 January to submit your application. All you have to do is to complete this form.
Entrepreneurial projects with mentoring and the chance to win one of three prizes
Eight finalists will be chosen from all the SpinUOC 2022 candidate projects, and will go on to participate in a gala prize event to be held on 30 June 2022, at the former Estrella Damm brewery in Barcelona. Three prizes will be awarded at the event: one for the best entrepreneurial project, awarded by a jury of experts; another for the project with the greatest social impact, awarded by the Ramon Molinas Foundation, and a third for the best presentation, which will be chosen by those attending the event, worth €3,000, €2,000 and €2,000 in cash, respectively.
All the finalists will also receive tickets to attend 4 Years From Now 2023, the tech start-up event at the Mobile World Congress, and will have a chance to be selected for the UOC stand at the MWC.
All the projects submitted, be they at a more embryonic or more mature stage of development, will be provided access to entrepreneurship training materials, and the eight finalists will receive mentoring from experts.
A decade supporting entrepreneurship
This is the 10th SpinUOC, coordinated by the Hubbik platform. Over these ten years of backing projects, the programme has mentored more than 70 shortlisted entrepreneurial initiatives. For └ngels Fitˇ, UOC Vice President for Competitiveness and Employability "this is further proof that the UOC is a university with an ecosystemic entrepreneurial and innovative drive, because it fosters entrepreneurial initiatives throughout its community and connects with other agents, because it explores and promotes the opportunities available to create social impact, and because it incorporates technological advances to provide this support that is scaled and free of barriers".
"SpinUOC entails the engagement of the entire UOC community in fostering social progress through collaborative and innovative entrepreneurship […] Now that the University is marking the 25th anniversary of its foundation, celebrating SpinUOC's 10th anniversary represents the consolidation of a programme that adds value to the great community centred around the UOC", added Fitˇ.
Over the course of this decade of support for entrepreneurship in the UOC community, there have been a number of success stories amongst the finalists and winning projects. Those of the last edition are great examples of this. It is the case with social impact prize-winner Educatool, a technology for knowing if your children are being educated in the right way. The person behind the project, └lex Letosa, a course instructor at the UOC's Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, said that the SpinUOC 2021 "mentorship has been great, and has given us confidence in knowing where to go and how to do so, thanks to professional and friendly advice". Letosa also highlighted how the programme helps "make contacts, share and create synergies with other projects in a similar situation to ours" and the possibility of laying good foundations for "the business plan and for communication and dissemination".
"When you first decide to become an entrepreneur, you have no idea what you're getting yourself into," said UOC researcher Jordi Cabot, the driving force behind the project that won the 2021 prize for the best entrepreneurial project. "SpinUOC was of great help to us in discovering – step by step – everything that entrepreneurship entails, including complex yet crucial aspects, such as legal matters, to found your own business," he said. Cabot is ICREA research professor and group leader at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) SOM Research Lab, and creator of the Xatkit spin-off, a SpinUOC prize-winner that designs tailor-made chatbots for all kinds of organizations. He said that SpinUOC "was also key in considering and focusing our business discourse, to put us in our clients' shoes, and was of great help in maturing our entrepreneurial project".
SpinUOC receives support of Estrella Damm, Fomento del Trabajo Nacional, Ramon Molinas Foundation, 4 Years From Now (4YFN) and Seed&Click. This entrepreneurship promotion programme is co-financed by the UOC's Knowledge Transfer and Value Creation Strategic Plan (PETER), approved by the Government of Catalonia, and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The UOC's research and innovation (R&I) is helping overcome pressing challenges faced by global societies in the 21st century, by studying interactions between technology and human & social sciences with a specific focus on the network society, e-learning and e-health.
Over 500 researchers and 51 research groups work among the University's seven faculties and two research centres: the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and the eHealth Center (eHC).
The University also cultivates online learning innovations at its eLearn Center (eLC), as well as UOC community entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer via the Hubbik platform.
The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and open knowledge serve as strategic pillars for the UOC's teaching, research and innovation. More information: research.uoc.edu #UOC25years
└ngels Fitˇ Bertran
Vice President for Competitiveness and Employability
Expert in: Business management systems, financial analysis, business ethics, and management and e-learning.
Knowledge area: Accounting, management accounting and e-learning.
Course instructor at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences
Jordi Cabot Sagrera
ICREA research professor
Expert in: All kinds of techniques for the analysis, design and implementation of software with the greatest possible quality and productivity. This includes areas such has handling open data, analysing free software projects, and the automatic code generation.
Knowledge area: Software engineering.