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American and Russian universities need to keep students, to stay and grow their businesses

The international forum Student Technology Entrepreneurship is held at Tomsk Polytechnic University. Stakeholders interested in the development of youth entrepreneurship came to Tomsk to share their best practices, experience, and insights. Representatives of the federal government, regional administration, academia and businesses put their cards on the table to elaborate recommendations for the transformation of the academic system.

International participants Mr Spencer Walker from the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization at the University of Utah (USA) and Ms Riikka Reitzer, Senior Advisor on Innovation Development Programs from University of Jyväskylä (Finland) presented their entrepreneurial ecosystems and vision how to develop and encourage student entrepreneurship. The white paper on the role of universities of science and technology in innovative ecosystems of the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (СESAER) co-authored by Ricardo L. Migueis was presented at the roundtable Student technology entrepreneurship: business requirements and university opportunities.

In the interview to the Press Office of Tomsk Polytechnic University Walker noted that universities can create an ecosystem for learning and sharing of knowledge but entrepreneurship is first of all experience which students should gain outside a university.

He also pinpointed that Utah is a city which is located in about two-hour flight from such big centers as Los Angeles or Seattle and it is like Tomsk.

‘One challenge we may have here which we also have is when you train students, you have to keep them here because when you train them and invest in them and they leave your investments have gone.

“People in the ecosystems have to create opportunities to start and stay here. When they leave, jobs leave, the revenue leaves, the taxes leave, the experience leave. So, the universities, the government and the businesses, all people in the ecosystem need to work together to create policy and programs to support new businesses and a level to stay and grow here,” said Spencer Walker.

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