The second E³UDRES² iResidency took place between 15 – 19 May 2023 at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in Valmiera, Latvia. Six E³UDRES² students participated to dive deep into the topic of start-up villages. The event was accompanied by two stakeholders: The Valmiera Development Agency and the LIAA Valmiera Business Incubator. Together with an expert, the students developed a concept for a perfect start-up village and discussed the role of the different players within this ecosystem.
Held during the International Week at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, the stakeholders prepared a special and very up-to-date topic for the participants of the iResidency: The LIAA Valmieria Business Incubator is already thinking ahead and planning a start-up village for their rural region. For the iResidency, the Business Incubator paired up with the Valmiera Development Agency to challenge the participants for new ideas. They asked the group to develop a concept of a start-up village, define the role of the university, and test its feasibility in the home towns of the participants.
Six E³UDRES² students from Instituto Politecnico de Setubal (Portugal), Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara (Romania), Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Hungary), University of Applied Sciences Fulda (Germany), St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences (Austria) and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (Latvia) came together for five days in Latvia to build their own start-up village. The students combined their various backgrounds and experiences in business management, economics, marketing, communication, smart villages and architecture to work together with an expert in rural incubators on new ideas.
iResidency participants working together at the incubator. Picture (c) Ana Rolo
The days full of working were rounded off with excursions in the region. On Tuesday, the group visited the local small business Konu Dzirnavas, an old water mill where traditional wool processing machines meet modern tourism ideas. On Wednesday, a day-trip to the partner university Pärnu college gave the iResidents an insight into their strategy on entrepreneurship. The program was completed by the introduction to Latvian food, walks in the woods and a tour through the town center after work, thanks to the long spring evenings. On Friday, the students had the opportunity to pitch their concept to the stakeholders and subsequently exchange further ideas. The pitches were recorded and can be watched here. The second iResidency was a full success for the students and everyone who supported the team on their journey.
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