If all goes as planned, Business students returning to campus this Fall will be spending a good part of their time in new digs on Kaplanon St. The new space will house meeting rooms and open plan coworking space with workstations and high-speed internet access—an environment for design thinking. The space is part of a new initiative called B-Cube, which will offer resources such as networking events, talks by business experts, venture coaching and mentoring. B-Cube will also host a program of weekly events such as design challenges and studio sessions, “how-to” business workshops led by expert practitioners, and inspirational talks designed and led by students.
If this all sounds like the components of a start-up incubator, the similarity is intentional. In addition to accommodating team projects, simulations and other lab and hands-on components of the business courses, the resources of B-Cube will also be available to students working on their own start-up ideas.
B-Cube has been created in partnership with Envolve Entrepreneurship, an entrepreneurship support organization, founded by the Libra Group, that provides resources, education and award programs for start-up businesses globally. Striving for a global society where all business owners can prosper and grow, Envolve is committed to developing and cultivating entrepreneurial ecosystems, by ensuring business support services are more readily available to diverse entrepreneurs.
In the words of Dr. Stavros Sindakis, the new Director of Business programs at Hellenic American University who is leading this effort, “B-Cube is a design-thinking and in-practice entrepreneurial experience for all its stakeholders. It’s a place where students, faculty, and experts can enhance their skills and innovate in real-world business problems. Our vision is to contribute to entrepreneurship by offering modern intersecting competencies to our students, essential leading skills through management strategies, and an efficient policymaking mindset for economic and human-oriented growth.”
The B-Cube initiative is being launched to coincide with an overhaul of the entire B.S. in Business Administration (BSBA) program that Dr. Sindakis is coordinating. In the framework of the year-long revision process, all the majors in the BSBA have been restructured and enriched with new or radically redesigned courses. The Entrepreneurship major, for example, now teaches courses in New Technology Ventures, Entrepreneurial Finance, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Innovation, and Ventures in Emerging Economies. The revised curriculum also takes into account the key role of data analytics and data-based decision-making in today’s enterprises. New courses that reflect this priority include Emerging Technologies for Financial Managers, Mastering Market Data and Digital Technologies in Hospitality.
The revised program reflects the crucial growing significance of entrepreneurship, innovation and problem-solving in business, but also the University’s commitment to support start-up initiatives of its own students—current or future. (All BSBA students, for example, whatever their major, will take the Design Thinking course.) As part of this commitment, each semester the University will subsidize a summer internship at start-up companies for a selected number of students with an excellent academic record and a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship.
The internships, as well as the B-Cube events and mentoring support, are open to all undergraduate students. As Provost, Dr. Themis Kaniklidou notes, “B-Cube is a signature endeavor for the University that reaches out to students across the curriculum who are keen to engage in innovative work and explore new venture creation. We are very excited to launch it and are looking forward to imaginative ideas from our students and faculty.”