CINet Newsletter
Issue 4 - November 2015
Dear Readers
The fourth issue of the CINet's Newsletter presents an innovative course in creative entrepreneurship, supported and provided by the CINet research project. This issue includes the testimonials of two university professors in charge of the course: Eva Rimbau Gilabert, from the UOC; and Michael Polemis from the UPRC. The issue also offers interviews with Juliane Schulze (Media Deals), and Andreea Panaitescu (AESD), and recent news about the dissemination activities carried out by the CINet team.

  • CINet Pilot Course: The Kick Off
  • Testimonials from CINet partners
  • CINet Participants Interviewed
  • CINet Dissemination Activities

CINet Pilot Course: The Kick Off
The Universidade Aberta, the University of Piraeus, and the Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, or UOC), in collaboration with CINet partners of UKWON, MediaDeals, and DNA Cascais designed and implemented an innovative course in creative entrepreneurship. The course was offered in a pilot fashion, and aimed to help and provide support to would-be entrepreneurs who desire to start-up in a creative sector (including arts and crafts, architecture, gastronomy, leisure, videogames, advertising, press and media, film and audiovisual activities, public relations and publishing industry, among others). The course’s target were unemployed people, up to 40 years of age, with a good English level.

The kick off face-to-face meetings took place on Wednesday April 29, simultaneously, in each of the three headquarters: Lisbon (Portugal), Piraeus (Greece) and Barcelona (Spain). Apart from this first face-to-face meeting, the rest of the course is being offered mostly online. Once the course has finished, at the end of July 2015, the best entrepreneurial proposals will be presented to key market players, such as crowdfunding institutions, business angels or Government institutions.

Figure 1. Remote connection of Barcelona and Athens

The launching session of the training programme was recorded. Please, click this link to watch it.

Testimonials from CINet partners Eva Rimbau Gilabert, Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at the UOC was the opinion of:

“The pilot program CINet has been a fantastic opportunity for young entrepreneurs of the creative industries to develop their ideas and present them to an international audience. It has been encouraging to see how initial projects evolved and took shape as they received feedback from their peers and other CINet members. 

From a more personal point of view, I must say that collaborating and exchanging ideas with CINet partners, who come from all across Europe also, has been an extremely enriching experience.”  

Michael Polemis, Professor at the Piraeus University and main tutor of the CINET training sessions in Greece, said:
As the main tutor of the CINET training sessions in Greece it was a privileged moment to participate in such a demanding and creative pilot program. Young Greek entrepreneurs had the opportunity to meet others sharing the same concerns about the startup and the successful result of a new business project idea. All f2f sessions were video recorded and posted on the Moodle platform in order to enhance interactions among the participants and stimulate new ideas. Besides this those who did not manage to attend some of the f2f sessions, they could so by downloading the respective material. During the sessions a number of  real case study stories were presented by young “creative” entrepreneurs describing their business ideas and the development of their business models. Overall, it was a challenging experience that no other mentoring program offers to new and creative entrepreneurs.”  


CINet Participants InterviewedAn interview with Juliane Schulze, member of the Board of Media Deals, and Andreea Panaitescu, Head of the Career Guidance, Professional Development and Training Department at the Association for Education and Sustainable Development (AESD).

What is your contribution to the CINet project and the role of your team members? J.S.: Media Deals is a pan-European investor network gathering business angels and early-stage venture capital funds focusing on cross border financing of the creative industries (CI) and digital media. This makes the network one of the few promoters of early-stage equity investment in high-growth start-up companies in the creative industries. Media Deals works on both sides of the entrepreneurship journey, providing an extensive range of services and tools to our two different but complementary target groups: entrepreneurs and investors.

It is our mission to provide both players with skills, tools and opportunities to thrive and make innovative ideas happen and grow. The team members working on CINet not only have a long track record in training, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs in the CI but also in developing training programmes for investors. Sensitising equity financiers and lenders is as important as preparing start-ups for pitching to funders. We need more smart money in Europe, especially in the CI sector.

Within the CINet project Juliane Schulze is in charge of project management; and Alessandra Meloni supports the project as researcher.

A.P.: After working in the field of adult vocational training for almost 10 years, I’m now the Head of the Career Guidance, Professional Development and Training Department at the Association for Education and Sustainable Development (AESD). The main role of this association is to ensure efficiency of the management and implementation, and the high quality of the deliverables of the Creative Industry Network project.

As President of AESD Calarasi, Gabriel Dobrescu ensures the project management (including financial) at local level, also he contributes to the promotion, dissemination and exploitation of the project activities and results, which will be strengthen through our local, national and transnational networks (e.g. AESD is member of EAEA, the European Association for the Education of Adults).
From your viewpoint, what are the lessons already learnt from your experience within the project?
J.S.: Education is the absolute key in creating a competitive talent pool and in enabling these creative talents to build their own businesses. In Europe we do not encourage entrepreneurship enough and questions around how to create your own company are still not part of today's academic curricula. CINet offers a tailor-made training that aims to enable participants to bridge that gap and to develop their full creative potential with the objective to turn it into a business. Doing this for different countries with different cultures and learning routines is certainly a challenge. At the same time the opportunity lies in building a truly European foundation for enhancing entrepreneurship in the CI. That is very exciting.

A.P.: I learned that sometimes the desire to build something is stronger than any obstacle. I learned that there is always support for young entrepreneurs, you just have to know where to look. I definitely learned a lot about creative entrepreneurial environment – I was very impressed with the Creative Quarter in Lace Market, and last but not least I met exceptional people and gained priceless memories.
How is the current entrepreneurial environment in Germany and France? 
J.S.: With Media Deals offices in South France and in Berlin, Germany, we are located in two countries with an enormous pool of creative talent. In the past years we have seen that the importance of the CI has not only been acknowledged by policy makers it finally has been backed with robust data proving the economic contribution of the CI to the country's GDPs and its wide spillover effects into other industries as well as its cross-fertilising qualities. Realizing CI as a powerful innovation driver helped to create a more entrepreneurial environment for CI start-ups. The best example in the past five years is Berlin, of course. The city developed into a hub for the start-up economy and offers especially creative businesses the right mix of space, inspiration, freedom and capital.

How is the current entrepreneurial environment in Romania?A.P.: Romania has made the first steps towards the creative industries. A first measure to support creative industries is their inclusion in the national strategy of economic competitiveness. The film is one of the most visible cultural and creative industries in Romania. "The new wave of Romanian cinema" drew attention to the potential of this sector to contribute to the Romanian country brand. With a growth rate above the other industries, cultural and creative industries sector is a very important bet on the EU economy.

CINet Dissemination Activities
In March 2015, José Porfírio and Tiago Carrilho, CINet partners from Universidade Aberta, presented a paper at the 2015 International Conference on Economics and Statistics, held in Vienna (Austria). Their study, published in the Conference’s proceedings, shows relevant differences between creative and general entrepreneurs, and across creative entrepreneurs. The authors also offer recommendations for public institutions encouraging entrepreneurship in creative industries. 

In June, UKWON published film showcases from Nottingham creative entrepreneurs. The videos present their daily practices -and challenges- as entrepreneurs. Film showcases also include advice and encouragement for new entrepreneurs for starting out. Hazel Atkinson presents her jewellery firm, Hazel Atkinson Jewellery LLP; the artist and photographer Jo Welch talks about Jo Welch Creative; Annie Haley introduces MultiPie, a venture of mobile app development; and, finally, Matt Burton makes known Rusty Monkey Ltd, dedicated to web development and design.

Video 1. Film showcases from UK creative entrepreneurs.

Last July researchers of DigiBiz published four video case studies presenting champion strategies on the creative landscape. This series of videos shows:ideos show the entrepreneurial spirit of Dineyo, a mobile applications firm within the retail sector; the business model of Funbox, a start-up that develops mobile apps for schools; and the strategic analysis and business model of NutCreatives, a sustainable and ecoinnovation design studio. The four videos are also available on the CINet's site.
An open imagery gallery with pictures taken at CINet workshops is available on Flickr.

We would like to congratulate our colleagues for such interesting initiatives.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

With the support of the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation Project of the European Union.