Making European Universities More Entrepreneurial

Most of the European universities are not (yet) producing significant volumes of entrepreneurial outputs. However, Europe is increasingly in need of innovation and jobs creation. I joined the University of Milan Bicocca to tackle this problem and co-created an EU-funded program spurring entrepreneurship and innovation in European universities through experiential education and the engagement of local ecosystems.


My team and I built a European network of universities, companies and foundations from nine EU member states, and Stanford as an extra-EU partner. Together, we designed and piloted (in four countries) the first European experiential Master's program in Entrepreneurship whose students' core deliverable is creating a social or technology venture. We engaged networks of mentors from the local ecosystems, and built a set of digital tools supporting the program's participants throughout their venture creation and learning process.


My main contributions were: creating the partnership between Stanford, the European Commission (which funds the network), and the University of Milan Bicocca (which leads the network); embedding holistic human-centered design and Silicon Valley innovation practices at the core of SMARTUP; leading the Stanford design thinking and human-centered ventures program for the SMARTUP European faculty and executives; facilitating the project and program's design; leading the Stanford working packages; and lecturing and mentoring the first cohort of graduate students in Europe.