ESTACA presents its "Destination Entrepreneur" programme aimed at supporting engineering students in their business creation projects. The school specialising in new mobilities is strengthening its educational offer devoted to entrepreneurship by creating a new area of training as part of the school's curriculum. The "Destination Entrepreneur" scheme, which is included in all courses, enables students to discover the fundamentals of business creation and gives them all the keys to developing an entrepreneurial project.
Fostering students' entrepreneurial spirit
The "Destination Entrepreneur" scheme responds to a threefold observation on the part of ESTACA. More and more of its students want to create their own companies or take part in a start-up development project, drawing on their engineering expertise. This is especially reflected in the increase in applications for student entrepreneur status. The School is also responding to the expectations of a generation of students interested in innovation, who wish to put their engineering skills at the service of agile structures, engaged in projects that have a positive impact on society. Finally, recruiters within start-ups, SMEs or major groups are increasingly looking for this entrepreneurial spirit and "intrapreneur" profiles.
In 2017, only one student had student-entrepreneur status at ESTACA, today, there are about ten of them.
In three years, ESTACA has supported about twenty students in the creation and development of their start-up.
Strengthening the educational offer dedicated to entrepreneurship
The "Destination Entrepreneur" scheme replaces the option introduced in 2016 and begins in the second year of training at ESTACA. This training is now compulsory for all students at the School. It can then be continued and completed over the following three years on a voluntary basis through modules allowing a more in-depth study of the themes dealt with in the second year, personalised support and possibly access to student-entrepreneur status. In particular, this status allows students to devote themselves to their business creation project instead of a compulsory internship.
Concrete experience of an entrepreneurial project
In parallel to the third-year course modules, students obtain concrete experience of an entrepreneurial project with the new Innovation and Business Creation Projects (PRICE). Two options are available depending on students’ aspirations: work on a business creation subject proposed by an ESTACA partner or on their own project. The scheme is part of the project-based learning that lies at the heart of the school's educational model. By placing experimentation and practice at the centre, these projects allow students to experience directly the technical, technological and managerial requirements inherent in any engineering project.
“With Victor Rioli, a student in my class at ESTACA, we have been working on our business creation project since the end of 2019 and we obtained the status of Student-Entrepreneur last February. This has enabled us to devote ourselves fully to our "Aiguillon" project, which aims to produce a new rail switch. We will be doing our end-of-study internship as part of our entrepreneurial project. We are supervised by two tutors from ESTACA, with whom we have weekly meetings and who help us a lot on a technical level but also in structuring our project, understanding the needs of the market and building our business model. I wanted to develop technological innovations, and the support offered by ESTACA allowed me to take the leap into entrepreneurship.”
Quentin Gag, 5th year student entrepreneur
Through this entrepreneurship training, ESTACA intends to stimulate career interest, but also to enable people to discover cross-disciplinary skills, equally useful within companies, such as marketing, management and sales development. Since 2016, 11 companies have been created by students at the school. The number of students involved in an entrepreneurial approach during their studies, either with the status of student-entrepreneur or by developing their business project, has quadrupled since 2017.