Competition of visionaries and impact projects in territorial development
Youth accelerator of the educational and scientific school
The first in a series of educational projects of a fundamentally new format for Russia: a large-scale youth accelerator of the educational and scientific school of Tyumen State University.
For 10 days, 268 schoolchildren from 11 regions, under the guidance of professional experts from Russia and the CIS countries, worked to create an ecosystem of goods and services that could improve the quality of life of residents in their hometowns and villages. As a result of the change, the winning teams received the opportunity to develop their projects with the participation of experts (mentors) at the regional center for identifying and supporting gifted children “New Generation”, as well as additional points for the Unified State Exam upon admission to Tyumen State University in a specialized field.
The IDEFIX educational and scientific school has set a course for the development of technological and social entrepreneurship, business design and socially significant technologies. Unlike traditional startup schools, IDEFIX's focus is not only on the design and presentation of startup ideas, but primarily on working with urban ecosystems and integrating entrepreneurial initiatives into city life. To achieve high engagement from such a record number of participants, the team simulated the #OpenSmartCity (open smart city) gaming environment. In it, participants had to solve problems related to community development through new and relevant solutions for the city. In this way, young leaders became familiar with the real processes in which entrepreneurs have to work: from understanding the target audience to what needs to be done during a period of market saturation.
The complex gaming world with an advanced digital economy constantly posed new challenges for participants. During all 10 days, IDEFIX participants were under constant time pressure: in parallel with work on projects, exciting master classes and workshops were held, where the children learned and immediately applied communication skills. In a short time, the guys were able to gain new soft skills and upgrade their existing skills.
At the end of the school, children learned to calculate target indicators that affect the profitability and development of a business and make it attractive to investors, dive into the problems of target audiences, propose adequate solutions and design media and PR campaigns. And also find balance in teamwork, develop strategic thinking and decision-making skills. The children got acquainted with various types of ecosystems, mastered practical tools that allow them to understand their role and place in the ecosystem in any situation, assess the scale of changes and their consequences, and offer a product or service that is relevant for the development of the city.
“This is my first time participating in such a shift, it is very unusual. At first it was not easy for me, a beginner, to fit into this format. But as a result, I increased my stress resistance and productivity, met like-minded people and found my team. I rediscovered the world, began to better understand adult life and the laws of business,” says Lina Ternovaya, a participant in the startup shift from the Tyumen region.
A professional team of experts from Russia and the CIS countries helped us achieve truly impressive results following the startup shift. The star cast was invited specifically to work at IDEFIX: these are existing entrepreneurs interested in developing educational projects of a new format, participants in startups with experience in bringing products to global markets, game technology practitioners, authors of HSE courses, and winners of prestigious awards.
“Teenage entrepreneurship is a popular and relevant topic, but in some places, in our opinion, it is becoming “overheated.” We believe that the ability to come up with bright ideas and calculate future profits is no longer enough for a young entrepreneur today. We set ourselves the goal of showing the children how to make their project useful for society, to contribute to the development of the territories where current schoolchildren study and will work. Our accelerator is aimed at developing in teenagers an understanding of how their startup will feel in the real world, inside living ecosystems. This is why IDEFIX is very different from other educational and scientific schools. This is a business game that is quite complex even for adults, for which the participants prepared for several weeks as if it were a triathlon competition, only an intellectual one. As a result, during these 10 days the guys tried to look into the future, designing products that could be relevant for people in the next 5-10 years. We have received ambitious and innovative projects with well-developed economics, which are now looking for real investors. In Russia, such shifts have not yet been carried out. The experience of the IDEFIX accelerator is already being prepared for broadcast not only in Russian cities, but also in several European countries.
IDEFIX, according to the organizers and experts, helped teenagers see the prospects for personal development in their own region, showed that they can become successful and influence the quality of life of people in their small homeland.