SKYLINE ENTREPRENEUR AND INNOVATION CENTER (SEIC)

INTRODUCTION

The Center aims to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship by nurturing activities that have a substantial and positive impact at all stages of the entrepreneurial process. SEIC encourages students to work in interdisciplinary teams, and take the inputs from experienced and budding entrepreneurs to enhance their innovative skills and knowledge for business development. The functioning of SEIC is designed around the paradigm that ideas when pass through various constraints, should be conceptualized using a functional prototype along with a related Business Plan, & Go-To-Market Strategy, thus completing an Entrepreneur ecosystem. The University students are encouraged to partner with other SEIC stakeholders to create a new product/service ecosystem that revolves around serving societal needs in a disruptive way.
 
VISION 
To promote startups in UAE in general and Sharjah in particular for entrepreneurship incubation with to enhance the quality of the services related to start-ups. 
 
MISSION 
1. To serve the multifaceted entrepreneurial needs of start-ups from the region who aim to launch their business in the UAE.
2. To offer world-class incubation facilities where students can develop creative, analytical, and critical thinking skills in a collaborative environment.
3. To initiate, value, and support an entrepreneurial ecosystem through joining forces with stakeholders.
 
GOALS
The center’s goals are divided into the two following categories:
 
A) Hard Goals:
1. Incubated companies
2. Direct jobs created
3. Indirect jobs created
4. Private investment generated
5. Multi-year (3-5) total revenue generated by emerging companies
6. Number of interns 
 
B) Soft Goals:
1. Entrepreneurial intentions
2. Entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, and capabilities
3. The entrepreneurial reputation of the center and the university
 
OBJECTIVES
1. To enrich students with entrepreneurial-inspired learning.
2. To encourage students for a startup from the region who are thinking about launching their business in the UAE.
3. To provide a student-learning experience with the highest international standards of practice. 
4. To cultivate a collaborative environment within the center or university and with our surroundings.
5. To promote a work culture of community engagement and responsibility. 
6. To connect three pillars, training, launching, and funding.
 

ENTREPRENEUR AND INNOVATION CENTER POLICY Policies 

The Center aims to achieve its objectives by engaging members group in various entrepreneurial activities. The activities are broadly classified under:
a. Support: to financially support disruptive and innovative concepts, business plans, and go-to-market strategies for deserving startups.

b. Engage & Network: to engage members to participate in various entrepreneurship and innovation workshops, and widen their network with business and governmental stakeholders.

c. Inspire: encourage corporate and governmental stakeholders to provide for their unmet needs, and inspire students to design disruptive and innovative solutions. Consequently, the best solution can be awarded through the Skyline Innovator of the year award and their concept can be incubated.

d. Challenge: challenge the students by conducting regular innovation competitions, and incubation meets attended by Corporate and Government sectors. 

THREE PILLARS

Training is an essential step toward creativity and innovation. 

• Training: Create a learning module to present entrepreneurship to our students as journey-based learning. This simulation-based learning presents students with the privilege of testing their ideas in a zero-risk environment. The learners would be SUC students (mandatory vs voluntarily), High school students (partly self-financing entrepreneurship center), and Entrepreneurship enthusiasts.  

• Producing: Producing a prototype is a vital milestone that precedes market entry. Courses from the Business and IT schools to be enlisted where students will benefit from a nurturing environment and mentorship. Business development and software area experts will guide students. We need a strong connection to the industry in this area for mentors.

• Launching: Getting the developed products to market through sustainable business models. As a university-based entrepreneurship center, this is the gold standard measure of success. This should include organizing workshops, group social events, and pitch practices, a Demo day that showcases that our students are ready for market initiatives, and will cover enlisting alumni, along with existing students and entrepreneurship enthusiasts.  

STAKEHOLDERS AND VENTURE CAPITALISTS

A. STAKEHOLDERS
Stakeholder participation with innovation center communities is essential to research that includes them. All stages of the research process, from idea generation and design through execution and oversight to the distribution of results can be incorporated into the research. Many studies show the benefits of stakeholder engagement, such as increased trust, recruitment, retention, greater adoption, and sustainability of ideas.
 
B.VENTURE CAPITALISTS  
Venture capitalists are a common source of funding for entrepreneurs. For a new firm to succeed, it must have access to finance. Failure may be the result of the availability of insufficient funds. High net worth individuals invest in small businesses as they believe have great long-term growth potential through venture capital funding. Venture money can result in a loss of business control, therefore business owners should carefully consider their options before deciding to accept it. Venture capital is one of the many sources of funding available to entrepreneurs launching a new business. Investing in high-growth start-ups with substantial growth potential is known as "venture capital”. 

GOVERNANCE CHAIN

SEIC is managed by an Entrepreneur and Innovation Board, which is headed by the head of the research and innovation department and is supported by an additional 5-member team, comprising:

1. Two Faculties were nominated each by the School of Business and School of Information Technology.

2. Corporate & Government Affairs member who will ensure that Corporate and Government Sectors are well represented in context to their presence and need specifications.

3. Fund Raising Manager is responsible for overseeing all the budgets, fundraising functions of the center, relations with Venture Capitalists, and ensuring chapters of major startup and incubation centers are present at SEIC.

4. The Head of Student Affairs is responsible for ensuring that maximum students are inspired and challenged through SEIC.

The figure below shows the SEIC hierarchy. 

seic

GOVERNANCE CHAIN: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

a. Vice-chancellor 
• To ensure that SEIC’s strategic intent and directions are in-line with University’s strategic intent.
 
b. Head of research and innovation department(HR&I)
• To provide tactical and advisory support to the SEIC board and ensure that set objectives are planned and achieved.
• To provide guidelines, and strategic direction, approve the annual plan and monitor its functioning regularly.
 
c. SEIC members are Represented by EI Chair
• Prepares and presents an annual plan of the center for approval.
• Identifies and liaises with corporate and government partners to collaborate in promoting the entrepreneurial idea.
• Ensures activities such as Support, Engineering, Networking, Inspiration, and Challenge are carried out according to a pre-defined plan and budget.
• Monitors and reviews the functioning of the center.
 
d. Faculty Mentors
• Execute the center activities as per the approved plan.
• Develop calendars for activities for each academic year.
• Encourage the students to become members of the center and actively participate in its activities.
• Mentor the student members to regularly meet corporate stakeholders to identify their business needs and generate disruptive ideas which can be successfully incubated and/or can feature in the Innovation Week Competition.
• Ensure active participation of various stakeholders in Innovation Week, Incubation and Acceleration meets.
• Record mentoring activities for performance evaluation and feedback purposes.
• Maintain strict confidentiality.
 
e. Corporate and Government Relations [Marketing and PR] (GCR)
• To ensure there is an active membership and participation at the Governmental and small, medium and enterprise levels.
• To conduit the unmet needs and coordinate regular meetings amongst Corporate and Government sectors with Faculty mentors and student members, with an overall objective to ensure needs are disruptively met within the set of constraints (Financial, Marketing, and Competitive).
• To ensure that budding, well-seasoned, and serial entrepreneurs are constantly available for providing regular workshops and advice to student members and faculty mentors.
• To encourage alumni to be part of SEIC, wherein as a self-employed entrepreneurs, the SEIC acts as a product/service development center and in case an alumnus is unemployed, they are associated with a project team so that their ideas can be spiraled out into business ventures.
• To plan and manage various marketing efforts to conduct various events as per the planned calendar.
• To manage the center’s communications, website, and different social media accounts.
 
f. Fund Raising Manager (FR)
• To develop and manage the center’s budget and funding.
• To create grant proposals and manage endowments.
• To identify, interact and collaborate with various donor pools and venture capitalists.
• To plan and manage fundraising events to develop alliances and collaborations to enhance fundraising efforts.
• To appraise the SEIC board, apprising them about the progress of various fundraising activities. 

IDEA SUBMISSION AND SELECTION

Student members (individually or in groups) need to dully fill in an idea proposal form (Refer: Appendix B) to the SEIC board. The SEIC board will review all ideas on a fortnight basis based on the following 3 criteria:

1. Uniqueness by looking at domain areas of services, products, processes, or taking the help of an industry panel of experts in a relevant field and ensuring it doesn’t infringe any Intellectual Property rights.

2. Creation or addition of significant value to a customer or end-user.

3. Resolves a significant problem or meets a significant want or need, for which a segment of the market may pay a premium. 

MENTORING PHASE

The objective of assigning mentors (faculty members or industry experts) is to interact, coach, and transform (ICT) their mentees so that ideas can be rapidly and logically transformed into disruptive incubations. 
mentorship
Interact: The mentor needs to submit an interaction framework based on the following guidelines:
a. The duration of the mentorship, with a clear start and end date.
b. Meeting schedule.
c. The minutes of the meeting need to be documented in Skyline Meeting Portal.
d. The desired budget needs to be duly approved by the SEIC board.
 
Coach: The mentor will coach the mentees to perform the following functions to the best of their professional abilities:
a. Define the market and specify the base of grouping the market (segmentation).
b. Identify the target segment that the business idea will serve, and evaluate alternative product or service ideas.
c. Create positioning parameters and charts that identify the competitions and their positioning in context to chosen business ideas.
d. Create a product or service prototype using various technological tools (3D printers and modeling software such as VISIO, Flowgorithm, AutoCAD, etc.)
 
Transform: Transforming the concept into a potential reality is the most critical role of a mentor. The key objectives of this phase are:
a. Define the market and specify the base of grouping the market (segmentation).
b. Identify the target segment that the business idea will serve, and evaluate alternative product or service ideas.
c. Create positioning parameters and charts that identify the strategic competitive groups and their positioning. The objective is to find the base or parameters on which the new business plan can be created.
d. Creating a detailed business plan and financial feasibility using the internal rate of return method.
e. Creating a go-to-market strategy that defines the generic strategy, directional strategy, and international strategy.
f. Developing a digital media strategy as part of integrated marketing communications with tactical communication plans.

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