In order for the European Union (EU) to be successful in the global markets, higher education institutions (HEI) must be able to produce independent, creative, entrepreneurial individuals, who understand inter-and multidisciplinary challenges of the socio-economic environment and as a result can contribute to open innovation in true convergence with technological growth. EU’s success in the global competition is heavily dependent on the ability of the economy to produce digitally based innovative enterprises with high growth potential that can give stimulus to the actors of the socio-economic environment.


iSTART responds to this need by aiming to develop an innovative, evidence-based transnational framework that will markedly improve the knowledge and skills of academic institutions to produce more market/startup oriented DEP curricula, reducing the barriers in this field. The project consortium comprises key academics, investors, incubators from different sectors who will co-create the envisaged DEP curriculum and will pilot it through an open innovation and co-creation virtual learning environment (VLE). This outcome is directly pertinent to quadruple helix-academia co-operation for innovation and best practices with respect to DEP, and can support policy reform in this area, leading to more prepared graduates ready for the startup market.


  • Training needs analysis (TNA) for Digital Entrepreneurship Practices in a Quadruple Helix Context at a country level (in Turkey, Greece, Italy and Portugal)
  • Organization of 2 Trainers’ Labs where partners will homogenize the training needs analysis will create a blueprint for the curriculum as well as an initial strategy for the Digital Entrepreneurship Transnational Pitching Academies.
  • Development of a Digital Entrepreneurship Curriculum and the virtual learning environment (VLE) in a blended manner
  • Development of a methodology for the implementation of 4 Digital Entrepreneurship Transnational Pitching Academies for piloting the curriculum
  • Implementation of 4 Digital Entrepreneurship Pitching Academies in Greece, Portugal, Italy and Turkey, were pitching competitions will take place.
  • Dissemination activities through the organization of 7 multiplier events for communicating the projects results.


For the academic institutions and their students

  • Enhancement of university-market collaboration and better alignment of the curriculum to fit the EU market through co-creation with the quadruple helix in an open innovation framework.
  • Contribution to the internationalization of higher education through the transnational cooperation and course delivery mechanisms.
  • Development of new cutting-edge DEP curriculum and course delivery mechanisms (based on the latest technologies- VLE).
  • Open access to the VLE that can be integrated as added value to coursework application for students (in relation to DEP)

For the quadruple helix stakeholders

  • Improved awareness of DEP strategies and specific application/mapping to shape the digital entrepreneurship process
  • Increased social cohesion and social groups at risk mitigation through enhanced DEP
  • Quadruple helix learner training with cutting-edge DEP practices

At the local, regional, national and European level

  • Contribution to transforming European Higher Education & Research Institutes to Entrepreneurial Institutes
  • Contribution to the transformation of higher education students to European Entrepreneurs

Total Budget: 239.640,00 €
Duration of the project: 01/09/2016 – 28/02/2019 (30 months)
Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership Project (2016-1-TR01-KA203-034258)