The 1st training cycle of the creative accelerator in Thessaloniki – SKG Makers has been completed
The Pop-Machina Circular Maker Accelerator aims to provide to makers the knowledge and skills needed to turn their projects and ideas into sustainable and competitive businesses!
What was this?
As external partners in the Pop Machina project, we supported the design and implementation of the creative accelerator in order to create an integrated educational program that will support the community of creators of Thessaloniki (SKG Makers). Its purpose is to support the community through business education and mentoring, to help the makers enter the market with a sustainable business model, offering competitive services and products.
💡 SKG Makers are the first community of makers in Thessaloniki, as a project of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, in the framework of of timplementing a collaborative and circular Makerspace in Thessaloniki, housed under OK!Thess.
SKG Makers are supported by Pop-Machina, a European project entitiled "Collaborative production for the circular economy a community approach / Pop-Machina" of the European program HORIZON 2020. In the framework of this Pop-Machina research project, the Municipality of Thessaloniki works closely with Q-PLAN International for the coordination and SKG Makers' projects, while the Centre for Research & Technological Hellas and the University of Macedonia are active project partners in Thessaloniki.
👉 The creative accelerator training covered eight (8) key topics necessary to support an idea to grow into a sustainable business. These topics were:
1. An introduction to Business Model Canvas - Value chain positioning
2. Who is my client? - Εισαγωγή στο Design Thinking
3. Competition research - Marketing analysis & Competitive landscape
4. The steps for my service - Client and company
5. Design Thinking - Prototyping and Testing
6. Financial support assessment
7. Digital Marketing for businesses
The design methodology of the program was based on 3 levels.
1. Induction training: Firstly, the participants were granted access to a platform of asynchronous education in order to become familiar with basic concepts of entrepreneurship.
2. Basic training & Mentoring:
Afterwards, the 8 trainings were carried out in combination with 1-1 mentoring sessions. All trainings were carried out in the form of interactive educational workshops. The planning of the workshop was done in such a way that theory alternated with practical exercises, so that there was time for questions, and that the questions of each group are discussed separately. Finally, all the teaching material together with the practical exercises remain available and free of charge to all participants.
After each training and on a weekly basis, each team had the opportunity to recieve personal guidance from skilled educators.
🎯 The aim of this practice is to give time to each group's special needs and to give them personalized help and guidance. Workshops are a safe space between learner and trainer during which, questions about the practical tools and entrepreneurship methodologies presented in the trainings can be discussed, but also other concerns that the participants may have about the financial - social issues of the city and markets.
3. Business modelling: With the guidance of trainers and specific templates, the teams received ongoing support to design competitive circular entrepreneurship business models.
🔎 The creative accelerator program was a unique opportunity for the city's makers to embrace entrepreneurship and dare to take the next step, developing their hobby into a business. This process helps not only the individual participants to develop personal and professional skills, but also the wider environment of Thessaloniki, as the economy of the city is strengthened.
In addition, most of the trainings were available exclusively to the accelerator participants but some topics as well as all the introductory training material were open for the public to attend. Special emphasis was placed throughout the design of the program so that information and knowledge remain as free and accessible to all as possible, enhancing the positive social impact even after the program has ended.