Authored by Tiina Brandt of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, a recent study shines a spotlight on the transformative power of the European Innovation Academy (EIA) in shaping the entrepreneurial attitudes of its student participants. This blog post unpacks the study’s findings, presenting a compelling case for the EIA’s role in developing the entrepreneurial mindset so crucial in today’s fast-paced business world.

The Crucial Elements of Entrepreneurship:

Entrepreneurship transcends the mere act of starting a business; it embodies the ability to turn ideas into action. This requires an entrepreneurial mindset, marked by innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk-taking capacity. Yet, the impact of entrepreneurial education on cultivating these traits has been a subject of debate, with mixed findings from various studies.

European Innovation Academy: A Breeding Ground for Innovation:

The EIA stands out as a beacon of innovative entrepreneurial education. It is not just an accelerator program, but a transformative experience that brings students together from across the globe, immersing them in the essence of entrepreneurship. Mentors with a business background guide the students, and the camp culminates in a pitch day, rewarding the best business ideas.

Tiina Brandt from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
Tiina Brandt from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Finland)

Research Methodology:

The study surveyed 95 participants from EIA Porto 2022 cohort, primarily the USA and European college students, at the end of their EIA journey, to measure their innovativeness, proactiveness, and entrepreneurial intentions. These responses were then compared to a larger global dataset.

Empirical Evidence of EIA’s Impact:

The findings are striking – EIA attendees showcased higher levels of innovativeness and proactiveness compared to their global counterparts. Even those without firm entrepreneurial intentions outperformed the global sample, suggesting that the EIA experience significantly nurtures key entrepreneurial traits.

Redefining Entrepreneurial Qualities:

The study also reveals a fascinating shift in perspective among EIA students regarding essential entrepreneurial qualities. Unlike the global sample that prioritized ‘good business ideas’, EIA students ranked ‘team building’, ‘risk-taking’, and ‘decisiveness’ as top qualities, underscoring the value of dynamic team dynamics over solitary idea generation.


The EIA’s potent influence in shaping the entrepreneurial qualities and attitudes of students is undeniable. For professors and program directors, integrating such experiential learning models could be the key to unlocking their students’ entrepreneurial potential.


Discover how to integrate the dynamic EIA curriculum into your academic programs and ignite the entrepreneurial mindset in your students here.