Innovate and start a business already in high school

Regional educational program to support entrepreneurship and innovation in the Košice region

What is the optional subject Innovate and do business about?

The Innovation Center of the Košice Region provides comprehensive support for the educational process for secondary schools within the Košice Self-Governing Region. The aim of this optional subject is to teach students the process of turning their business idea into a real product and to familiarize them with the basics of entrepreneurship and innovation. Subsequently, the selected teams will get the chance to participate in the FoundersChallenge competition, the culmination of which will occur at the regional innovation conference Innoveast, which will take place on May 15, 2024 in Košice. The aim of this program is to support the development of the region, regional companies, increase interest in studying at regional universities and motivate students to create their own startup.

In the event that a secondary school decides on the optional subject Innovate and do business, the Innovation Center of the Košice Region will provide: training for teachers, educational materials, interactive aids, video lectures from business and domain experts, as well as their mentoring support for each school that decides use our services. The educational program is supported and recommended by the Department of Education of the Košice self-governing region.

Innovative teacher education - in the context of the subject Innovate and do business

The Innovation Center of the Košice Region, in the context of an optional subject focused on entrepreneurship and innovation of secondary school students, provides education for teachers teaching this subject according to § 55 / Act no. 138/2019 Coll. on pedagogical employees and professional employees and on the amendment of some laws.

Content focus of innovative education in accordance with § 55 par. 1 letter a), Act 138/2019 Coll. on teaching staff and professional staff and on the amendment and supplementation of some laws is to expand, deepen and innovate the professional competences and skills of teachers in the field of entrepreneurship development and support of innovative potential in the fields of business and economics, soft skills and their application in the educational process of secondary school students .

The aim is also to:

  • the use of alternative methods of modern education, which leads to a better acceptance and understanding of the knowledge contained in the subject,
  • lead the education of students and the lessons themselves in a way aimed at supporting their innovative and critical thinking, the ability to solve problems, the ability to work in a team but also individually, to focus and be able to identify problems and thus define possible solutions, which leads to the emergence of a business idea,
  • development of communication skills, assertive and effective communication, presentation and self-presentation,
  • elimination of brain drain by increasing the applicability of students on the labor market and increasing opportunities for employment.

Time schedule and course of education

Registration of schools in the program

Schools apply via an electronic form. They decide to implement the optional subject Innovate and do business in their formal education.

Training for teachers

ICKK will provide training for subject teachers in late August to early September 2023. Online retraining of teachers will take place every quarter, in addition, each school will receive its own mentor.

Education of the subject Innovate and do business

Students learn the given subject based on the schedule and curriculum. Lectures are conducted in a classic format, but also in an interactive format (videos, lectures or creative activities). Within the subject, students work with their idea and create a concrete project from it. The curriculum and education program will be provided to all schools in advance.

Founders Challenge

Selected students with the idea with the most potential will be able to participate in the Founders Challenge, where they work intensively on their project and prepare for a presentation to a committee that will take place at the regional innovation festival Innoveast

Long-term support for startups created within the program

ICKK, together with all partner organizations, will continue to support startups created during the program to receive adequate support for the further development of their project. In addition, we connect these startups with opportunities that team members will be able to use during their university studies at one of the regional universities.

Innovation festival Innoveast

Founders Challenge is the first high school acceleration program that has a purely regional character. From your ideas, he creates real projects that you can further develop at one of the regional universities. It connects your project with business partners who will accompany you throughout the project, in addition to competing for truly exceptional prizes.

Continue your business with the support of the innovation center even after completing the program at one of the regional universities

The Founders Challenge program wants to use your creativity and connect it with innovation. It gives participants a unique space to gain knowledge that is crucial for success in business. Become part of the team that is changing the Košice region into a place where it is worth living and doing business.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

Pavel Jozef Šafárik University in Košice

Continue with your project at regional universities

Technical University in Košice

University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice

Your idea, Our answers

Go through the questions we get most often about the program


A personal presentation of the program will take place at selected secondary schools in the Košice region, after which a link will be published through which you can apply your project to the program.

You can apply with your idea either as a team or as an individual, the program is intended for 2.-3. years of selected secondary schools.

Don't underestimate yourself without trying to verify it. Every idea can be worked with, and even if your idea is not the winner, you will gain exceptional know-how that will help you in your work or business in the future.

The program does not limit the area of ​​ideas, so you can come up with an idea from any area you choose yourself.

Each week there will be a training that will last around 60 minutes, the education will be divided into four thematic circles. In addition, you will receive a mentor who will help you develop your idea.

The evaluation of the project will be decided by an expert committee and as part of a public vote, during the innovation festival INNOVEAST 2023, high school students from the Košice region will decide.

The goal is to materialize the idea into a real product and thus create a prototype that you will test during 4 months and come to show it at the innovation festival INNOVEAST 2023.

You will gain unique know-how, the opportunity to receive a financial reward, you will become part of an ecosystem in which you will be able to use business premises in the Innovation Center of the Košice Region. In addition, you will receive a certificate of completion of the training, which you will be able to use further in your career

The project is implemented under the auspices of the Košice self-governing region and the Innovation Center of the Košice region, of which it is a founding memberare: University of Pavel Jozef Šafárik, Technical University in Košice, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, City of Košice and Košice Self-Governing Region

You want us
anything else to ask?
Let us know
and we'll get back to you