A Story Behind

Entrepreneurship has become central to business education. At the same time, companies have transformed their HR policies to hire the most creative and innovative graduates and improve their understanding of start-up ecosystems (Bureau 2018). The growing number of entrepreneurship courses in higher education clearly indicates the need for additional and solid intellectual foundations at both methodological and theoretical levels (Valerio et al. 2014; Fayolle 2019). Innovative teaching methods are quasi–by-products of the quantitative growth of entrepreneurship in higher education institutions in a positive sense.

The significant growth of entrepreneurship education throughout Europe in recent decades has played an important role in the development of academic infrastructure within the discipline. The support of government institutions is crucial, and not only in terms of funding. One example is the ‘HEInnovative’ platform, co-financed by the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where institutions can monitor their level in offering entrepreneurial programmes (www.heinnovative.eu). In 2021, the European Commission published a guide to fostering entrepreneurship education (Lilischkis et al. 2021).

The effects of entrepreneurship education are also hotly debated in the entrepreneurship literature. Several years of debate on the relevance of theory and practice in management education is based on Mintzberg’s argument, whereby ‘management is a practice that has to blend a good deal of craft (experience) with a certain amount of art (insights) and some science (analysis)’ (Mintzberg 2004, 1).

One of the key points of a research agenda for entrepreneurship education is that many important questions of entrepreneurship education are still open and require further research. Those involved in entrepreneurship education should teach with established knowledge, validated methods and tools to achieve their desired learning outcomes. Europe-based scholars have also contributed significantly to research on entrepreneurship education (Landström 2010).

Yet from both theoretical and practical points of view, a lack of literature and research on the trans-regional phenomenon of starting a business is also evident. Specifically, we have identified two key issues in entrepreneurship education: 1) What current evidence-based practices exist in entrepreneurship education? 2) What are the results of recent research activities with a focus on regional entrepreneurial activities?

What is Danube Cup?

Danube Cup is an international network of universities along the Danube to enhance entrepreneurship education and support student startups. We bring together student startups with educators, startup ecosystems and with one another to make them successful in international markets.

What is the Danube Cup Research Pillar?

The Danube Cup Research Pillar was launched in 2022, with the main mission of supporting the dissemination of best practices and quality research in the entrepreneurship education topic area in the Danube region. The Danube Cup research conference, organised by different universities every year, is set to highlight the trends in entrepreneurship & startup education, to share experience and knowledge, and point out applied measures that can also be implemented at other higher education institutions. We…

• are building an international network of higher education institutions in the Danube region to promote cross-border knowledge sharing
• welcome members of both the academic and practitioner communities to the annual conference to bridge the gap between the two expert groups
• support the dissemination of best practices and quality research in entrepreneurship through publication opportunities
• present, with the invited keynote speakers, the most up-to-date research results in the entrepreneurship topic area (keynote presentations are broadcasted in real-time)
• offer insights into the start-up and new business development activities of the host universities
• provide a memorable experience through the hospitality and conference facilities of the host universities

The organisers strive to publish the short version of the presentations of the Danube Cup annual conferences in a Book of Abstracts with an ISBN number, thus promoting networking between participants and the dissemination of subject area knowledge and best practices.

Further publication possibilities are also offered, in the form of Meet the Editors sessions, special issues and information about individual publication options.

Currently, Danube Cup conferences are free of charge. The host universities cover the costs of the conference from sponsor income. The costs of invited keynote speakers are covered by the delegating institutions. Participants receive confirmation of participation and must bear their own travel and accommodation costs.

The Danube Cup 2023 conference committee welcomes contributions from both the academic and practitioner communities on a wide range of topics using a range of scholarly approaches that showcase the latest innovations and achievements in entrepreneurship/startup education. Submitted contributions that showcase methodological advances and real case studies will be especially welcome. All contributions will be peer-reviewed, and the acceptance of a contribution will be based on the originality of the work, the relevance to the conference theme and its overall quality.