From start-ups to shoemakers: Why a degree from this Prague university means business

With several alumni on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, Newton University helps students pursue their entrepreneurial dreams before they even graduate.

Marcus Bradshaw

Written by Marcus Bradshaw
Published on 27.08.2021 13:48 (updated on 29.08.2021)

If you’ve booked flights with Kiwi.com, attended an event in Vnitroblock, sipped a coffee in Kavárna, co hledá jméno, or walked around town sporting a pair of Vasky shoes, then you’ve come in contact with a concept created by a graduate of Newton University.

The business-focused university has produced a stream of alumni that have featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, including Oliver Dlouhý, Václav Staněk, Lukáš Žďárský and Jakub Zajíc.

Earlier this year, Newton launched a business accelerator program as part of their bachelor's degree in Global Business and Management, which is designed to support entrepreneurially-minded students set up and operate their own businesses before they graduate.

The business accelerator programme is part of an innovative curriculum that’s designed to give students the tools they need to build and grow their own businesses. In addition to learning through experience, students can learn from a diverse academic faculty, who combine both academic and real-world business expertise, as well as regular guest lecturers from the private sector and public sectors. 

One of the first projects to emerge from the business accelerator is the highly successful Jedlý Kelímek (which translates as Edible Cup). The company was set up by Zuzana Zvěřová and Miroslav Myrončuk, two second-year Newton students who were inspired by the idea of edible coffee cups as a possible way of reducing the amount disposable of waste created by the drinks industry.

“On the degree programme, our students gain a theoretical understanding of modern business practices, as well as participating in practical seminars and managerial training," says Dr. Anna Plechata Krausova, Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs. "But we're so excited that, through the accelerator programme, they now have a new and even more hands-on way of gaining real-world business experience."

For students who are already in the Czech Republic, or who decide to relocate for the duration of their degree, Newton offers a full-time in-person study programme on their campus in Prague. The university also offers flexible study patterns to suit students who prefer to study remotely. In both cases, support is provided in arranging internships in the Czech Republic.

While an advanced level of English is required to enroll in the programme, support (in the form of an Academic English course during the first year of study) is offered to students who are not fully confident in their English writing and presentation skills. For students who don’t speak Czech, a full events programme, including networking opportunities and mentoring are provided in English.

Prospective applicants will need a high school diploma, and an upper intermediate level of English (B2) to apply. During the application process, they will be assessed on their aptitude for studying business, their critical thinking skills, and their entrepreneurial attitude.

“Special emphasis is put on developing the mindset of a true and effective manager and entrepreneur. It is our belief that if you want to lead others, you must first understand yourself. We, therefore, teach students to understand their strengths, to actively self-develop, and to cultivate critical thinking skills,” says Dr. Plechata.

Dr. Plechata adds that the pandemic era has emboldened lots of people to switch careers, or put skills they've learned during a lengthy lockdown into practice by founding their own businesses.

"I think entrepreneurial people who don't want to put off starting their own business until they get a bachelor's degree will find Newton University to be the perfect academic and business environment," she says.

This article was written in cooperation with Newton University. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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