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Reference:

Features of Managing the Preparation of the Bachelor's Final Qualification Work in the Form of a Startup

Kruglova Marina Sergeevna

ORCID: 0000-0002-8469-565X

PhD in Economics

Kruglova Marina Sergeevna - Senior Lecturer, Department of General Psychology and Social Communications, Sochi State University

354000, Russia, Krasnodar Territory, Sochi, ul. Plastunskaya, 94

marin.kruglova@gmail.com
Other publications by this author
 

 
Shuvanov Igor' Borisovich

PhD in Psychology

Associate Professor, Department of General Psychology and Social Communications, Sochi State University

354000, Russia, Krasnodar Territory, Sochi, ul. Plastunskaya, 94

schuvanov@rambler.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 
Shuvanova Viktoriya Petrovna

Senior Lecturer, Department of General Psychology and Social Communications, Sochi State University

354000, Russia, Krasnodar Territory, Sochi, ul. Plastunskaya, 94

v.shuvanova@mail.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 
Kruglova Lorina Ermondovna

PhD in Technical Science

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Design and Ecology, Sochi State University

354000, Russia, Krasnodar Territory, Sochi, ul. Plastunskaya, 94

lorinakruglova@gmail.com
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8736.2022.4.39394

EDN:

UUUHYR

Received:

13-12-2022


Published:

29-12-2022


Abstract: The subject of the study is a set of managerial relations that arise in the process of organizing student participation in the creation of a startup based on educational institutions of higher education as a final qualifying work. The object of the research is the educational activity of a higher educational institution. The authors consider in detail the life cycle of developing a bachelor's thesis in the form of a startup in the light of development trends in the design and innovation activities of university students. Particular attention is paid to the most correct sequence of stages when writing a WRC-Startup. The article analyzes and summarizes the experience of implementing and commercializing a start-up project based on Sochi State University. The main result of the study is the identification of algorithms and technologies for managing the preparation of the WRC in the form of a startup. A special contribution of the authors to the study of the topic is the formation of an information model for managing the participation of a bachelor student in the program "Startup as a Diploma". The novelty of the study lies in the systematization of the priority issues of developing a student startup project for defense as a bachelor's thesis. Based on the results of the study, it is proposed to conduct creative business games for undergraduate students in order to develop start-up thinking with the prospect of future participation in the design and innovation activities of a higher educational institution.


Keywords:

final qualifying work, start-up, higher education, university, management, project activity, innovation activity, student, life circle, information model

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

One of the forms of organizing student participation in design and innovation activities is the acceleration program "Startup as a diploma" [1; 2]. For two years, the experience of developing and defending student startups as final qualifying works has been replicated in the regions of Russia. The Startup as a Diploma program provides senior students with the opportunity to prepare for the defense procedure not for a standard final qualifying work, but for their own startup created by one student or an entire team at the university.

Currently, as Russian practice shows, higher education institutions, along with the traditional functions of an educational institution, are actively implementing the function of a platform for youth entrepreneurship and youth design and innovation activities. The implementation of personnel training in educational programs of higher education in modern conditions receives a new vector of development with the use of the intellectual potential of the younger generation [3].

The introduction of start-up design into the educational process corresponds to the trends in higher education: universities are implementing measures to support commercially oriented scientific and technical projects of young scientists, strive to involve talented students in the innovative process of creating high-tech products for its subsequent introduction into the real sector of the economy [4; 5].

The bachelor's thesis, being an integral part of the state final certification, completes the process of theoretical, methodological and practical training of students. In the light of the competence approach, the WRC demonstrates how the knowledge, skills and abilities of persons completing the development of educational programs of higher education are systematized, how their readiness to independently solve specific tasks in professional activity is formed. Abandoning the usual form of writing WRC in favor of a startup does not change the conditions for fulfilling the above requirements: the preparation of "WRC-Startup" is focused on consolidating the same competencies defined by the curriculum [6].

Each higher education institution brings its own unique practices and cases to the university ecosystem of innovation. In 2021, declared the "Year of Science and Technology" in the Russian Federation, the WRC was presented at the Sochi State University in the form of a startup on the topic "Creating an e-commerce marketing strategy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic". In this paper, the founder of the startup – now a graduate of SSU in the direction of "Advertising and public Relations", I. A. Vitaliev – proposed a project of an e-commerce platform.

This startup project was developed under the scientific supervision of PhD, Associate Professor Igor Borisovich Shuvanov with the consulting participation of the "Business Incubator" of SSU. WRC was protected as an information technology startup within the framework of the "Funnel of Innovative Startups" program of the Krasnodar Territory Innovation Development Fund and the Aquarium Innovation Center. The startup was commercialized: monetization amounted to 50 thousand rubles. The results of the final work are at the stage of implementation in the activities of the investor enterprise.

Based on the experience of developing and implementing a startup project, we will take a step-by-step look at the management of the preparation of a start-up WRC.

A student can declare his desire to defend the WRC in the form of a startup during the initial selection of project topics. A student who is interested in the possibility of defending a Start-up WRC can offer his idea and discuss it with the assigned head of the WRC. This may be a new idea or a continuation of a project activity that was carried out by a student earlier. Then there is a reception of documents from students, applications (applications). After completing the selection of projects and agreeing on topics with the expert commission, the participant becomes a resident of the university's student business incubator in order to develop his idea in the form of a startup. The project can be carried out by either one or several students [7].

If the stage of registration of applications is overcome, and the topic is determined, then a mentor consultant is appointed, who forms feedback on the student's work during the preparation of the Start-up WRC. Together with the head of the WRC, a project implementation schedule is drawn up, according to which the startup is being developed. The supervisor directs the student's actions from the point of view of writing the WRC, and the business consultant supervises the startup design.

Let's get acquainted with the life cycle of the startup component (Fig. 1). The stages of the StartUp project development traditionally include five main stages that the project founder and his team must overcome [8]:

1. The birth of a startup (pre-seed, or pre-seed);

2. The formation of a startup (seed, or seed);

3. Early development of the project (Alpha version);

4. Startup Expansion (closed Beta version);

5. Maturity of the project (open Beta version).

Figure 1. Startup project lifecycle

At the initial stage, planning of the future startup project is carried out. The analytical stage is called "PREPARE" (translated from the English "preparation") and is designed to select a topic, work out a startup idea and work with hypotheses. In accordance with the local regulatory act, the Regulations on the final qualifying work in the form of a "startup", a project can be one of four main types: a business project (sales of products or services), a technology startup (innovative technologies), a startup in the field of social entrepreneurship or a startup in the field of creative industries. Having determined the possible type of startup, you should decide on the specific topic of the project. At the same time, the wording of the topic "WRC-Startup" should be justified and modified in accordance with the professional field in the specialty or field of training.

It should be taken into account that if the bachelor's thesis can be carried out according to the type of both development and improvement or research, then a startup involves the development – creation "from scratch" of an integral project, completed in form and content, consisting of a number of mandatory components, including a value proposition, a business plan, prototype, presentations for investors, pitch letters.

At the next stage, "WORK" (translated from the English "work") in the course of organizing work on a startup project, an innovative product is being developed and an MVP is being formed. A Minimally Viable Product (MVP) is a product that has minimal, but sufficient functions to satisfy the first consumers. In accordance with this concept, MVP is created to test hypotheses and verify the viability of the conceived product, to understand how much it will be in demand on the market (Fig. 2). At the start of the project, the HADI-cycles method is used. HADI-cycle is an algorithm for testing hypotheses through action, to obtain data and conclusions. This approach is used for holistic, systematic thinking of startup project developers and successful idea development. The abbreviation stands for Hypothesis (Hypothesis), Action (Action), Data (Data), Conclusions (Insight).

Table 1 shows the HADI cycle with a description of each stage.

Table 1 — Structural elements of the project's HADI cycle [13]

HADI-cycle

Plan

Hypothesis (Hypothesis)

Action (Action)

Data (Data)

Conclusions (Insight)

 

What is your hypothesisWhat will you do to check it out

 

What will you measure

 

How will you decide if the hypothesis has been confirmed

 

The essence of a startup is the desire to revolutionize the presence market through a unique and ambitious business model, which is developed through the formulation of hypotheses and market research.

The research includes a set of methods, including market segmentation and problematic interviews with potential consumers of the product.

Figure 2. The concept of MVP in startup design [14]

At the "LAUNCH" stage (from the English "launch"), in accordance with the name, a test launch of the project is carried out, a health check, an adjustment of the project strategy. The subsequent "OPTIMIZE" stage assumes conclusions and optimization after some time from the moment of launch: data collection, work analysis is carried out.

At the final stage of the "SCALE", 1 year after the launch, it is required to measure various indicators and compare them with the expected indicators for the development of the project.

To substantiate the need of universities to expand educational practices for the introduction of a startup as a form of WRC, we conducted a survey of students of the final year of the bachelor's degree at the SSU (4th year of full-time education and 5th year of correspondence education).

The total number of survey participants is 51 people. The majority of respondents are aged 21.  According to the results of the questionnaire survey, it was revealed that more than 70% of respondents had a desire to launch their business project during their studies at the university (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. Answers to the question about the desire to launch a business project

Based on the materials of a study conducted on the basis of Sochi State University, we will propose the structure of a model for managing student participation in a startup WRC, which is designed to give an idea of the sequence and content of the levels of preparation of a startup project and its protection as a graduate work by a university student (Fig. 4).

Figure 4. Information model of student participation management in "WRC-Startup"

 

Thus, considerable attention should be paid to the processes of student participation management for qualitative results at each stage of the life cycle according to the model presented by the authors when preparing a start-up WRC. The student, together with the supervisor, clarifies the wording of the topic (before its approval), then the supervisor assists in developing a work schedule, advises how to proceed with its consideration, gives recommendations on information sources and material collection, recommends introductory literature with examples of research on the topic, critically evaluates the student's choice regarding research tools. The student, in turn, follows the instructions for making corrections and changes to the preliminary version of the work (both in content and in design). At the same time, the student attends consultations with the mentor of the project part of the work, shows progress in the development of the project, asks questions about various aspects of startup design.

As a recommendation, the authors emphasize the need for the proactive participation of the head of the WRC in the processes of developing a startup project, as well as conducting creative business games for junior students in order to develop startup thinking with the prospect of future participation in the design and innovation activities of a higher educational institution.

References
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Peer Review

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The paper "Features of managing the preparation of a bachelor's final qualifying work in the form of a startup" is presented for review. The paper presents the successful experience of presenting the WRC in the form of a startup at the Sochi State University. The subject of the study. As the subject, the author considers, as can be seen from the name, the features of managing the preparation of a bachelor's final qualifying work in the form of a startup. Research methodology. The methodology of the research is not presented in the work of the practice. The author has not considered the basic concepts and their provisions, but justified the criteria for studying. Apparently, the author has presented the author's understanding of this problem. The author presents several studies in which there is experience in the development and implementation of a startup project. Relevance. The relevance of the problem raised in the work is justified from the position of contradictions. In higher educational institutions, along with the traditional functions of an educational institution, the functions of a platform for youth entrepreneurship and youth design and innovation activities are actively implemented. At the same time, the final qualification works are implemented in the traditional format. On the other hand, young people tend to go beyond the boundaries of traditional forms, paying attention to more practice-oriented technologies. Scientific novelty. The proposed study is interesting from a methodological point of view. It is important that the author highlights the main stages of the Start-up WRC, which are presented in the form of an information management model. Style, structure, content. The style of presentation corresponds to publications of this level. The language of the presentation is scientific. The structure of the work can be traced intuitively, there is no clear differentiation into micro parts. It is possible to designate an introduction with a justification of relevance, problems, goals, tasks, a description of the methodology for implementing the considered form of final qualification work, the results of the study and small conclusions are briefly presented. In the work, the main methodological provisions (the life cycle of a startup project, basic concepts, an information model for managing student participation in "WRC-Startup") are presented schematically. Bibliography. The bibliography of the article includes 8 domestic and foreign sources, most of which have been published in the last three years. The problems of the work correspond to the subject of the article. The bibliography contains research articles. The sources of literature are designed uniformly. The bibliographic list is designed correctly, in accordance with the requirements. Appeal to opponents. In scientific research, it is important to conduct a theoretical and methodological analysis of the problem involved. The significance of the work could be given by the conducted research devoted to identifying the attitude of teachers to the use of this type of final qualification work. The results obtained could be a justification for the relevance of the problem raised. The work is mostly methodical, rather than scientific and research in nature. Conclusions. The article is distinguished by its undoubted relevance, theoretical and practical value, and will be of interest to the teaching community. The work may be recommended for publication.
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