About the project
“Acceleration of Business Support Ecosystem” (ACCESS) is a project, which aims at improving business support services in the regions of Kaunas and Marijampolė in Lithuania, and in the subregions of Suvalki and Bialystok in Poland. Project Coordinator Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) together with its partners such as Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts, Bialystok University of Technology, and Association of Bialystok Functional Area, acting in accordance with INTERREG V-A Lithuania-Poland Cooperation Programme, seek to boost the creation and development of business and innovations within these regions, and to assist the future and existing entrepreneurs in growth.
ACCESS programme fulfillers, cooperating with those who want to establish business, have noticed that these persons lack courage and knowledge how to start their activities. Although there are many projects promoting entrepreneurship in Lithuania and Poland, they are focused on improving the entrepreneurial situation in the metropolitan areas, while smaller regions lack such projects and the information they provide. For this reason, it was decided to offer assistance to business starters in smaller towns as well. The need for business consultancy and trainings was also increased in the context of pandemic, which also took up a new challenge – how to make the information and benefits provided throughout the project accessible after the completion of the project.
One of the learning methods gaining popularity, especially during a pandemic, is online courses. Therefore, it was decided to create a platform for interactive training istartup.eu to host courses and trainings on marketing, business development and other business-related themes, thereby adding the lasting value of the information provided by ACCESS project. Moreover, it was decided to adapt the platform to the Lithuanian, Polish and English languages that useful consultations and trainings can be used by even more persons who want to start their own business or develop it.
On the basis of the specific features of the project and identified needs, a platforms of interactive trainings and a website were developed. To ensure a good browsing experience of the user, on the basis of UX/UI practices, an individual design of the website was created, while the design of the training platform was adjusted in accordance with the brand book.
The internal system of trainings was developed by using WordPress TVS (content management system), the functionalities of which were adapted to the specific features of the project. Users have an option to sign up with the platform in a user-friendly manner (e-mail, Google, Facebook or LinkedIn account) and to select a desired role, i.e. an instructor or a student.
The functionalities of the overall platform depend on the role selected by the user during signing up. Instructors have the ability to create courses using the internal system wizard or uploading the existing training package that has already been created. They also have the opportunity to create tasks, tests, check them, and track the progress of their students. Instructors also exercise the rights of student’s role.
Students can listen to courses/classes, do tasks or tests prepared by instructors, and receive assessments. After completing the selected course, there is an opportunity to receive an appropriate certificate, and if the course has been completed with high scores that are established by the instructor who created the course, a student can additionally obtain a sign marking this which is seen in the window of his/her profile.
In addition to all these functionalities, users can also communicate on the internal platform, share experiences, sign up for live or remote business consultations, and do all this in Lithuanian, Polish and English.
The developed platform istartup.eu for interactive trainings allows accessing the information gathered and shared during the ACCESS project and after the end date of the project, by constantly adding up-to-date courses, and thereby ensuring the continuity of the project and long-term results. This platform is useful not only for those who want to start their own business or expand it, but also for professionals of different business areas who can share their acquired knowledge and experience and thus promote entrepreneurship. The created website allows future and existing business owners to register for consultations with specialists on a variety of business-related issues, and adaptation of the platform to the Lithuanian, Polish and English languages increases its value and availability of knowledge to a wider audience.
The kiro.tech team was professional and enthusiastic in respect to our project. As a result of our cooperation, the company’s technological development platform was updated, and a new design was put into place, and our employees received training. The project, which satisfied the requirements set, was finished and presented by the kiro.tech team. We were impressed by their work ethic, and quick, easy, and proactive communication they showed throughout the progress of the entire project.
Neringa Valantinė, iStartUp.eu Project Manager, Business Development Project Manager at Kaunas University of Technology