Partners involved in: Vida Lactea 

The creative process followed in the incubation of the INTERREG Atlantic Area AYCH Project is based mainly on non-formal educational methodologies, in which thinking in innovative ways, using physical prototypes, and especially social interaction are key elements in the entrepreneurial and training development of those incubated. But what happens when these activities cannot be carried out due to mobility restrictions? Should the incubation processes stop due to the current situation?; definitely not. If the incubation process of AYCH is characterized by something, it is by promoting the adaptability and resolution capacity of those incubated and the project partnership was not going to be less.

In the case of Vida Láctea, SLU, Spanish partner of the AYCH project, it was decided to provide dynamism and flexibility to the incubation through the use of new technologies: the Zoom platform for seminars, training, and online meetings; and the Miró platform for the development of Design Thinking solutions, workshops and other types of remote work sessions. In this process of remote incubation, we joined forces with the University of Santiago de Compostela USC, which showed great interest in collaborating with AYCH, especially in terms of remote incubation, providing access to more than 70 young people with different ideas to the Vida Láctea incubator project. 

This incubation process had to have two main premises: the first was to be carried out virtually, in order to be able to adapt to the different incubation hours, as well as to allow the participation of young people who could not attend in person due to restrictions of mobility; secondly, the incubation should be provided with training that complemented the various sessions on idea design that were carried out electronically, and above all, young people should be allowed to interact with experts. With this in mind, a weekly work plan has been developed, with a total of 4 different time slots for idea design and prototyping sessions, allowing young people to attend at the time that best suits them. These sessions in which the different projects (developed in a group or individual way) are worked on by the incubated themselves having the supervision and support of the Vida Láctea staff; They are reinforced by training adapted to the needs of young people, contributing to their development as future entrepreneurs and improving different projects.

The pandemic has not been an impediment to the development of the incubation process at AYCH, it was simply necessary to apply the same incubation processes to find a solution to the problem. Since the beginning of the confinement as a result of COVID-19, Vida Láctea has provided support to more than a hundred young people in matters of entrepreneurial incubation; being a small sample of the ability of the AYCH partnership to support young people in the development of their skills.

Written by Pablo Castro Álvarez, Coordinator of European Projects, Vida Láctea SLU