Our History

The origins (2008 – 2012)

In 2008, the first Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum was launched.
About 110 speakers had taken part, including 50 entrepreneurs and distinguished scholars like Mauro Ferrari (University of Texas, Houston) and Gary Pisano (Harvard Business School).
The Forum has set itself as an initiative in the context of the third mission of Universities, as stated in the presentation of the initiative, at a time when the term "third mission" was still not widespread. The goal was to bring together entrepreneurs and researchers in a dedicated and appropriate environment.
The Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum took place every year from 2008 to 2015.

In 2010 the Forum was titled "Time to grow?" And hosted, among others, the Director of the Economic Research Center of the Bank of Italy, Salvatore Rossi.
The main interventions of the Forum have been included in the volume published with the same title "Time to grow?", Cleup, Padua.

In 2011 the Forum hosted the first edition of the "Young Innovators under 35" Award organized in collaboration with the MIT Technology Review.
Young researchers from all over Italy were invited to participate with business ideas. The "Young Innovator under 35" award was given to 10 researchers each year.
The prize was organized by the SCENT group for 5 years until 2015.

It is within the Forum that contacts are developed with Bocconi University who have participated since the foundation (1999) in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Bocconi University left GEM research in 2010. In 2012 the SCENT research group of the University of Padua took over.
The SCENT group was responsible for GEM research in Italy for 5 years until 2016.

In 2012, the International Symposium on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ISEI) was organized in Venice with the participation of 90 participants from 31 countries.

From 2012 to 2014, three editions of the Summer School on Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation were organized. Among the main speakers prof. Alberto Sangiovanni Vincentelli of UC Berkeley.

Since Foundation (2013-2019)

The School of Entrepreneurship (SCENT) was officially launched on 4th October 2013.
The activities of the School of Entrepreneurship (SCENT) are in research, education and third mission.

1. Research

  • Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)

    The GEM program was born in 1999 as a joint project of Babson College (USA) and London Business School (UK).
    For each country, with an extensive survey (Adult Population Survey), GEM analyses the attitudes and the entrepreneurial behavior of people. GEM, also, carries out an assessment of the national context and its impact on the entrepreneurial level of the country, through interviews of at least 36 experts on the national entrepreneurial ecosystem (National Expert Survey).
    More than 70 countries are involved in GEM research. With over 200,000 people surveyed each year representing 75% of the world's population and 87% of global GDP. More details on: https://www.gemconsortium.org
    The SCENT group managed the GEM research for Italy for 5 years, from 2012 to 2016.
  • Italian Innovative Startups

    Following the Decree 18 October 2012, n. 179 on innovative startups and the creation of the Special Section of the Business Register dedicated to them, in 2014 the SCENT group began an observatory on innovative Italian startups that led to the creation of two reports:
    - New Innovative Italian Companies 2014 by Moreno Muffatto and Michael Sheriff.
    - Italian Startup Monitor 2016 by Moreno Muffatto, Michael Sheriff, Francesco Ferrati, Ali Raza and Saadat Saeed.
  • Global Startup Monitor

    From 2017 the SCENT group is monitoring Technology-based startups at a global level using the best databases in the field.
  • Spin-off at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

    In 2015 the SCENT group developed a collaboration with the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) aimed at detecting the propensity to create spin-offs by research personnel.
    Two surveys were carried out in 2016 and 2018. The results of the surveys were presented with full satisfaction of the governance of the Institute.
  • Research to Entrepreneurship (R>ENT)

    At the beginning of 2018, a survey was carried out between the doctoral students and the post-docs of the University of Padua aimed at verifying the propensity of researchers to create research-based spin-offs. The investigation ended with the collection of around 400 responses. The development of a scientific work is in progress.
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems

    The GEM research on national entrepreneurial ecosystems has led to the opening of a new research branch dedicated to the observation of local entrepreneurial ecosystems that are typically those in which technological startups are developed.
  • Social Entrepreneurship

    The School of Entrepreneurship conducts academic and practical research on social entrepreneurship to support social enterprises, professionals and policy makers. It collaborates with international organizations that promote social entrepreneurship, such as the Entrepreneurship program for social change of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
  • Circular Economy Entrepreneurship

    Entrepreneurship within the so-called circular economy is an emerging sector that emphasizes the joint creation of economic and ecological value. Unlike other forms of entrepreneurship, it combines business and sustainable development, contributing to the transformation of industrial sectors and society.

2. Education

The School of Entrepreneurship (SCENT) has also been very active on the Education side with various initiatives.

  • In 2014 the first course for aspiring entrepreneurs called SCENT Ventures Program was launched, a 32-hour program with the participation as speakers of 8 young entrepreneurs. The program has been carried out for 4 years (2014-2017).

  • In 2017 the first edition of the Master's Degree course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (in English) was activated for students coming from 7 master's degree courses.

  • From the 2019-2020 academic year the course will change its name into Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Finance.

  • In March 2019, the first edition of the course SCENT - Entrepreneurship and Technology-based Startups for PhD students, began attracting PhD candidates from different University Departments.

  • On February 13, 2019, the SCENT Technology Labs initiative was presented in the “A. Lepschy” auditorium - “the new community for those doing research”, which includes the activation of an interaction platform for young researchers.

3. Third mission

  • The School of Entrepreneurship (SCENT) was invited in 2016 to contribute to the implementation of the Startup Europe Award 2016, an initiative of the European Commission to give visibility to the startup phenomenon in Europe. The SCENT group carried out the selection of the 12 best startups in the Veneto region (from 500 registered in the special section of the Business Register). The results presentation event was organized for November 22, 2016. Following the selection, 4 startups were identified for the national final in Milan on December 6, 2016. A startup from Veneto (among 10 finalists) was then selected in Milan to represent Italy in the European final in Brussels.

  • On May 31, 2017 an Invited Lecture was held in the Auditorium of the Altinate Cultural Center in Padua by Clifford Schorer (Columbia University) entitled "Technology-based startups and local ecosystems".
    Clifford Schorer himself met a dozen of startups for a coaching session. Department of Industrial Engineering, 1 June 2017.

  • In November 2019 the course in "Entrepreneurship and startups for innovation" will start. Also this project can be considered in the third mission or transfer of knowledge domain.

Contact us

For more information about SCENT projects, research activities and educational programs, please send us an email

SCENT - School of Entrepreneurship