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Universidad Católica del Uruguay

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Overview

Catholic University of Uruguay is a private university in Uruguay opened in 1985. It was the only private university in the country for 11 years until 1996. Its full name is Universidad Católica del Uruguay Dámaso Antonio Larrañaga,  and is a work of the Society of Jesus.

Its main campus is spread out in six locations in Montevideo; there are two other campuses, in Maldonado and Salto.

The university is divided into seven departments:

  • Business Sciences department
  • Nursing and Health Technologies department
  • Human Sciences department
  • Law deparment
  • Engineering & Technologies department
  • Odontology department
  • Psychology department

Promoting student innovation entrepreneurship

Universidad Católica del Uruguay believes that innovation and entrepreneurship are of huge importance and, therefore, has various different ways to promote its students to engage in this area. Not only are there courses that indirectly provoke students to feel intrigued and widen their knowledge in this area, but UCU also provides courses, clubs and workshops that facilitate this learning process. Some faculties offer a wider variety of these activities than others but all students, no matter their major, have the possibility to innovate and become an entrepreneur if they desire so.  Particularly, ÍthaKa(Innovation and Entrepreneurship centre), OPITI and Students Affairs are responsible for promoting, mentoring and supporting the students with their ideas and projects. For instance, ÍthaKa centre organized the three-day-long engagement called “Innovatón” in Punta Del Este, where attendees learned the well-known Design Thinking process.

Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship: 

When a student has an idea and wants to pursue it, it is extremely important to have the university support and guidance. 

This is the reason why IthaKa, our I&E center was created. Before this, our university had two different establishments for entrepreneurship: Nexo, offering a pre-incubator service, and CII ( the Center for Innovation and Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering and Technologies). Recently, they associated and formed a new center called Ithaka, which principal aim is to incubate students´ ideas and materialize them.  The main mission of this center is to bring our university community closer to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, promote innovation and creativity for the development of ventures that contribute to the development of a more prosperous, fair and humane society.

In fact, Ithaka has already created entrepreneurs and innovators. For instance, Marcelo Ciaspessoni, a Business Management student of UCU, together with íthaka's help and support founded a successful enterprise called ViajerosUy; this is a tourist agency especialized in adventure activities in Uruguay. 

Facilitating university-industry collaboration

UCU facilitates the relationship between industry and the university in multiple ways, some of which are described below.

1. Innovation & Entrepreneurship

There are two main programmes that regulate and connect the entrepreneurship and innovation that takes place in university with real-life organizations, business and markets. The first one is the mentoring program offered by Ithaka. This one supports students, professors, and alumni in developing their ideas in the pursuit of transforming them into entrepreneurs. In fact, the seed funds competitions, have a designated budget for Ithaka’s members.

The second one is the “Ignis Convoca” program, which also gives students support but, at the same time, pushes them to participate in contests regional and international.

2. Job opportunities facilitators

“Feria Laboral” is an annual event. It is mainly a fair which aim is inserting students into the labour market. This activity consists of a large number of companies from different fields gathered for this day in the university to describe, inform and offer different career opportunities that students can apply for.

3. Work-practice opportunities

Universidad Catolica del Uruguay offers infrastructure and resources for making their own professional practices before graduation.

Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts

Uruguayan government is helping the startup industry flourish by implementing these institutions : National Agency of Research and Innovation (ANII) and National Development Agency (ANDE). Enhancing this, the Co work spaces and the special Centers dedicated to supporting students, postgraduates and graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit are an important base in the progress of the realization of ideas.

Regarding to ANII, this institution makes available to the public funds for research projects, national and international postgraduate scholarships and incentive programs for innovative culture and entrepreneurship, both in the private and public sectors.

In relation to ANDE,  their aim is to contribute to productive economic development, in a sustainable way, with social equity and environmental and territorial balance.

Ithaka is the Sponsoring Institution of Entrepreneurship (IPE) in front of the National Research and Innovation Agency (ANII) and the National Development Agency (ANDE).

Thanks to the support of ANII and ANDE, Ithaka´s  pre-incubated entrepreneurs will have access to capital to carry out the validation of their idea.

Related Links

Universidad Católica del Uruguay Student Priorities

Fall 2017 Fellows

Julieta Caputo

Sofía Muñiz

Manuel Heslop

Victoria Ferrer

Fall 2018 Fellows 

Agustina Nacimiento

Brian Lorenzo

Maite Serantes

Malena Chiesa

Maria Josefina Martinez

Paola Cabrera