Entrepreneurship & Innovation- a COIL Project with HWR Berlin

“Many students in my class had never been to Germany before the course, so it was an excellent chance for us to view life from a different perspective and participate in a good student exchange without being away from Finland for too long.”

Project students enjoying Berlin

The Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin (HWR Berlin) is a valued MBS partner.

So when HWR proposed a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) project, we organised a special implementation of the compulsory Innovation Project for October 2021 through February 2022.

The MBS course ran parallel to (but separately from) the HWR Berlin Entrepreneurship and Innovation course.

The COIL Project aimed to

  • develop students’ digital collaboration skills as well as international business knowledge using digital learning tools such as Zoom workshops;
  • achieve internationalised learning outcomes through short-term lecturer and student exchange in both directions.

How did it work?

To kick-off the COIL Project, student teams from both MBS and HWR Berlin had to independently find and develop their own Innovation Project assignment supervised by a lecturer; for example relating to SME business development or analyses of business models for startups and growth companies. 

Each MBS project team was then paired with one HWR Berlin project team. During the autumn 2021 semester, the teams came together in three Zoom workshops of 45mins on different aspects of innovation project development. 

The teams were encouraged to collaborate using other digital platforms outside of the Zoom workshops so they could share best practices in project development.

The HWR Berlin project teams and lecturers visited MBS between 19-22 November 2021. The MBS students visited HWR Berlin between 17-20 December 2021. Both visits included various activities involving local Entrepreneurship Societies, incubators/accelerators, business reps and other stakeholders. Equally important were the student-led social activities to immerse the visitors in local culture, and for simply having fun.

Read on to see what our students said …

“During their visit to Helsinki, MBS with Metropolia Entrepreneurship society organized an Arabia campus visit for our HWR teams. We also had an expert lecture on Entrepreneurship. The visiting students also got a chance to use XR-VR (virtual reality) devices. Including myself we were able to get hands on experience with this new technology.”

“At the first part of the Arabia campus workshops, the participants got to learn Metropolia UAS, Turbiini Incubator and Metropolia Entrepreneurship Society. Hannes Jesar provided a valuable presentation about the premises, Helsinki XR Center and everything the place facilitates; rising startups from Metropolia UAS and potential business ideas. Many events are held in Helsinki XR Center, such as SLUSH side event 2021, hackathons and speaker events.”

“..the project collaboration between the two schools educated a lot more about the cultures of being an entrepreneur in both countries, how to establish such a community and what are these kinds of entities in both countries, including Metropolia Entrepreneurship Society, Turbiini Incubator, START Berlin and Startup Incubator Berlin definitely brought more value to the course.”


“The workshop at the HWR Berlin Schöneberg campus on 16.12 was about how to find new innovative ideas for and transform those ideas into entrepreneurship. The workshop and exchange of ideas was beneficial for the project, and we even talked about creating an entrepreneurship society at HWR Berlin for students.”

German team visiting the Baltic sea in Helsinki

“The weekend and activities in Helsinki made the whole group become closer friends and understand the culture in Helsinki. Also some discussions of the two countries’ differences, price levels, taxation, culture, food and working methods were brought up during the weekend, giving a wider idea about how the countries work and operate.”

“The contrast between the eastern Berlin and western Berlin was an eye-opening thing to learn about, and we travelled from our hotels in the west to the eastern part many times for dinners and nights out.”

“We had an excellent time having lunch together with our pairs and talking about the differences between the teaching method they receive in Germany and what we receive in Finland.”

Project dinner

by Ross Kamarul-Baharin (Senior Lecturer)

with valued input from the following Metropolia Innovation Project students:

Nazim Alsaew, Henna Badrumonnir, Sonja Häyhä, Artur Jakusev, Nihal Kumcu,

Dhruvalkumar Patel, Harshana Perera, Leslie Simpia, Vijay Singh, Thomas Slatlem