HARMONY pursues the vision of a significant increase of success chances of start-up intentions and innovative SMEs. The target group encompasses every party involved in the start-up support process, such as start-up coaches, centres of innovation and technology, investors, business angels, and the entrepreneurs themselves. Focus is the enhancement of quality of the support process as well as improved communications between the parties.
In spite of numerous national and private initiatives there is still a huge demand for extensive support for the initial stages of a business foundation. This is particularly true for the methodological area, for the co-operation of various parties, and particularly with regards to suitable, pragmatic tools. Support organisations in the field of business start-up nowadays are still missing a recognised quality standard; often the support process takes place with strong insufficiencies in efficiency and global networking. This usually means additional time exposure on the account of the start-up entrepreneur.
The HARMONY network formation, internet based knowledge management, and an adaptable, process oriented reference methodology have the aim to improve the quality and efficiency of start-up support. From several IMS regions expertise and practical experience is flowing into the project. At regular intervals open "national HARMONY circles of experts" are being arranged.
The methodology is being realised on the basis of the HARMONY software family, consisting of the entrance portal (Entrance Tool), the internet based knowledge- and project management system (KBT - Knowledge Base Tool), and the multimedia business plan writer (Innovation Project Configurator), together with the training modules and the possibility of an academic online qualification at the University of South Australia. Core centre is the KBT as a web based software platform for virtually organised incubators. It offers an information system for professional start-up coaches, supports the collaboration in cooperative networks, and allows for access to practice proven knowledge and experts.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts