This week eighty academics, entrepreneurs, and innovators from around the world gathered for the 8th annual Global Venture Lab sponsored by the Sutardja Center at Berkeley. Presenters discussed strategies for engaging students of entrepreneurship, patterns of successful ventures, best practices for measuring the success of entrepreneurship programs, and entrepreneurship education in Brazil, UK, Chile, Japan, Ireland, Finland, Jordan, the Netherlands, Australia, France, the Philippines, and elsewhere.
Bringing a unique perspective from Greece, Dr. Yannis Charalabidis from the University of the Aegean discussed his method for engaging students. For Charalabidis, the context in which entrepreneurship occurs is extremely important. The University of Aegean is special in that it is spread out among six Greek islands — each with a rich landscape and compelling history — making the area a popular tourist destination. To help students be successful, Charalabidis looks at the issues and needs of local businesses. By focusing on local demand, students can be sure that their efforts are focused on real problems. And by helping local businesses succeed, the University of the Aegean can solidify its value in the community.
The Kasvu Open is the largest competition for entrepreneurs looking to grow their companies in Finland. Dr. Mari Suoranta, Assistant Professor at the University of Jyväskylä explained the Kasvu Open process. This year over 800 businesses entered the competition (up from just thirty-five when the competition started in 2011) by submitting a growth plan in one of twenty-five growth tracks (internet of things, digital, gaming, etc.). Fifteen finalists from each growth track are chosen to ‘spar’ (i.e. pitch their ideas) at a semi-final event. From there 2-3 finalists are chosen in each category. Finalists will compete at the Kasvu Open Carnival in October 2016. Regardless of who wins, the Kasvu Open process benefits all participants by giving them the opportunity to pitch their ideas to over 900 seasoned experts in their industry. For more information see the Kasvu Open website and this report from the Central Finland Chamber of Commerce.
Let’s face it — it is tough being an entrepreneur. Good entrepreneurs have to accept risk, be prepared for failure, and devote all their energy to making their idea work. Dr. Olivier Younes, Founding CEO at EXPEN Affiliate Professor at HEC and visiting scholar at Berkeley presented his program for preparing students for the realities of entrepreneurship. His program includes elements such as challenging treks in Jura, learning crisis management from the Navy, having students “hard-sell” their idea during Christmas and academic courses and interaction with industry in Silicon Valley. Approximately 80% of students are successful in launching a startup through his program.
Sutardja Center Managing Director, Ken Singer, also defined the innovation collider, the summit’s guiding principle, and a key concept behind how innovation works. Singer explained that many students of entrepreneurship expect to find a special formula or method that will guarantee the success of their venture — but a universal formula for creating successful startups has yet to be discovered (and may never be).
In spite of this, researchers at the Sutardja Center have discovered patterns that do make success more likely — one of which is the innovation collider. The concept is this: by bringing together (i.e. colliding) people that are diverse in as many ways as possible, each person can bring unique perspective, knowledge, and skills to the group. As Dr. Sidhu, the Sutardja Center’s Chief Scientist and IEOR Professor related, “We are working on new models to form diverse teams using a Berkeley Method of Innovation framework.” That the collider method works as a method to spur on innovation makes sense as collaboration and networking are critical to the success of most entrepreneurs.
Many global partners will continue the collision next week by participating in the Sutardja Center’s BMoE Bootcamp. The bootcamp teaches students the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship, an approach focusing on traditional entrepreneurial techniques like tactics and infrastructure — but also uniquely focusing on the mindset of entrepreneurs as they tend to have specific behavioral patterns (such as adapting to failure and working to diversify their networks).
Thank you to all the global partners that traveled to Berkeley to join us. We look forward to another great summit next year — and many more collisions in the meantime!
GVL 2016 Introduction
Ikhlaq Sidhu, Ricardo San Martin, Charlotta Johnsson (Co-chairs)
“Intrepid Minds for the Medical 4.0 Industry”
Marcos Pinotti, UFMG, Brazil.
“Announcing Berkeley Innovation Index and Global Toolkit”
Ikhlaq Sidhu, UC Berkeley, USA.
“The emerging role of 3D printing in engineering and innovation Education”
Tim Minshall, University of Cambridge, UK.
“Collaborative work with UNICEF Innovation Labs in Nicaragua and Burundi.”
Pritpal Singh, Villanova University, USA.
“Innovation @ Arizona State University: The New American University”
Garret Westlake, Arizona State University, USA.
“Entrepreneurship and Innovation Education with Social and Economic Impact: Ambidexterity, Mindsets and Models.”
Brendan Galbraith, Ulster University, UK.
“A Management Model”
Carlos Arruda, FDC, Brazil
“Don’t Start A Company: How to teach students to be entrepreneurial rather than be entrepreneurs.” (possibly presented remotely)
Eric Koester, Georgetown
“Industry Change: Meat and Sustainability – The New Green Issue”
Indira Joshi of Samsung and Seetharam Param of VMware through UC Berkeley’s Engineering Leadership Professionals Program
“Block Chain, an Emerging Industry Area – Lessons learned in Corporate Innovation and in New Venture Creation”
Peter Shiau, Blockstack.io Founder
Speaker Michael Baum
“Entrepreneurship; the The Hague UAS ‘Design’ way”
Marcel Van Geffen, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands.
“Influencing Entrepreneurial Culture”
Rohan Workman; Charlie Day, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Mari Suoranta, JYU, Finland
“Entrepreneurship Accelerators in Greek Universities – The Aegean Startups Case: Perspectives and Opportunities for International Collaboration”
Yannis Charalabidis, University of the Aegean, Greece.
“Turning Students into Brave Entrepreneurs: The 45-year Experience with the HEC Entrepreneurs Method”
Olivier Younes, HEC Paris, France.
“Storage energy in molecular scale – Ionic motion in Nanopore”
Yamada Teppei , Kyushu University, Japan.
“Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Problem Solving (C3PS) in Multidisciplinary Teams”
Jonathan H Spindel, James Madison University
“European Innovation Academy, Extreme Entrepreneurship Summer Program”,
Johanna Tukk, European Innovation Academy
“Entrepreneurial University framework: The case of Jordanian University”
Abdelraheem Abualbasal, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Jordan.
“Student-Lead Start up Ecosystem – What it Takes to Have Students Run your Ecosystem”
Olli Vuola, Aalto University, Finland.