SCET’s new partnership brings Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship to Denmark


August 24, 2017

The Open Entrepreneurship Initiative team visits SCET at the Global Venture Lab in August, 2017. From left to right: Anne Kathrine Holm Eriksen, ITU; Maija Strala, AU; Sune Nordentoft Lauritsen, DTU; Anne Sofie Dahlmann Breindahl, AU; Peter Rasmussen, AAU; Julie Seung Hee Rømer, DTU; Jes Broeng, DTU (not pictured)
The Open Entrepreneurship Initiative team visits SCET at the Global Venture Lab in August, 2017.

SCET is supporting the Technical University of Denmark’s new Open Entrepreneurship Initiative to help bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and researchers in Denmark with the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship (BMoE), a hands-on approach to learning entrepreneurship that emphasizes understanding the mindset and behaviors of successful entrepreneurs

The Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET) at the University of California, Berkeley is partnering with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) to advise on their new Open Entrepreneurship Initiative, an effort that seeks to commercialize technology and bring value to society by connecting researchers with experienced entrepreneurs.

SCET will work with the group behind Open Entrepreneurship to help Danish researchers become more entrepreneurial with inspiration from the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship (BMoE), an approach to educating entrepreneurs developed at Berkeley.

BMoE helps students learn to be entrepreneurs by not only studying traditional business models and cases, but by helping students understand the psychology of innovation. Successful entrepreneurs tend to share similar mindsets and behaviors such as being open to risk, trusting others, being willing to fail, and a belief in one’s ability to succeed.

One key differentiator is that Open Entrepreneurship focuses primarily on researchers whereas SCET focuses on educating undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in entrepreneurship. The researchers might not have the same entrepreneurial aspirations, but Open Entrepreneurship seeks to stretch their mindset and inform them about entrepreneurial opportunities. This will be accomplished by matching the researchers with experienced entrepreneurs. It is important that there is a mutual trust between researcher and entrepreneur for this to succeed.

“People and relations are important when you have to build bridges between knowledge and industry. The right people need to be involved when research has to be transformed to commercial success,” says Jes Broeng, head of Open Entrepreneurship and professor at DTU Fotonik.

This match between leading researchers and experienced entrepreneurs will lead to new, sustainable businesses that will better utilize the wealth of research conducted at DTU and Danish partner universities AAU, AU and ITU.  Bridging the gap between the two mindsets represented by researchers and entrepreneurs will help facilitate an open environment, which will be vital to collaboration between these diverse groups.

“An open environment is a key element for creating an innovative community,” said Dr. Ikhlaq Sidhu, faculty director for the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET), professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering & Operations Research at UC Berkeley, and head of the Open Entrepreneurship international advisory board, “We are excited to apply the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship with the Open Entrepreneurship Initiative. We believe this will help remove barriers between researchers and entrepreneurs, and enable them to collaborate in an environment where they can use their unique skillsets to create valuable companies.”

The agenda for creating new businesses, and making our research alive in industry has been important to us in recent years. We have come a long way, but can always go further, and so we see Open Entrepreneurship as a good opportunity to get even better in this area,” says Marianne Thellersen, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

As various academic and industrial perspectives come together, the initiative cultivates an open-minded culture that ultimately boosts new business creation. Open Entrepreneurship (OE) is composed of leading researchers at Danish universities (Aalborg University, Aarhus University, IT University of Copenhagen & Technical University of Denmark), the Sutardja Center at UC Berkeley, and a network of experienced entrepreneurs.

Industriens Fond, also known as The Danish Industry Foundation, is a foundation that works to strengthen the Danish industry through supporting innovative projects with large potential. The Foundation provided Open Entrepreneurship with a DKK 35 million grant that will greatly contribute to the initiative’s vision to become a leading technology commercialization community that generates value for society.

Julie Seung Hee Rømer and Keith McAleer also contributed to this story.