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Entrepreneurship: Units and Elements - Grenoble INP - EMIRACLE

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Entrepreneurship: Units and Elements

Published: April 2, 2012
 
Unit 1. Shaping Ideas

Unit 2. Innovation Transfer

Unit 3. Knowledge Networking

Unit 4. Empowerment by Learning Organisation Environments

Unit 5. Facilitators of Entrepreneurship

Unit 6. Selected aspects
 
Unit 1. Shaping Ideas
This unit focuses on issues concerned with the transfer of knowledge and technology from the academic environment to the competitive market. These issues are known to represent key success factors of entrepreneurship in the academic domain. a. Key Success Factors for Entrepreneurship The aim of the element is to describe the main topics, which young entrepreneurs have to understand in order to make a relevant decision how they will transfer the product / service / innovation to the market.
  • General lifecycle from idea to production
  • Key success factors (providing latest market research statistics)
  • Understanding finances (ex. topics like: Dynamic of financing, Business models for exploitation, etc.)
  • References to study programs and models
  • Understanding marketing of product; References to study programs and models
  • Understanding the legal issues; References to study programs and models
  • Understanding the risks with entrepreneurship.
b. Forming the Mindset of Students Forming the minds of students means to train them in applying systematic techniques to find innovative solutions to concrete problems. The method envisaged in this skill element is to create a library of case studies which demonstrate the key issues about creating ideas for innovative solutions. Most of them are based on the student's capability of taking into account basic proven principles from several different domains. Some particular subjects adressed are:
  • Experimental Learning
  • Use modern IT Facilities (Web,  Knowledge Databases, etc.) to  increase the understanding of the  Idea, gain deep insight
  • Using real working Examples (Prototyping)
  • Thinking about potential applications of concrete Research in different Contexts
c. Methods for structuring Ideas The aim of the element is to provide methods for structuring the ideas based on the integration of complementary networked skills and in such a way that they address specific problems, and have a long term broader vision for development. Students specifically would learn to
  • Understand the Belkin and similar innovation theory models where a mix of complementary roles forms the basis for innovative teams and results. The components of the service / product shall be matched onto these skills.
  • Understand how to map ideas / solutions onto specific problems to provide answers for industry
  • Do a joint goals analysis to formulate a vision for the future service / product and structure the idea aligned with the vision.
Unit 2. Innovation Transfer
This unit focuses on issues concerned with the transfer of knowledge and technology from the academic environment to the competitive market. These issues are known to represent key success factors of entrepreneurship in the academic domain. a. Creating joint Visions of Products and Services Several types of modern products create customer value in combination with associated services. Furthermore, in many sectors margins are significantly higher in services than in products. It is thus increasingly important to think about services associated to a certain product in the very early product development phases. This process can be highly facilitated by bringing together as many stakeholders of the product life-cycle as possible, in order to make them exchange knowledge about requirements and constraints with respect to a specific product and its life-cycle. This element gives an introduction into methods that help carry out this knowledge networking task with the target to create a vision about the future product and its associated services that is shared by as many different stakeholders as possible. b. From Protoypes to Products A significant number of Start-Ups fail due to the fact that effort for supporting one or several products on the market has been underestimated. The way from a research propotype to a sellable product that provides a certain level of quality is typically very long one. The necessity and the efforts of supporting the product once it is in the hands of customers is also often not sufficiently considered. This learning element focuses on the key factors that have to be taken into account before actually taking the direction to the creation of product out of a product idea or a protoype, including risk management issues. c. Business Potential Profiling The aim of the element is to describe the needs of industry on the one hand and researchers or research organizations on the other hand for successful knowledge and technology transfer. Technology transfer defines the process of transformation of the results of research and development into marketable products or services. Best practices will be introduced how to find out about the needs of industry and academia for collaboration needs and knowledge and technology transfer. d. Preparing Innovation Transfer Contracts The aim of the element is to describe the different types of collaboration that are available for knowledge and technology transfer. Best practices will be introduced how to find out about the best suitable collaboration types for industry and research organizations. The element will also highlight the Dos and Don'ts on how to choose the right type of collaboration for knowledge and technology transfer.
Unit 3. Knowledge Networking
In the ResEUr qualification, Knowledge Networking is considered the core competence area for entrepreneurs. Networking knowledge from several different domains and sectors can create the decisive competitive advantage of modern and future-oriented enterprises. The unit highlights several significant factors of this networking paradigm with special relevance for enterprise creators in the academic domain. a. Complementary Skills Networking The aim of the element is to provide examples and experiences from success cases about how to build and become integrated into complementary skills networks. Students will hear about specific success stories including
  • The campus company concept (ppol of students offering skills as services to industry)
  • The company spin off concept (find a community of a mixture of companies, university institutions to support a spin-off)
  • The integration in conferences and networking concept
  • The topic driven community building and extracting of ideas concept
  • The main reasons why such models were working
 The element will also deal with principles that can be drawn from these case studies. The added value of using modern Web 2.0 facilities for applying the discussed skills will also be pointed out. b. Business and Services Networking The aim of the element is to provide examples and experiences from success cases about how to interface with real business networks (not only student and development networks). Students will learn to
  • Understand the rules and behavior in business networks
  • Know the main differences and potential synergies between research and business networks and how to identify and exploit such synergies
  • Typical situations / concepts to get linked up with business networks and build on a group of customers
  • Understand the requirements for services to allow business customers accepting solutions from young researchers.
The added value of using modern Web 2.0 facilities for applying the discussed skills will also be pointed out. c. Use of Web 2.0 In all the skill elements the possibilities the Web 2.0 offers to promote, network and discuss an idea/research or business field should be taken into account. Various possibilities should be explained and discussed:
  • Social-Networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, StudiVZ e.g.)
  • Professional/Business Networking sites (XING, LinkedIn, BoardEx, Yahoo! Kickstart etc.) - Professional/Business Discussion Forums and User Groups (e.g. SPICE User Group ...)
  • Creating his own blog and promoting it
  • Write a Wikipedia article about your idea/research, add a link to your website
  • Using Video-Sharing sites for demonstrations of your research and ideas (e.g. YouTube)
  • etc.
Unit 4. Empowerment by Learning Organisation Environments
This unit puts the concept of the Learning Organisation in the middle of the successful entreprise creation. a. Openness and Team Learning The aim of the element is to provide methods for training openness, for new strategies in knowledge sharing in a team and its advantages, and for feedback and leadership approaches accepting and empowering the integration of new ideas. Students will specifically learn
  • The requirements for a team learning culture and how to exploit it
  • The requirements for openness principles and how to socially train/exercise openness
  • The requirements of team (leadership) styles allowing innovation to grow and to empower new ideas.
b. Leadership and Team Motivation Factors This skill element will focus on:
  • Leadership behavior when considering the entrepreneurial attitude (style, emotions, self motivation) - individual behavior;
  • Leadership by a group (leadership teams, action oriented team leadership skills for cross-functional teams) - group/team behavior.
c. Social Skills paured with Technical Abilities This skill element's objective is to train students in the field of social communication based on the valorization of their emotional intelligence.  The key elements that will be trained are related to:
  • The intellectual capital concept and its relation/effects to entrepreneurship development;
  • Social communication skills development - elements that are derivered from the emotional intelligence efects in the research-entrepreneur field and that are linked with behavior attitude like adaptation, integration, differentiation, complexity and complementarity.
  • Social responsibility.
  • Multicultural skills.
Unit 5. Facilitators of Entrepreneurship
This unit provides highly condensed and concise information about key issues of entrepreneurship, which are typically taught in seminars which are currently offered by various institutions. The unit, however, does not want to replace such seminars and courses, but it rather seeks to give the student a convenient means of reflexion on whether sHe needs formation in the repective competence areas, and where sHe can find complementary courses.
a. European Facilitators of Entrepreneurship The aim of the element is to provide information which institutions, programs, infrastructure, etc is available at European level.
  • Knowledge about Entrepreneurship available on EU level (portals, models)
  • Facilitating systems at the EU level (scholarships for young researchers, opportunities for funded projects)
  • Funding opportunities
  • Other facilitators (Business angels, scholarships, etc.).
b. National Facilitators of Entrepreneurship The aim of the element is to provide information which institutions, programs, infrastructure, etc is available in certain countries in order to facilitate the entrepreneurship. The content of the element should be tailored on the basis of situation in each country where the seminar is given.
  • Graduate programs on Entrepreneurship
  • Facilitating systems at the government level (scholarships for young researchers, opportunities for projects)
  • Supporting programs at universities and research institutions
  • Incubators
  • Interest of industry
  • etc.
Unit 6. Selected aspects
This unit contains a selection of skill elements that are considered very interesting and relevant for the target audience of ResEUr, and which are implicitly part of all the other skill units and elements.
a. Risk Consideration and Mitigation Risk issues should be taken into account in the elaboration of all the skill elements. The focus should be set on:
  • Risk identification by their typology and by identifing their potential sources;
  • Risk awareness and evaluation;
  • Entrepreners' behavior when they confront with risk (risk adversity behavior);
  • Risk mitigation.
b. Open Innovation Innovative enterprises that are successful in the modern knowledge-based networked economy have succeeded to drive their innovation in knowledge networks rather than in hermetically protected research departments. Open Innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology. The boundaries between a firm and its environment have become more permeable; innovations can easily transfer inward and outward. The central idea behind open innovation is that in a world of widely distributed knowledge, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions (e.g. patents) from other companies. In addition, internal inventions not being used in a firm's business should be taken outside the company (e.g., through licensing, joint ventures, spin-offs). This element introduces these key concepts of Open Innovation to the student.
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ResEUr was supported  by the European Commission under the Leonardo da Vinci programme
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