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Global Strategies for Ambitious Entrepreneurs

1/11/2013 7:45 PM - 1/12/2013 1:15 AM

"Global Strategies for Ambitious Entrepreneurs" is an interactive workshop designed to help founders and executives from early-stage high-growth ventures succeed in the global market place; and to encourage anyone considering the startup path to explore opportunities, build their skills and get started in business.

In partnership with the University of Edinburgh and RBS Inspiring Enterprise, supported by Heriot-Watt Univeristy, this half-day programme will address the challenges of "Building an A Team" and "The Importance of Good Advice".

The key "case study" during this workshop is Airbnb. Written and delivered by Professor Joseph B. Lassiter, Harvard Business School, this is the story of their journey from kitchen table, to Y-Combinator and on to global success; through building the right team.

"Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, the three founders of Airbnb, an online private accommodation rental market, stared at each other across the kitchen table in their San Francisco apartment. It was March of 2009. A single sheet of paper sat on the table in front of them. The three founders were on the verge of finishing the three month program at YCombinator (YC), a business accelerator located in Mountain View, CA." (Read more).

Delivered by experienced entrepreneurs, angel investors and educators:

Professor Joseph B. Lassiter - Harvard Business School.

Kenneth P. Morse - Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor.

Featuring the "story so far" on Leith based blipfoto by founder Joe Tree.


11.45 - 12.45 Arrival, registration and networking lunch.

12.45 - 13.00 Welcome from RBS and introduction to Joe Lassiter and Ken Morse

13.00 - 14.30 Joe Lassiter: Building an A Team: Arbnb (pre-reading)*

14.30 - 15.00 Networking break and iceabreaker facilitated by Andrew Mitchell

15.00 - 15.15 Joe Tree: blipfoto's journey of angel investment and global ambition.

15.15 - 16.45 Ken Morse: "More than money: the Importance of Good Advice" - Selecting, managing and understanding Boards and Advisors.

16.45 - 17.15 Open Q&A from audience to Joe and Ken.

17.15 - 17.20 Closing remarks from Dr Olga Kozlova, Enterprise Creation Manager, Heriot-Watt University.

* The Harvard Business School pre-reading case on Airbnb will be provided to workshop particpants upon registration.


Professor Joseph B. Lassiter

Senator John Heinz Professor of Management Practice in Environmental Management

Harvard Business School

Faculty Chair, Harvard Innovation Lab

Joe teaches Entrepreneurial Finance and Innovation in Business, Energy and Environment in the MBA Program as well as courses in the Executive Education Program. He is Faculty Chair of the University-wide Harvard Innovation Lab. His academic and professional work focuses on high-potential ventures, including both those formed as new companies and those formed within existing organizations.

From 1994 to 1996, Joe was President of Wildfire Communications, a telecommunications software venture backed by Matrix Partners and Greylock Management. From 1977 to 1994, Joe was a Vice President of Teradyne (NYSE/ automatic test equipment) and a member of its Management Committee. Joe joined Teradyne in 1974 as a Product Manager while on sabbatical from MIT. As a general manager, he was responsible for organizations ranging from start-ups to international, multi-plant businesses. As an individual contributor, he was best known for his work on product development/ sales management problems and on the application of TQM methods to business planning and control.

Joe began his career at MIT's Department of Ocean Engineering as an Instructor in 1970 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1972. He developed and taught a course on marine mineral resource economics. He lectured in hydrodynamics, marine transportation, and computer simulation modeling. In a joint program with Harvard Law School, he lectured on marine legal / regulatory policy. His research focused on forecasting economic and environmental consequences of offshore oil and gas development. He was appointed to the MIT-led National Academy of Engineering study on the future of engineering education. Joe received his BS, MS, and PhD from MIT and was awarded National Science, Adams and McDermott Fellowships. He was elected to Sigma Xi.

Kenneth P. Morse

Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor

Visiting Professor, ESADE Business School

Founding Managing Director, MIT Entrepreneurship Center (1996-2009)

Member, US Department of Commerce, NACIE (2011-present)

Member, Telefónica Disruptive Council

Ken Morse has been a high performance leader in global high tech sales and sales management for 35 + years.

Ken was a co-founder of six high-tech companies, together with MIT friends and classmates. Five of these ventures had successful IPOs or mergers; one was a disaster. They included 3Com Corporation, Aspen Technology, Inc., a China Trade Company, a biotech venture, and an expert systems company. Ken was either the CEO or responsible for part or all of the Sales organisation in each of these new enterprises. During his 4+ years as Managing Director of AspenTech (AZPN) Europe SA/NV, Ken’s team achieved 18 consecutive quarters of on-target sales performance by building close strategic relationships with the leading chemical and pharma companies throughout the region. He grew the AspenTech EMEA organization from 22 to 200+ employees with basically zero staff turnover, and expanded sales revenue 600% - 900% with key client relationships.

In the thirteen years that Ken served as Founding Managing Director MIT Entrepreneurship Center (1996 – 2009), the number of students taking Entrepreneurship Courses increased from 220 to 1,600 per year while the number of professors grew from 3 to over 36. He conceived and led the week-long MIT Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP), which over the past ten years has trained more than 1,000 global entrepreneurs in an intensive on campus executive education program. Ken was named “Education All Star” by “Mass High Tech” magazine, and was a member of the MIT Enterprise Forum Global Board (2009-2011).

Currently, Ken is a Visiting Professor at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona and holds a Chair in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Competitiveness at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. Ken also serves on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Washington DC run by the US Department of Commerce for President Obama; which recently launched “Startup America” among other initiatives.

Joe Tree

Founder and CEO

Blipfoto Limited

Blipfoto is a social network based on a very simple idea – taking and sharing just one photo a day. An incredibly active and vibrant community has grown around this addictive concept. currently delivers over 17 million monthly page views to an audience of 285,000 individuals in more than 175 countries, and hosts over 2.5 million photos.

In 2012, the company completed its second round of seed funding, which will be spent building a scalable customer acquisition model in the UK and USA, growing the team and building towards VC-level investment in 2013.

Joe Tree's background is in photography and graphic design. In 1995, at the age of 22, he co-founded an interactive media agency which went on to work for dozens of household names including Adobe, John Lewis, The National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh. Blipfoto was borne out of that company and is now Joe's sole focus.

Learn More: Global Strategies for Ambitious Entrepreneurs

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