Global Entrepreneurship Lab
Ted Zoller, vice president entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation
Understanding Growth Around the World
The Global Entrepreneurship Lab is a graduate level course and study trip designed to expose aspiring entrepreneurs to global startups as an integral part of an international venture. Students work in teams serving as consultants to a high-growth start-up venture in a global market. They become an instrumental part of the management team of the venture, working directly with the founder.
Many of the students have compiled distinguished records of accomplishment in the corporate world and are ready to pursue their second act as entrepreneurs. The Global Entrepreneurship Lab allows them to explore their own venturing concepts and test them on a global platform.
During the lab students work directly with the start-up management team for a range of innovative high-growth start-up ventures based in Denmark. They conduct targeted strategic analyses of the global business models of early stage companies, representing typical profiles of start-up firms that typify the latest entrepreneurial trends in the global marketplace.
While examining the venture's strategy, students also explore the product, innovation, market space and delivery and channel mechanism. Students work with the instructor to analyze each venture using a five key elements of strategy: its "meaning" in the market through its value proposition, its model, market, management and money or financing strategy.
The course compares the approaches in various cultures across the globe toward entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on start-up ventures based on advanced technology innovation. This course is designed to expose students to the differences globally toward entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise development.
The lab is fully integrated into the existing coursework in entrepreneurship in the MBA for Executives program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Symbion Research Park in Copenhagen, Denmark is the host for the 2011 GEL. Symbion is a unique international private accelerator for advanced technology ventures in domains as varied as bio, IT, clean tech and engineering and applied science. The lab also arranges a series of experiences working with entrepreneurs throughout Europe in multiple settings.
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