Advisory Board supports strategic efforts
The CBS Entrepreneurship Advisory Board is charged with supporting the strategic efforts of the platform and contributing with expertise to help CBS stimulate entrepreneurship in Denmark.
Photo: Christoffer Regild
INTERVIEW Founding a knowledge-intensive company requires the right educational ballast, says one of the three members of the Entrepreneurship Platform Advisory Board, Kirsten Drejer. An entrepreneur herself and the founder of the biopharmaceutical company Symphogen, she knows what it takes to launch a start-up, raise capital, develop the organization, etc. She occasionally gives lectures to entrepreneurship students at CBS and the Technical University of Denmark, because she knows how inspiring it can be for students to meet and learn from someone who has first-hand entrepreneurial experience. She believes that lectures for students, seminars with businesses and researchers and study projects for companies are good ways of facilitating knowledge transfer between research institutions and the private sector.
Board should contribute with expertise stimulating entrepreneurship
Promoting increased cooperation on entrepreneurship between CBS and business and industry is a key goal for the three Advisory Board members: Kirsten Drejer, CEO of Symphogen, Jørgen Bardenfleth, the former CEO of Microsoft Denmark and chairman at Symbion A/S, and Anders Hoffmann, deputy director general of the Danish Business Authority.
The Entrepreneurship Platform’s Advisory Board is charged with supporting the strategic efforts of the platform and contributing with expertise to help CBS stimulate entrepreneurship in Denmark.
Important link to potential employers for CBS graduates
Research, quality education and high academic requirements are essential conditions for producing graduates who are capable of becoming professional entrepreneurs, Kirsten Drejer explains:
‘I also see the role of the Advisory Board as an important link between the educational institution and the potential employers for the graduates to ensure that the graduates have the necessary ballast to contribute to entrepreneurship in Danish society,’ she says.
Research into entrepreneurial ecosystems
Anders Hoffmann has worked with entrepreneurship at the Danish Business Authority for more than ten years. He agrees that the contributions of the Entrepreneurship Platform can help ensure a high academic level and also bring about a stronger focus on facts in the debate about entrepreneurship. One of his tasks at the Danish Business Authority is to promote the recommendations of the growth teams appointed by the Danish government. He wants to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Denmark and refers to Professor Daniel Isenberg at Babson College in Boston. In Professor Isenberg’s definition, an area that has one highly successful company (with an annual turnover of DKK20-30 million) per 100.000 inhabitants has a healthy sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem capable of driving growth.
‘One key research focus for CBS Entrepreneurship might be to study what it takes to support and facilitate this sort of ecosystem,’ Anders Hoffmann suggests.
Anders Hoffmann sees a need for more knowledge about what is needed to become a growth entrepreneur, and what the effect is of the government funds dedicated to entrepreneurship in Denmark – issues where CBS could contribute with research.
Promoting cooperation with other research institutions
Jørgen Bardenfleth also sees a role for the Entrepreneurship Platform’s Advisory Board in promoting and facilitating CBS’ cooperation with other education and research institutions. He highlights the cooperation between the Technical University of Denmark, CBS and the University of Copenhagen in the Copenhagen Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab – CIEL within the Copenhagen Science Region. In his dual role as an Advisory Board member and the chairman of the board of three companies and the entrepreneurial environment Symbion, which collaborates with all three institutions, he is convinced that he can promote a joint approach to knowledge production and a broader dissemination of knowledge both among the faculty and the students of all three universities.
‘Within this partnership, CBS, the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen are stronger than they would be, acting as three individual institutions,’ he says.
Bridges between research and business and industry
The Entrepreneurship Platform should help develop new ways for research to contribute to new companies, products or services, says Jørgen Bardenfleth.
‘One new way of building a bridge between research and business and industry would be to allow the new graduates to return to the educational institution during the initial years of their professional career, instead of the way it is today, where the door is shut as soon as they graduate,’ he explains. Jørgen Bardenfleth sees this as a potential means of achieving a systematic exchange of knowledge between research and business and industry.
‘I see the role of the Advisory Board members as “practice theorists”: professionals who apply theory in practice and, conversely, who test what works in practice, so that we can integrate that into our theoretical knowledge,’ says Kirsten Drejer, and adds,
‘It is crucial that we reflect our knowledge back to CBS and the Entrepreneurship Platform.’
Text: Irene Houstrup & Dorthe Mejlhede
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