A more updated entry is in: Revitalize technology-based companies (ETBs)
The idea for this post was provided to me by the magnificent speech by Professor Senén Barro, former Rector of the University of Santiago de Compostela, on the occasion of his admission to the Academy of Doctors. His experience leading the Emprendia Network makes his criteria the starting point for any reflection on these issues. I share some:
Undertaking, in any facet of life, involves kissing many toads before the prince or princess appears.
In Spain it seems that success does not have to give explanations but that failure has no apology.
Many rectors have faced the challenge of creating an entrepreneurial culture in universities. Senén quote Uniemprende (USC), Innovate (CPU) Institute Ideas (UPV) as examples of attempts to eliminate taboos, encourage changes in attitudes in the academy and generate potential entrepreneurial initiatives among teachers and students. They are very interesting initiatives that we must emulate and project.
In any case, the only reflection that I would like to bring up here is very simple: UNIVERSITIES SHOULD OBSESS WITH THE COMPANY CREATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP. With six million unemployed in the making and the inability to regain comparative advantages in traditional sectors, our country should redefine its economic base by promotingknowledge startups of teachers and students. A greater social commitment is necessary in the challenge of regenerating our economic fabric. With no prospects for a new splendor of brick, it is well worth exploring the potential of knowledge.
A culture of technology-based companies
If I ask in one of my classes, how many of you could be entrepreneurs? (even adding "if they force you") I barely get 3% affirmative answers. And we are talking about university students specialized in economics and business. And, furthermore, in an environment where the unemployment rate for young people is currently over 50% and the expectations of finding an interesting job in the coming years in Spain are quite low.
A few weeks after getting to know my students better, I perceive in a great majority of them good ideas, capacity for initiative, interest in everything related to entrepreneurship, attitudes and aptitudes to promote interesting business projects ... I sense that we castrate their entrepreneurial vocation after a system not very inclined to consider the creation of companies. And this is what we must urgently change.
Do we, teachers, lead by example? How many successful technology-based companies have teachers created in recent years? Few, very few. Very insufficient. Perhaps our mentality, our attitudes (and aptitudes) are not very conducive and receptive to these types of challenges.
The landscape our students face is well worth the effort to create a company culture at the university. There is a magnificent base of knowledge, training, projects, ideas, innovative capacity… BUT LITTLE COMPANY CULTURE. We feel quite a bit of entrepreneurial inhibition.
Perhaps there are plenty of excuses: lack of funding, weakness of our ecosystems, etc. Important, but not essential to move forward.
We must delve into everything that contributes to creating a company culture in universities. I observe with admiration and not a little envy how some Spaniards who have been successful in Silicon Valley obtained their first aid from a venture capital fund owned by professors from universities in the area. We are still a long way from this. But you have to start walking, to reduce distances.
What is our attitude (and aptitude) when a final year student asks us that he wants to start a company? We probably discourage you. Thus, we have many millions of people looking for jobs and few, very few, willing to create them ...
Issues related to a culture of technology-based companies and university entrepreneurship