Welcome to the third issue of i-MBA Scope! I like to start with conveying the news that since mid-October last year I have become the new Director of the MBA International Program. After 10 years of tremendous devotion and great success, Professor George Ioannou desired to step aside but will remain Associate Director so we will continue to work closely together for the greatest benefit of the Program, as we have done over all these years. Although I am not new to the program, having acted as Head of Academics since 2007, there are many additional and new challenges that I have to live up to, which I hope to achieve successfully with the continuing support of Professor Ioannou, the administrative team, faculty colleagues, the students in the Program, our active alumni, and, of course, recruiters and business community stakeholders. I thank all for their long-lasting and ongoing support of the MBA International and look forward to collaborating and interacting with the i-MBA community over the years to come.
My background is in Engineering, with a BSc-MSc from Sweden, complemented with a Doctor of Business Administration from the UK in the area of Product Development and Innovation, which are also my main areas of teaching and research. In terms of research, I currently focus on Open Innovation and the organizational transformations and performance impacts that OI brings about, an area where we also had the honor of hosting Professor Henry Chesbrough in an interview in the first issue of i-MBA Scope. Innovation needs passionate people; innovation needs entrepreneurs, and this brings us to the focal topic of this issue, which is Entrepreneurship.
In the MBA International we place special emphasis on teaching practical entrepreneurial skill and instilling entrepreneurial thinking among all students. The best proof of success are the many alumni who have started and developed successful businesses, but also the many applicants and current students that enter the program as small- or family business owners, or aspiring new venturers with promising ideas for startups.
The three lead articles present different but highly complementary views on entrepreneurship. Ms. Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), an influential voice and advocate for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the United States, shares precious advice on why and how setting out on an entrepreneurial route. Answering questions formulated by i–MBA students, she also talks about challenges and scripts for success, including advice for women entrepreneurs. A few years ago Ms. Kerrigan visited the i-MBA and we are very happy to reconnect again.
In the second article, Professor George Doukidis presents the activities and achievements of AUEB’s incubation center, the Athens Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEin). Created to support students and researchers who wish to turn their innovative entrepreneurial ideas or scientific research results into a sustainable business model and develop a start-up, ACEin focuses on training and mentoring, besides providing also physical resources. An impressing number of start-ups have already been successfully incubated in ACEin, which is a strong proof of AUEB’s devotion to preparing its students and graduates for a successful future. We encourage all the i-MBA community to find out more about ACEin and reach out for interaction and potential collaborations.
The third lead article is written by Mr. Yiannis Giokas, Vice President R&D, PCCW Global, and i-MBA Alumnus, class of 2007. He takes us on an exciting tour of his many entrepreneurial experiences, both in Greece and abroad, and provides insights and advice about how to keep up the momentum and grow as an entrepreneur and as an individual.
Finally, in the Career and Alumni Corner, Mr. Konstantinos Gouliaris, Product Architect at Biocidetech and i-MBA Alumnus, tells his career story, provides useful career advice and shares his views on Entrepreneurship. Further, the important topic of recruiting people for startup companies is brought up by Ms. Dorothea Chadou of Randstad Greece.
The newsletter also contains suggested links to entrepreneurship related topics, as well as information about recent events.
With best wishes for a happy and fruitful continuation of 2018,
Asc. Professor Klas-Eric Soderquist, Director, MBA International program