«These have been four inspirational and educational days. Bill Aulet is extremely experienced within the field of entrepreneurship and an excellent lecturer. I loved what he said about entrepreneurs; that they should have ‘the spirit of a pirate and the skills of a navy seal’. I am looking forward to assisting more pirates in our region becoming disciplined and structured navy seals”, says Rannveig Tobiassen, Project Manager at incubator Innoventus South.
The University of Agder hosted the Entrepreneurship Summer School in Kristiansand and Grimstad, which attracted participants from Ålesund to Oslo.
“The Summer School is an entrepreneurship accelerator program aimed to strengthen entrepreneurs and small companies’ expertise and scale-up potential. Students left the course equipped with a proven, systematic and rigorous approach to growing their business to new heights,” says Bjørn-Tore Flåten, Head of the Department of Management and Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Agder.
THE JOURNEY IS NOT EASY
The course was developed in close collaboration with GCE NODE, Innoventus South, Mechatronics Innovation Lab, CoWorx and Innovation Norway – and taught by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Bill Aulet.
“It has been great to meet Norwegian entrepreneurs. My goal was to teach them skills that will increase their chances of success. They need to understand that the journey is not easy. And that they have to do a lot of hard work and be systematic when pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams,” says Aulet.
As Managing Director at the Martin Trust Center, Aulet is responsible for entrepreneurship across all five schools at MIT, starting with education but also extending well outside the class room with student clubs, conferences, competitions, networking events, awards, hackathons, student trips, and accelerators.
The Summer School is part of MIT REAP, the Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program, which provides opportunities for communities around the world to engage with MIT in an evidence-based, practical approach to strengthening innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems.
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Rune Wold, CTO at Engineering Systems, appreciated the opportunity to take part in this year’s course in Kristiansand and Grimstad.
“The classes were very interesting and provided insight in to ‘the MIT way’. Personally, I learned new techniques and how these can be applied to a company. The timing is great for us at Engineering Systems, as we will take a new product to the market by the end of this year,” says Wold.
His appraisal was echoed by a representative of a fellow GCE NODE company, Vidar Tregde at CeWave.
“I am a tech person, currently involved in both product development and setting up a new business. That is why this course was so interesting. It has been four intense and exhausting days, but I am super happy to have been a part of this,” says Tregde.
Six Norwegian universities collaborate with MIT on this project. They are the University of Agder, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), University of Bergen, University of Stavanger, the Norwegian Business School (BI), and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.