Lerchendal-konferansen har blitt kalt for Norges svar på Davos, en møteplass for toppledere fra Norsk industri, forskningsmiljøer og offentlig forvaltning. Temaet for årets konferanse er “Fra visjoner til handling – norsk konkurransekraft i en digital verden”. Med foredrag fra profiler som Statsminister Erna Solberg, teknologisjef i Microsoft Shahzad Rana og konsernsjef i SINTEF Alexandra Bech Gjørv er det et fullspekket program som virkelig setter innovasjon i fokus.
Som studenter ved NTNU og håpefulle gründere har noen av oss vært heldige nok til å få delta i år. Gjennom gode diskusjoner rundt bordene, paneldebatter og gode foredrag får vi virkelig tatt pulsen på samfunnsutviklingen i Norge. Her har vi tatt tak i rektor ved NTNU, Gunnar Bovim, for å snakke litt om viktigheten av studier som NTNU’s Entreprenørskole.
Hvis det er en ting vi tar med oss videre så kan det oppsumeres med et sitat fra Generaldirektør for Forskning og Innovasjon I EU, Wolfgang Burtscher:
“Innovation has never happened so fast before and it will never be so slow again”
Although NTNU School of Entrepreneurship (NSE) has bred forth numerous new ventures, tech development in world class, and graduates with extensive knowledge and experience in entrepreneurship, its students are also presenting academic work with high standards. Through NSE’s years of existence, a number of Master’s theses have been written; investigating interesting topics, answering important questions, and providing the students with an insight into the world of academic writing. Some of these theses had, and still have, a potential of being important for researchers, scholars and practitioners. Thus, these theses should neither be forgotten, nor defined as just an academic task, because, as you will see below, NSE fosters more than new ventures.
In 2018, NSE celebrates its fifteenth anniversary and as a part of the celebration, the faculty has gathered fifteen theses from prior NSE students, and intend to present three of these theses each month onward. The theses presented will be a variety of academic prodigies, timely written investigations and theses not necessarily meaningful to the majority of the world, but with topics of profound importance to NSE’s students. Some will carry limited empirical foundation, nevertheless with impressive results. Others have a data collection that would cause professors to become envy, but where the students still handled the data in an impressive manner. Moreover, all of the above show the impressive span in the students’ theses.
In this series of presentations, we intend to provide you with an overview of what NSE students focus on, what outcomes the Master’s theses could give, and what the students themselves think of their theses – some of which written more than a decade ago! You will therefore find abstracts and interviews with the authors of the presented theses. If some of the works are of interest to you, the majority of the theses are available at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s library. If they are not available, we assume the authors would be happy to share some of their knowledge.
We hope you will enjoy reading!
– The faculty of NSE
This week, the NSE students are in Åre, Sweden. It is an annual trip that most students at NTNU take part in, at least once during their time in Trondheim. Combining good friends, creative people, snowy mountains and a pulsating après ski and nightlife, makes it a trip you will not forget. As many teams were recently formed, Åre is a great place to develop stronger bonds on a social level. Here’s Lina, Eline, Siw-Cathrine, and Ingrid enjoying the steep slopes and heated ski lifts.
2017 has just come to an end, and here at NSE the wheels are already turning. The 4th year students have spent their Christmas vacation preparing for the upcoming startup adventure. The 5th year students, on the other hand, have reached their 10th and last semester as students and are ready to take on the world. All the student teams have been assigned offices and are working late nights to achieve their goals, to challenge the ordinary. We really look forward to the coming semester and everything that is to come!
Yesterday, the 4th year students had their exam in Strategic Management, which is a mandatory course for the NSE students. Most of them are now done with their first semester, i.e., 25% of NSE. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. The teams are being assigned offices in our spaces at NTNU Gløshaugen, and we are already preparing for our next semester! The 5th year students handed in their project thesis last week, which is a preparatory task to the master thesis. Congratulations!
Stay tuned – great things to come next semester. See you in January!
In the startup world, things move fast and no day is alike. One day you might be celebrating a successful funding round, while the next you are having major issues with your prototype. Well, life here at NSE is no different. To keep you guys updated on what is going on, we update several channels. You are probably aware of this blog, as you’re currently reading this. In addition, we update our Facebook page about every week. You can like our page here. Our blog and Facebook page give you many smaller updates, therefore we also send out a newsletter. You can sign up using the form on the top right of the landing page. Here you can read the latest newsletter.
NSE is not an incubator, but a master’ program. Pretty much all that is needed to formally qualify for The Norwegian School of Entrepreneurship is being fluent in Norwegian and having a bachelor’s degree (specifics can be found here). Also, you have to be motivated and show this through the cover letter. So if you are accepted, what should you expect?
As the title reveals, the NSE students have just as many courses and credits as any other student at NTNU. During NSE you have nine standard courses, where four are related to your bachelor’s degree, and the remaining five are entrepreneurship-oriented courses. These are adapted to enable the students to combine the time they spend on these classes and the time they spend on their startups. This overlap is undoubtingly one of NSE’s strengths as a master’s program.
The 4th-graders have finished their fifth feasibility study, and the last piece has been added to the puzzle. Each feasibility study is a puzzle on its own, which again is just another piece in this semesters puzzle. The business ideas that have been tested throughout this semester are now gathered in an idea pool, from which the students will choose ideas, after forming teams in a few days.
The students have shown a significant improvement in several aspects. First and foremost all the students now deliver high-quality presentations. They have developed skills that enable them to adapt the content to the audience, with listeners ranging from co-students with very different backgrounds to some of the most skilled researchers in the world, at CERN in Geneva.
Second, the NSE students have grown an understanding of what perspectives are central when considering entering a market, ranging from existing solutions, business models, and competitors. Rather than following a given template, which the students did during their first feasibility studies, they now adapt to the respective cases and distribute their resources better.
A final feature that should be mentioned is the students’ outgoingness. To be able to quickly get in touch with the right people and have them answer your questions is demanding. We are lucky that the business hierarchy is a lot less steep than in other countries, but cold-calling is never easy. The pick-up-the-phone frequency has increased significantly over the last months.
As the semester is coming to an end, we zoom out and see things from an even broader perspective. It turns out that the so-called last piece of the puzzle that has been put down is solely part of a fraction of the next puzzle that is to be solved. Exciting things are happening the coming days. Stay tuned.
Copyright, trademark, ownership, trade secret, IP, copyright infringement… So many scary words that I might be better off ignoring, or is it really so? Today we had a session with our house lawyer, Kjersti Staven-Garberg. Kjersti works at Acapo, one of the leading IP consultancy firms in Norway.
During today’s session, the NSE students learned more about how to protect their ideas and the differences between IP and IPR. This is a very interesting field, that many startups have to explore on their own.
Having mentors and lawyers that support us at NSE is really valuable. Not only do they give lectures on certain topics, but are always available to give advice and guidance to the NSE startups.
Being part of the NSE opens a large network and many opportunities. Last week the 4th year students stayed and worked five days at the research facilities CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to this week, the students spent the weekend in the alps village Chamonix, in France.
During the week four CERN-based technologies were put through a thorough feasibility study. With more than 2000 man-hours of work, the students dug into complicated technology and researched potential applications within different markets. On Friday four solid presentations were held for the students, NSE staff and researchers at CERN. The CERN staff was immensely impressed by the work that the students had done.
In a months’ time, the student will form teams and choose business ideas. The four CERN ideas might be chosen.