ROBIN DE COCK

PHD, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, ACADEMIC DIRECTOR OF THE MASTER IN INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP, ANTWERP MANAGEMENT SCHOOL

“BY CONFRONTING STUDENTS WITH REAL LIFE INNOVATION CHALLENGES WE INCREASE THE LEARNING AND THE LIKELIHOOD OF CONNECTING WITH AND CREATING IMPACT FOR THE LOCAL ECOSYSTEM.”

- ROBIN DE COCK, PHD, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, ACADEMIC DIRECTOR OF THE MASTER IN INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP, ANTWERP MANAGEMENT SCHOOL

I’m a professor in innovation and entrepreneurship and the academic director of the Master in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIE) at the Antwerp Management School. I previously worked at Imperial College London and Ghent University. I support entrepreneurs by education and research.

One of the things I’ve been focusing on a lot is how can you design an entrepreneurship program with impact. Here are some insights below that I applied to the MIE at AMS. This program based in Antwerp was one of the first masters in innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe and already generated +80 start-ups and +400 alumni entrepreneurs realizing impact in our society today. Following academic research, I argue that the program must be real, intensive, interdisciplinary, and iterative.

Work in interdisciplinary teams
Education is an important gateway through which an ecosystem can attract new talent. Our program aims to hire talent from all over the world and hires for passion, not based on a specific economic background. That way we can work interdisciplinary which is needed to solve some of the complex problems in this world and increases the likelihood of creating impact.

Connect with the local ecosystem
The program has a lot of challenge-based learning activities. By confronting students with real life innovation challenges we increase the learning and the likelihood of connecting with and creating impact for the local ecosystem.

Running the master program “as if” it were focused on creating companies is not good enough to engage the students fully. We therefore have an entire coaching team available to support the students to put theory into action.

Experience Entrepreneurial rollercoaster
A program should also be intensive. Self-efficacy is enhanced by the experience of working hard against obstacles, overcoming them, slipping back, staying with the effort, and eventually succeeding.

The program is designed that they can develop their venture ideas from day one and experience the entrepreneurial rollercoaster to the fullest over a period of 8-9 months.

Going back and forth
The entrepreneurship process is not inherently linear. By directly applying the gained knowledge into practice, they start to experience the need to “go back” one or more steps as surprises occur. Having the space for iterations throughout the program will develop a profound sense that “I can do this” and an equally profound sense that they should not expect it to be easy.

Antwerp Management School

www.antwerpmanagementschool.be
Boogkeers 5, BE-2000
Antwerp

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