Last day of the course at Stanford was covered by final presentations of all the teams and a pizza lunch.
We pitched our idea of a Malmö Innovation Hub (MIH@MAH? Name to be discussed… ;). Everybody of us focused on different angles of the hub: Outreach, Intellectual Property, Research and Teaching.
After we were off to our holidays… Now, nearly back on track to see how we could take the idea further.
This day wasn’t really scheduled at STVP. We had the day to wrap up our ideas and condense the impressions of Silicon Valley, Stanford, STVP and the Faculty Fellows program info a presentation tomorrow. We decided to finalize the Rainforest chart and use that to build a background presentation for our proposed organizational changes when we come back home. On top of this we’ve prepared 4 different one minute pitches that capture the essence of what we want to achieve from Education, Research, Outreach and Student involvement.
To stay at home without effective air conditioning was a challenge as it’s incredible hot both inside and outside. As the time in California is coming to an end we tried to spend the breaks in the sun, but more than few minutes was unbearable. Ice-coffee helped a litte to quench the thirst but did little on Jeanettes sun rash. We are working hard on our final presentation and preparing the materials for our return for meetings at the University, ESBRI, and VINNOVA. We are really excited to bring back all the knowledge and inspiration we got in Silicon Valley. We are sure that we can find ways to inspire more an entrepeneurial mindset across MAH and our community.
It´s Wednesday and we only have 2 days left before our final project presentation at STVP. We look forward to getting the feedback from other teams and listening to how their projects have evolved. Today the team decided to stay and work on the presentation in the garden at our house. To share a house is one of the best ideas we have had so far. To have a common space brings us as team members closer together.
Jeanette had an afternoon meeting with Nikkie H. Salgado, Program Coordinator at STVP. Nikkie spent 10 years working with student affairs at Stanford before transferring to STVP where she now plans and executes innovative student events. This upcoming semester they focus on two main events, Leadership lunches and Coaches on Call where student can sign up and meet with experts within different areas of expertise. Both concepts that could work very well at Malmö University.
Nikkie and Jeanette shared a common challenge in getting students engaged. How do we handle the fact that students also need to prioritize among all activities that are offered to them? STVP recently surveyed students and found out that a quite low percentage is aware of their existence. We decided to have monthly Skype-meetings where we can continue our discussion about how to create meaningful events that add value to students and how to reach out with information.
The workday ended with a coaching session with Jack Fuchs, a teacher, an entrepreneur, and an angel investor. This session was a really great hands on experience that inspired us all. To find and celebrate what we already have at the university when it comes to entrepreneurial blocks in our education and build on them is one thing that we will bring with us home. Also working with mentors as a way to get students to gain insight in real problems and identifying possible new solutions. Jack is a valuable resource that we surely will get back to for more inspiration once we start implementing our new ideas back home.
In the morning our group sat down and started to specify the Rainforest Canvas, which should give an overview of the innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem of Malmö. Like this, we want to identify starting points to foster this ecosystem.
Around lunch we visited the Nordic Innovation House in Palo Alto (http://innovationhousesf.wordpress.com) and met with Sten Kristian Mydland. This institution provides services for entrepreneurs and companies from Scandinavia. Their services vary from very practical things like providing an address or office space to organizing get togethers. One company, which is present there at the moment, is Kubicam. It does development on high-resolution multi channel cameras for web conferencing.
On our way to the campus we stopped at an American Dinner and had Milkshakes for lunch.
Tom Byers hosted the afternoon session. Tom is professor for Entrepreneurship and focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship education. Therefore, Tom was talking about why and how to teach entrepreneurship. An important statement he made is that Stanford is not very much different than other places. It might have slightly more students interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. He estimated the amount to 5%. At Stanford the focus is on teaching an entrepreneurship process and an entrepreneurial attitude. Tom also recognises that this might need up to 40 years to show an impact on society. An entrepreneurship curriculum could be built up around 7 pillars: See opportunities, develop a strategy, apply scientific methods, find investors, build a team, become T-shaped, grow a start up.
On our way over the campus we found an installation called Gay Liberation Sculpture by George Segal.
After the picture we saw the sign: “Do not touch.” Ups, sorry George.
We spent the morning with Tina Seelig the executive director of STVP and the director of National Center for Engineering Pathway to Innovation. Dr. Seelig focus of research and practice is creativity and innovation. She presented the STVP fellows with an innovation engine model that flows around imagination, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Her talked focused on the creativity and innovation generation part that engages the participants in curiosity, engagement, and persistence as means to explore the world and drive the innovation engine. The second part of the morning was a creative exercise around brainstorming Stanford style that connected the work from our previous Embodied Design session with the d.school. For this brainstorm we developed on ideas for the best and the worst summer vacation in four groups. Seelig immediately tossed out our boring brainstorm ideas for the best summer vacation and distributed our worst ideas to different groups. Each group then had to reframe the worst concept into a pitch of the best vacation. The worst ideas that we started with were, vacation in the following: a war zone, no summer vacation, summer school, and everyone in the family sick. The point of reframing and connecting divergent concepts was clearly seen as each group pitched excellent concepts expanding on these difficult ideas. Our big take aways from the morning were on a overall framework for placing creativity in the center of innovation and entrepreneurship and concrete practice in reframing problems. Additionally, in our coaching session with Tina, she gave us inside information about how she successfully set up STVP.
We had our fourth coaching session, this time with Professor Mike Lyons. Together with Tom Byers, Mike co-developed STVP. Besides being one the founding professors at STVP his course Technology Venture Formation (273) is on of the highest rated courses in the School of Engineering. In this course, real live entrepreneurs are teaching students about mistakes they have done when starting companies and how to go about creating a startup. The aim of bringing in the entrepreneurs is for students to learn from real life experiences including the mistakes is to provide and prevent students from making the same mistakes. It is important to note failing in Silicon Valley is just part of the learning experience and not looked upon as something negative, but a key part of the Silicon Valley experience. This is a thought that we have to bring with us and teach everyone at MAH.
Mike also shared his unique take on from working with OTL-model, Office of Technology Licensing. Mike’s model focused on using the portfolio of IPR that are handed out to students looking for an opportunity to develop a business idea. If they succeed, both students, the university and the researcher get the benefit. Keeping in mind, this is a different take on the OTL model of investing in research for technology transfer. We hope to investigate this interesting idea further at MAH.
Mike is also a venture capitalist with investments in over 50 companies and is currently director of Real Time Innovation Inc., a privately held software company. He shared his experiences from investing and managing companies. From these experiences we learned that the amount of capital invested in the valley is at much different scale than in Malmö.