Camels, tigers and unicorns – a panel debate at St Johns Innovation Centre, Cambridge

Camels, tigers and unicorns – a panel debate at St Johns Innovation Centre, Cambridge

A book title with animals conjures up immediate perceptions of characteristics that business must reflect in order to be categorised as one of these. At the event held at St John’s Innovation Centre this week, the authors explained the rationale behind it in the context of investment and commercialisation of technology. Uday Phadke and Shailendra Vyakarnam introduced their theoretical framework based on empirical data on Chasm I, II and III. They identified Chasm one as transitioning from product or service to working prototype, Chasm II the transition to fully functional product or service with a sustainable business model and Chasm III the move from early adopters to upscaling with a larger number of customers.

After introductions, the floor was swiftly opened for questions from entrepreneurs, researchers and interested parties. There were several key questions that the panel, Chaired by David Gill, and consisting of the authors; Bryan Amesbury (Co-Founder & COO, SwiftServe); Clifford Dive (Strategic Technical Innovation Consultant) and Dr Lianne Taylor, (Rootbind), attempted to answer stimulating an enjoyable debate:

• Why is talent and leadership considered less important in Chasm I?

• How does one analyse what happened in previous Chasms when the business has moved into the next?

• How does a business work out which Chasm they are in?

• All that data is fine but how do academics engage with businesses to transfer this knowledge?

Six key messages to draw out from the panel discussion are:

• Identifying the Chasm for your business will help to reduce uncertainty;

• Moving to the next Chasm is not a linear process – business do not move neatly through different stages of growth, they iterate and assess constantly;

• Depending on the technology and external circumstances, regression into previous Chasms is possible;

Growth definitions are not restricted to sales numbers, the quality and smaller numbers providing higher value are significant;

• That academics can do better at engaging with business, and events like this contribute to real knowledge transfer;

• That assessing which Chasm a business is in can be challenging, but engaging in debate and getting external help is available. Where the business gets the most valuable help from is dependant on its growth stage and size.

Many important issues related to entrepreneurial business growth in science and technology led businesses were not covered due to lack of time. Crucially, the debate highlighted the massive ‘Chasm’ that exists, and the important nature of bridging the gap between academic research and entrepreneurs, through use of accessible discourse and business led needs.

A talk on 'Entrepreneurial versus Managerial Mindset’ for Enterprise WISE programme

A talk on ‘Entrepreneurial versus Managerial Mindset’ for Enterprise WISE programme

Coming up 6th May – Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

Delivering a talk on ‘Entrepreneurial versus Managerial Mindset’ for Enterprise WISE programme.

rootbind, dr, lianne, miller, taylor

High growth technology businesses discussion

Coming up 20th May – St John’s innovation Centre, Cambridge

Taking part in a panel discussion around high growth technology businesses, their drivers and barriers.

Entrepreneurial, paradox, news, lianne, miller, rootbind

The release of ‘The Entrepreneurial Paradox’

British Academy of Management (BAM) news release

January 2017 The release of ‘The Entrepreneurial Paradox, the interplay between Entrepreneurial and Management thinking’ to colleagues at the British Academy of Management

business, people

How to be entrepreneurial

Thinking about experience…

People have a preconception that successful entrepreneurs start a business with an innovative idea, gut instinct and determination.  But look closely and you will see many successful founders who started their journey as employees.  So, what does this tell us about how to be entrepreneurial? Research into trait theory has proven to be inconsistent and inconclusive with no single profile that captures the diversity in personality.  In contrast, an insatiable thirst for learning followed by autonomous action separates this group from their peers.

A few years of working with entrepreneurs proves that putting learning and experience into practice leads to transformative business ideas.   Many successful entrepreneurs have worked for other organizations directly or indirectly in their area of expertise long before start-up phase.  Learning how business operates and building a network of strong relationships before launch are the first steps to being entrepreneurial.  Experience lays the foundation in the brain for new patterns and ideas to formulate.  This might defy the rationale of ‘diving’ in, but mitigating risk underpins entrepreneurial decision-making.

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Six steps to help you take that great leap

the, guardian

How do we help Africa’s entrepreneurs?