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Lessons Learned from USASBE 2016

Entrepreneurship can sometimes seem like a haphazard process, especially if you’re attempting it for the first time. But the Ideator team recently attended (and sponsored) a fabulous conference where we learned that it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, we learned that entrepreneurship can be taught, and that a very impressive professional organization is working hard to develop new methods of teaching it more effectively.

The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) is the largest independent academic organization in the world dedicated to advancing the discipline of entrepreneurship. With more than 1,000 members from colleges and universities, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and the public sector, USASBE is a diverse mix of professionals who focus on entrepreneurship education, research, outreach, and public policy.

Each year, USASBE holds a conference dedicated to improving the art and science of teaching entrepreneurship. This year’s event took place right here in San Diego, so we jumped in headfirst as both a sponsor and a participant, hosting an Ideator booth and presenting a workshop on innovative products for entrepreneurs.

Key Event Takeaways

A dynamic mix of learning events, networking, and more, USASBE 2016 provided an exciting opportunity for the Ideator team to meet and speak with some very bright academicians on a variety of subjects relating to entrepreneurship. We also found it fascinating to learn about the structure and process of entrepreneurship from those who teach it.

Some of our biggest takeaways from the event include:

The global demand for entrepreneurship is skyrocketing. Meeting this need will require better-educated entrepreneurs.

Innovation = invention + commercialization. In other words, invention has no value without the ability to turn it into a product or service that has value in the market.

Successful entrepreneurship requires a combination of technology skills and business skills. According to MIT professor BIll Aulet, a recognized leader in the field of teaching entrepreneurship, it requires “the spirit of a pirate and the skills of a Navy Seal.”

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A Recipe for Entrepreneurial Success

Speaking of Professor Aulet, who serves as the managing director for the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, his presentation on The Past, Present, and Future of Entrepreneurship Education was a real eye-opener.

The workshop provided an in-depth look at how leaders are currently working to improve entrepreneurship education, and also presented a 24-step recipe for successful entrepreneurship built around six essential questions:

Who is your customer?

What can you do for your customer?

How does your customer acquire your product?

How do you make money off your product?

How do you design and build your product?

How do you scale your business?

He wrapped up the presentation with a reminder that entrepreneurs and companies evolve over time in a Darwinian manner. Fluid teams are essential to optimize the learning process, and diversity is good!

Entrepreneurship can be taught. And value can be found in both the academic approach and the more hands-on learning available on platforms like Ideator. So log on and take a look at all the resources we have to offer. A little education can help you go a long way!

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