This week I had my first appointment with MKB Amsterdam. Although it was the second meeting for Lukas and Benjamin, we’re going to look into the improvement of subsidy and SME’s. This week we will look into past studies about SME’s and subsidy so we can take this into account when we develop our own research question.
Hopefully we can interview an entrepreneurship professional in the next two weeks who’s focussing on the improvement of transport and how to make it better for the environment. Starting January 2015, the city of Utrecht will ban all diesel-fuelled cars older than 15 years. There is a similar plan ready for the city of Amsterdam. Changing the whole car fleet of an SME will cost huge amounts of money that can be better used in developing new technologies or expanding the business.
Since today was the first meeting, the upcoming weeks we will be focussing on finding information so we contribute to the Amsterdam SME’s when their subsidy stops and they won’t get into trouble.
In this blog I will try to analyse a new article I found on something that concerns the entrepreneurial environment. I will and try to explain what this means in my opinion for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial professionals.
I found this article in “De Financiele Telegraaf” saying that the rules made by the government to have surveillance on entrepreneurs and businesses are getting to complex due to three Dutch entrepreneur organizations.
For entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial professionals this means a lot more administrative work, time they could better spent on developing their opportunities.
I think having this many rules and as a result of those rules, having a lot more administrative work, really contradicts with an entrepreneurial environment and will not help the economy. The government should be busy helping entrepreneurs and keep them motivated to start their own business or developing their business instead of trying to make sure everything goes exactly the way the government wants it to go by setting up a big web of rules.
As a result of these rules, entrepreneurial professionals will be dealing with to many detailed problems instead of the core of entrepreneurship, creating value and creating economy. Potential entrepreneurs will be less motivated to consider starting an own business.
I do think rules genuinely could be important, as long as it improves doing business. Now, it seems there is too much work included for the entrepreneur or entrepreneurial professionals.
This week, the report written by the three Dutch entrepreneur organizations will be presented to the government. For the sake of the Dutch entrepreneurial environment and Dutch economy I hope the government will take this report into serous account and as a result will create an straightforward but strict set of rules which are easy to work with and still be able to “ catch the bad entrepreneurs and their clients”.
Entrepreneurs in the Netherlands less digitalized than we think.
Last week a shocking report was revealed by the Dutch Chambre of Commerce. The SME’s in the Netherlands don’t know what the effects are of the digitalization on their company. The Chambre of Commerce (KvK) did a research to the smart industry. The smart research is the extensive digitalisation of devices, inputs and organizations. But only 13.8% says they’re ready while another 30% says they don’t know anything about it.
Last year, several organizations including the ministry of economic affairs concluded that the Dutch SME’s need to focus more on the Smart Industry. As most Dutch SME’s we need to move up with time. As of the explosive growth of the internet and digitization, it will turn the world upside down if we don’t adept to these new events. Via the internet everything moves much faster and people are more and more visiting websites via their smart phones. It’s important to make internet applications for your company but also use other smart technologies like 3D printing, nano-technology, cloud computing and big data. These are the key words for the future. Entrepreneurs who respond to these developments, will make the successful companies of the future.
As concluded by the research of the chamber of commerce in the Netherlands, most entrepreneurs aren’t ready or don’t know anything about the smart industry. It is important to make entrepreneurs aware of the key role of the smart industry to keep the lead to be and to maintain the strong position of Dutch entrepreneurs.
Reference to the news article
RTL (2014) Ondernemend Nederland minder digitaal dan we denken. Consulted on the tenth of October. Available at: http://www.rtlnieuws.nl/economie/toekomstmakers/ondernemend-nederland-minder-digitaal-dan-we-denken
During last week we have been discussing about our challenge. We had come to the decision that we would like to find out why an entrepreneur should use SEEDS to fund his company. An entrepreneur should have a benefit when choosing SEEDS over other available platforms. This was met with enthusiasm from our contact person at SEEDS. He told us that they are also working on such a project internally to identify unique selling points.
Our contact person told us that they have a particularly interests to find out how they should inform entrepreneurs about crowd funding. Fox example a by using informative texts on their website, flyers, brochures, and specific tools like calculators . With the goal to attract new entrepreneurs to SEEDS and convince them to sign up for SEEDS crowd funding platform. Informing entrepreneurs about SEEDS unique selling point might convince entrepreneurs to sign up. With the final goal being an increased conversion rate of the website. From being just an in interested entrepreneur who is browsing the website to a complete sign up for SEEDS service, we need to influence this process.
Our plan is to analyze other crowd funding platforms on how they attract new entrepreneurs and how they convince them to sign up. We are going to use this information to write down some basic rules which have to be applied to SEEDS’s website. Furthermore, by analyzing other websites we can learn how the competitors are behaving and use this knowledge for our challenge.
Tomorrow we will have our first real intern, during this sessions we are going to analyze all the already available data. Our goal is to look for imperfections and based on our knowledge and skills we are going to improve them and create an opportunity from it. This could be done by combining already available resources and/or designing new resources ourselves.
For the other course Introduction entrepreneurship I’m reading a biography about Elon Musk. He is really interested in electric cars and the CEO of Tesla Electric cars. He also noticed some of the drawbacks of the electric car, for example charging those cars can take hours instead of a few minutes when using a gasoline cars. Electric car owners have to charge their car at home, but they will have a problem when the battery dies when they are not at home. Since there are hardly any public places to charge electric cars. At the moment there are 35.000 electric cars driving on the Dutch roads, however only 4600 places to charge an electric car. To increase the interest in electric cars, hours of charging needs to be reduced to a much shorter time and the number of chargers needs to be increased.
I was reading an interesting article about FastNed. They are well on track of delivering a solution for the slow charging of electric cars. They are rolling out fast-charge station throughout the country. Instead of the current, hours long waiting for a full charge, FastNed’s solution will have your car charged within 30 minutes. They are growing fast, on average one new ‘charging station’ is opened each week. Within a few years they want to have 200 charging stations running. But this is an expensive operation, each station costs about 200.000 euro. To fund this, they managed to get listed on the stock market.
They discovered this new market by combining already available solutions and resources in a clever way. This is a really interesting area for young entrepreneurs since FastNed’s competitors all failed. It’s a really tough industry to operate in, since there is still very little expertise. Since there is little expertise, everything is really expensive, this limits the flexibility for young startups. This is an really important area for entrepreneurship. Since it’s all about innovations to make the world more energy efficient and oil independent. FastNed is just an example of how big a new company in this area can grow within such a short period of time.
There are much more undiscovered opportunities in this field of entrepreneurship. This is why it’s an interesting area for new entrepreneurs, since opportunities are essential for entrepreneurial behavior
M. van der Burg
The news article, AI robots, pocket doctors: Patient-centered health tech, in the BBC news describes the recent developments in the medical industry when it comes to technological progresses. The issues that individuals were dealing with such as long waiting times at their general practitioners’ office and high medical costs seem to be solved soon due to the use of mobile phones and software.
Imagine that there is an app whereby you have unlimited access to a doctor. You can send the medical practitioner pictures; questions and even videoconference call him or her if you have any worries about your health. It seems to be possible from now on. With the Babylon health care app, created by Dr. Ali Parsa, patients can have 12 hours a day, six days a week access with to a doctor. Afterwards, the doctor can send a prescription to a pharmacy nearby the patients or the doctor can advise the patient to visit their own general practitioner. The creator of the app explains that the majority of the patients just want a diagnosis from a doctor instead of visiting a hospital and since the medical system can be quite expensive but almost everyone nowadays has a mobile phone, the technology comes in very handy. He also adds that about 70% of the world has no access to healthcare but do have access to a mobile device.
What the article highlights can be very insightful for current entrepreneurs and also entrepreneurship professionals. The healthcare system is a market where entrepreneurial developments can be very successful as well as necessary. Therefore, not only do entrepreneurs in the medical or high tech industry need to take these developments in mind but also investors, entrepreneurship professionals and governments need to invest in these sectors in order to encourage innovation and provide entrepreneurs with the support.
By Awat Kalamerd
Stephens,P (2014, September 24). AI, robots, pocket doctors: Patient-centred health tech. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com
Hi fellow students,
When you have a thought of making a new product or service and see the opportunity it may succeed it is a long way untill it hits the market. When you develop a product in the lab or something like it, a garage just like Steve Jobs. According to this article written by Markhum (2002) you need champions, resources and formal development processes to overcome the valley of death. This valley sounds dangerous but in the end all entrepreneurs who want to achieve succes have to overcome this valley.
Valley of Death is the decision space between existing research resources and commercialization resources. The reason of this gap is the culture gap between the people on the left (research) and on the right (commercialization). Both sides need translation from the other side in order to make the own side succesful.
Like I already mentioned, you need a champion. In this article I don’t mean the German football team but someone who’s in between both sides and is excellent in translating to both sides. Without this champion there is no mutual understanding. The work of a champion is crossing the valley of death, in the following order he discovers that the research has commercial value, manifest the discovery as a product, communicate the potential through a compelling business case, aqcuire resources needed to establish potential than he uses resources to reduce risk. When the champion gets the resources he seeks approval of the project for formal development and translates the project into the criteria used for approval. After setting up the criteria the champion decides to approve or not approve project (the approval itself is not done by champion). When this is al accepted and aprover he and others will develop and launch the product.
Since there is often no reward and little encouragement for championing a project, a champion must be passionate about the project and willing to do the necessary extra work. In addition, a champion needs knowledge and skill about how to promote projects. While some people with raw enthusiasm get a project approved and implemented, those champions who possess developed skills, a strong track record, and years of experience shepherding projects succeed far more often.
Markham, S. K. (2002). Moving technologies from lab to market. Research-Technology Management, 45(6), 31-42.