Teaching (Technology) Entrepreneurship at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Boost your entrepreneurship
and build your own business

VUB TechTransfer wishes to create more awareness of entrepreneurship with researchers and young professionals and organizes two courses: the Starter Seminars and the Advanced Starter Seminars. Since 1995 the Starter Seminars provide a short but intensive introduction on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and business. A variety of topics is covered such as developing a business plan, finance, marketing, the complex issues surrounding patenting,... . Students of this program will acquire the vocabulary and mindset needed to think intelligently about their potential venture and thus interact more efficiently with tech transfer offices, investors and other partners.
In 2014 we have introduced a follow-up course, the Advanced Starter Seminars, where business aspects and starting up a company are treated more in-depth. In recent years new topics were integrated such as social entrepreneurship, crowdfunding, how to pitch your project, ... .

Both courses are preceded by a Launch Event. This event is open to anyone interested in (technological) entrepreneurship and tech transfer. During this event you can discover more about the content and program of the (Advanced) Starter Seminars and listen to testimonials of VUB entrepreneurs.

Practicalities

The Starter Seminars are especially destined to VUB master & PhD students and researchers but are open to anyone interested. 
The Advanced Starter Seminars are destined to people who already have some background in business management. Preferably you have already followed the Starter Seminars or 'Introduction to business' or another basic management or business course.

Under certain conditions the Starters as well as Advanced course can be accounted for as part of PhD’s Doctoral Training Programs of the VUB*.

A Certificate of Participation will be delivered to all participants that regularly attend the seminars. An attendance list will be availabe at each seminar and NEEDS TO BE SIGNED BY THE PARTICIPANT. This is the only way for us to make sure Certificates are delivered to people who regularly attend.

Both courses are preceded by a Launch Event on Tuesday the 2nd of October 2018. Free of charge but registration obligatory.

Venue:

Participation fee 2018

  • Starter Seminars: 250 Euro
  • Personnel VUB/EhB/ULB: 150 Euro
  • Alumni VUB: 150 Euro
  • Students (incl students who graduated in 2017-2018) VUB/EhB/ULB: 50 Euro
  • VUB PhD students: free under certain conditions*
  • Advanced Starter Seminars: 210 Euro
  • Personnel VUB/EhB/ULB: 120 Euro
  • Alumni VUB: 120 Euro
  • Students (incl students who graduated in 2017-2018) VUB/EhB/ULB: 40 Euro
  • VUB PhD students: free under certain conditions*
  • Launch Event is free of charge and open to anyone interested. (Registration closed)

*After registration PhD students will receive a Proof of Participation (a personal attendance list) that has to be signed by the lecturer at each seminar. When regularly attending the seminars, registration is free of charge and PhD students will receive credits and a Certificate of Participation.
To obtain your credits, free subscription and Certificate of Participation please send your signed Proof of Participation as soon as possible after the last seminar to the Central Doctoral Schools. Or you can scan the doc and send it by email to nele.vanschelvergem@vub.be

Nele Van Schelvergem
Central PhD Office, room 4M423
VUB - Campus Etterbeek
Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels

'Opleidingscheques' and subsidies through KMO-portefeuille are accepted. The reference (erkenningsnummer) that has to be used when you apply for KMO-portefeuille is DV.O103795. Please send an email to alenaga@vub.ac.be if you will pay with Opleidingscheques or KMO-portefeuille.

For more information contact:
alena.aga@vub.be - 02/629 38 47 or 22 07

Registration

Payment
During online registration you pay for the subscription fee through an online payment module. If you cancel after having registered an administration fee will be charged to you.

PhD and postdoc do NOT have to pay when registering. In case they do not fulfill the conditions (see above), they will be charged after the end of the courses.

Launch Event is free of charge and open to anyone interested. Registration obligatory.

Starter Seminars

Advanced Starter Seminars

Program Launch Event 2018 - Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer @VUB

Tuesday October 2, 2018
Venue: U-Residence - Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Etterbeek)

5.30 pm - Registration, welcome coffee & sandwiches

6.15 pm - Alena Aga - VUB TechTransfer Communication & Events Coordinator
Welcome - How VUB TechTransfer supports valorization of research and stimulates entrepreneurship

6.30 pm - Marc Goldchstein - Lecturer, Technology Transfer Officer Entrepreneurship Education, VUB

Starter Seminars and other educational programs on (technology) entrepreneurship @VUB

7.15 pm - Special Guest Speakers from VUB spin-off's:
Double Pass - David Pauwels, PhD VUB Sports Policy and Management (SBMA) and project manager of Double PASS
Double Pass assesses and advises football clubs, leagues and (con)federations on optimising their talent development. We make the potential improvements visible using a unique methodology. Based on the results, our experienced sports professionals help to implement tailor-made solutions. Our track record shows significantly better run academies.

PharmaFluidics - Wim De Malsche, Co-founder, Associate professor at VUB, heading a Strategic Research Program in the Microfluidics area
PharmaFluidics offers silicon microtechnology solutions to bring liquid chromatography to a next level of efficiency. Separation devices with unprecedented resolution are presented in a format that enables extreme user-friendliness and robustness.

Followed by drink & networking around 8 pm.

Program Starter Seminars 2018

(Program can be subject to change)

  • 11 sessions on Tuesdays
  •  1 session on Thursdays (together with Advanced Starters)
  •  from 6.15 till 9.00 pm

Sessions 1 & 2 - Oct 9 & 16: Understanding business ecosystems I & II

The first sessions are dedicated to understanding how ‘industries’ are ‘organized’. Marc Goldchstein, lecturer and Technology Transfer Officer Entrepreneurship Education, will elaborate on how different sectors are defined, the role of value chains and workflows within those sectors, the main types of actors in these value chains and ecosystems. We get to know typical industry dynamics such as network effects, standards, economies of scale, regional clusters. Focus is put on the actor of change in these ecosystems: innovation. We learn how innovations are adopted and evolve over time. Patents and IP rights will be treated more thoroughly later in a seperate session.

Sessions 3 & 4 - Oct 23 & 30: Formulating strategies I & II

Marc Goldchstein addresses the key challenge of every startup: formulating a strategy that leads to a viable spot in the business ecosystem. We discuss the three key questions a strategy must address: what do you bring to the table; what is your value proposition; what is the concrete plan. We cover such topics as core assets, customer focus, value propositions and performance criteria, value chain strategies, the role of industrial partners. We discuss business models and study some typical technology-based business and revenue models; we learn to chart an ecosystem map. We then discuss different perspectives that are used to assess the potential of a venture, as well as the challenge of formulating strategies in inherently uncertain worlds.

Session 5 - Nov 6: Legal aspects

Elke Janssens, partner at Nautadutilh, one of the largest international law firms in the Benelux, will elaborate on some key legal aspects related to entrepreneurship, such as the basics of incorporation (NV/BVBA, Board of Directors, shares,...).

Session 6, 7 & 8 - Nov 13, 21 (Wednesday!), 27: Finance I, II & III

The financial aspects of a startup are of crucial importance. Marie-Laure Vandenhaute from VUB's Business department lectures three sessions on the key topic of financial management. We study key financial reports (balance sheets and profit-and-loss statements) and accounting concepts (investment, depreciation, stock, accrual…). We learn to analyze financial accounts; we study cash flow planning. We cover specific aspects such as VAT, taxes, labour costs, insurance… Finally, Marc Goldchstein addresses the topic of startup funding.

Session 9 - Dec 4: Marketing

Marc Goldchstein will elaborate on some marketing aspects of startups. First we study key differences between selling to consumers and businesses. We discuss how entrepreneurs can assemble knowledge about their markets. We touch on the role of product management and discuss pricing aspects. We discuss marketing communications for high tech entrepreneurs. We study the role of distribution channels and sales organizations, and touch on the role of customer service.

Session 10 - Dec 11: Intellectual Property (IP)

Often patents are a major asset of a high tech startup. In this session Hugo Loosvelt of VUB TechTransfer presents key concepts of patents and other IP rights. Hugo Loosvelt has been a technology transfer officer since 2006. He manages the patent portfolio of the university in close collaboration with the inventors and research teams involved. Hugo negociates R&D and licensing contracts with VUB’s industrial partners. He is actively involved in creating awareness within the science community about Intellectual Property and licensing issues and is recognised as a registered technology transfer professional by the Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals (ATTP). Hugo Loosvelt graduated as an industrial engineer in industrial chemistry and obtained his PhD in physics.

Session 11 - Dec 18: Team and management aspects

In this module Ingrid De Clercq, an expert in entrepreneurial team composition at CONGAZ, focuses on the organizational aspects of entrepreneurial ventures. We give a roundup of the different ‘management tasks’ in a technology venture and discuss concepts of general management. We elaborate on one of the key challenges of entrepreneurship: building a team of top notch professionals. We look at some aspects of human resources management.

Session 12 on Thursday Dec 20: 'Academic entrepreneurship in practice: testimonials and Q&A'

This session is also part of the Advanced Starter Seminars. It is followed by a networking drink. Do not miss the opportunity to talk with some VUB entrepreneurs as well as the other participants.

Venue: U-Residence - Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Etterbeek)

Several entrepreneurs from VUB spin-offs will share their expertise in starting up a business with you:

  • For their PhD thesis Matthias D’Huyvetter and Jens de Vos, both performed research on camelid nanobodies but from a different angle. This resulted in a VIB-VUB spin-off in 2014. As Chief Scientific Officer Matthias is responsible for the scientific research at Camel-IDS. Jens started focusing more on the business aspects and became Chief Operating Officer at Camel-IDS. They both participated at the VUB Starter Seminars a few years ago. Camel-IDS develops radio-immunotherapeutic drugs for cancer patients. Their proprietary technology platform is based on the unique characteristics of the Camelid immune system and allows fast and specific delivery of therapeutic radiation to cancer cells, while sparing healthy tissues.
  • From the establishment of VUB spin-off Optrima, the merge a few years later with SoftKinetic until the buy-out in 2017 by Sony, the story of this company reads as the perfect success trajectory of a start-up. However, co-founder Ward Van der Tempel will testify that a lot of passion, hard work and a bit of luck were indispensable. Ward Van der Tempel is now Head of Technology at Sony Depthsensing Solutions. In 2009 he co-founded Optrima as a spin-off company of the Laboratory for Micro- & Photonelectronics of the department Electronics and Informatics of the VUB, based on years of research on 3D time-of-flight CMOS sensors and cameras by a team of physicists, analog and digital designers, and image processing specialists. As a PhD-student in engineering he participated at the starter seminars to obtain some basic background in business management and entrepreneurship.

Moderator: Marc Goldchstein, Lecturer, Technology Transfer Officer Entrepreneurship Education, VUB


Program Advanced Starter Seminars 2018

(Program can be subject to change)

10 sessions on Thursdays from 6.15 till 9.00 pm

The Advanced Starter Seminars are destined to people who already have some background in economics. Preferably you have already followed the Starter Seminars or 'Introduction to business' or another basic management or business course.

Session 1 - Oct 11: Brainstorming 

Rob Heyman, Senior Researcher at imec-SMIT (VUB) will guide you through this first seminar. You will learn to plan brainstorms, using methods that will result in predefined outcomes within your time constraints. We will cover:

  • What is participation/brainstorming?
  • Why brainstorming/participation?
  • Common participation components
  • Easy to use methods to get you started

This session will include hands-on tools that enable you to plan and facilitate a participative session in your own team. This is a learning-by-doing workshop which will require active participation from your side.

Session 2 - Oct 18: Intro Venture Capital

Marc Goldchstein will give you an introduction on the theme.
Martin De Prycker, Managing director, and Steven Leuridan, Investment Manager, of QBIC II, the inter-university Venture Capital Fund of a/o the VUB - will address the following topics:

  • how does QBIC evaluate the potential of a project and of a team?
  • how does QBIC valuate the project and its contribution?
  • what are showstoppers for QBIC when evaluating projects?
  • which specific clauses may QBIC want to include in the shareholder agreement?
  • how will QBIC spread the investment over different stages?
  • moreover the speaker will present the Venture Capital Fund QBIC

Qbic II Fund is a multi-sector fund supporting spin-off companies of the Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp university associations and VITO.

Session 3 - Oct 25: Negotiating with investors

Michael Truyen, former attorney and associated partner at Eubelius, now chief legal officer at the pharma company Mithra Pharmaceuticals will discuss the elements that a potential investor will raise when negotiating with you: evaluation of your startup, different types of shares and clauses, exit preferences...

Session 4 - Nov 8: The challenges of assembling a functional team (tbc)

Wouter Van Roost will discuss the challenges of assembling a functional team. Wouter is Founding Consultant of FACTOR+, the creators of a management methodology called "PIM" (Pattern Interpretation and Management) to improve the way people and teams work together.

Session 5 - Nov 15: The reality of licensing Intellectual Property

Hugo Loosvelt of VUB TechTransfer will discuss the reality of licensing Intellectual Property. Hugo  has been a Technology Transfer Officer at VUB since 2006. He manages the patent portfolio of the university in close collaboration with the inventors and research teams involved. Hugo negociates R&D and licensing contracts with VUB’s industrial partners. He is actively involved in creating awareness within the science community about Intellectual Property and licensing issues. He is recognised as a registered technology transfer professional by the Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals (ATTP). Hugo Loosvelt graduated as an industrial engineer in industrial chemistry and obtained his PhD in physics.

Session 6 - Nov 22: How to plan for success - preventing the 'FlopStarter'

To create a startup without proper market research & planning is to do what many have done before you but is leading to where many have failed.Anna Thomlinson, Managing Director at Start it @KBC will tell you everything you need to know on the Business Model Canvas (BMC). Many have heard of this model and have not used it yet. Some of you might have completed a BMC and will be interested in the next level – planning and reviewing is not just an exercise at the start.

This session will cover:

  • Creating a BMC
  • Challenge you to think lean & differently - there is always competition - you need to stand out
  • How to really research your competition!
  • Reviewing and planning as you grow with a sort of 2.0 version of the BMC

Anna Thomlinson spent many years working in the London startup scene before moving to Belgium in the summer of 2017 to join Belgium's largest programme for high growth businesses, Start it @KBC. She started her career working with startups in University College London's department for supporting entrepreneurs, and next went on to help set up the Start Up Loans scheme - the company was set up with high growth targets to lend government funding across the UK to boost economic growth after 2008; it has now funded over 50,000 startups. In 2015 Anna joined the global accelerator MassChallenge as it established its UK location and as Programme Manager helped over 200 high growth startups accelerate their business. Following this she opened Allia's London location of their accelerator. Anna's network in the startup ecosystem is truly global, and she remains sector agnostic but specialises in the idea to 'go-to-market' stages of growing a business, supporting businesses and growing accelerator programmes.

Session 7 - Nov 29: Writing and presenting a business plan

In this seminar Marc Goldchstein will go deeper into how to write and present a business plan.

Session 8 - Dec 6: How to pitch?

Knowing your story is good, telling about it in a comprehensive, attractive way is even better! In this practical workshop you will be introduced in the world of ‘how to tell your story to important members of your network’. Saskia Speelman, Strategic Communications Advisor, Trainer & Coach, will guide you through this workshop.

Session 9 - Dec 13: Pitch your Project!

During this session, you will get the opportunity to pitch your project and get feedback from professionals such as Marc Goldchstein and Jacky Boonen, Spin off Tech Transfer Officer of VUB TechTransfer, as well as your fellow future entrepreneurs. Also Anna Thomlinson, Managing director at Start it @KBC who is experienced in supporting start-ups and growing businesses will be there to give you advice (see also session 6 on the Business Model Canvas). Pitching your project exists of a short presentation of your start-up project in order to convince possible investors or other partners to join in.

Session 10 - Dec 20: 'Academic entrepreneurship in practice: testimonials and Q&A'

This session is followed by a networking drink. Do not miss the opportunity to talk with some VUB entrepreneurs as well as the other participants.

Venue: U-Residence - Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Etterbeek)

Several entrepreneurs from VUB spin-offs will share their expertise in starting up a business with you:

  • For their PhD thesis Matthias D’Huyvetter and Jens de Vos, both performed research on camelid nanobodies but from a different angle. This resulted in a VIB-VUB spin-off in 2014. As Chief Scientific Officer Matthias is responsible for the scientific research at Camel-IDS. Jens started focusing more on the business aspects and became Chief Operating Officer at Camel-IDS. They both participated at the VUB Starter Seminars a few years ago. Camel-IDS develops radio-immunotherapeutic drugs for cancer patients. Their proprietary technology platform is based on the unique characteristics of the Camelid immune system and allows fast and specific delivery of therapeutic radiation to cancer cells, while sparing healthy tissues.
  • From the establishment of VUB spin-off Optrima, the merge a few years later with SoftKinetic until the buy-out in 2017 by Sony, the story of this company reads as the perfect success trajectory of a start-up. However, co-founder Ward Van der Tempel will testify that a lot of passion, hard work and a bit of luck were indispensable. Ward Van der Tempel is now Head of Technology at Sony Depthsensing Solutions. In 2009 he co-founded Optrima as a spin-off company of the Laboratory for Micro- & Photonelectronics of the department Electronics and Informatics of the VUB, based on years of research on 3D time-of-flight CMOS sensors and cameras by a team of physicists, analog and digital designers, and image processing specialists. As a PhD-student in engineering he participated at the starter seminars to obtain some basic background in business management and entrepreneurship.

Moderator: Marc Goldchstein, Lecturer, Technology Transfer Officer Entrepreneurship Education, VUB


Technology entrepreneurship within the VUB educational program

Economic growth is increasingly depending on the ability to innovate in all areas of society and economy. At the moment, new inventions are being made but are not being effectively converted into new products, patents, jobs, companies and services.

VUB tries to close the gap between engineers and (human) scientists on the one hand and the business aspects of starting up and managing a company on the other hand. Therefore VUB offers entrepreneurial education for non-economists.

More info on VUB programmes for non-economists here.

The European exchange programme for entrepreneurs

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange programme which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other Participating Countries.
 

 

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