CRC 235 Emergence of Life

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Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Researchers

by Dr. Marco Masia

14.03.2022 – 17.03.2022

14-17 March 2022, daily 09:00-13:30 (without lunch break)



Course concept
The contents of the workshop on innovation and entrepreneurship are designed to support the researchers across all disciplines to develop an enterprising mindset and understand how innovation works. Entrepreneurship, teamwork
and networking are elements that are increasingly important to succeed in- and out-side of academia, especially for
those who see a potential for commercialization in their research work. The training curriculum follows the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework1 laid out by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, which defines entrepreneurship as a “transversal competence, which can be applied to all spheres of life, from personal development, to actively participating in society, [...] and to starting up ventures (cultural, social or commercial)”. Using a challenge-based problem-solving approach, course participants will expand their disciplinary comfort zone and develop their creativity by trying to solve challenges given to them at the beginning of the course. Participants will work in small and diverse groups over one week and go together through an entrepreneurial journey to solve these challenges by developing a (virtual) venture. The journey starts with a creative brainstorming session to identify solutions to the problem and ends with a pitch.


Objective of the course
• Knowledge about innovation and its relation to entrepreneurship
• Knowledge about the hypothesis driven start-up approach
• Fundamental concepts of financial accounting
• Knowledge of how to start a company and access to funding opportunities
Course participants will acquire skills in three competencies areas that constitute the foundations of entrepreneurship:

Ideas and Opportunities



• Spotting opportunities

• Creativity

• Vision

• Valuing ideas

• Ethical and sustainable thinking

• Self-awareness and self-efficacy

• Motivation and perseverance

• Mobilising resources

• Financial and economic literacy

• Mobilising others

• Taking the initiative

• Planning & management

• Coping with uncertainty, ambiguity, and risk

• Working with others

• Learning through experience

General competence
• Develop of an enterprising mind-set, which that will allow the participants to create value in any domain and possible value chain (private, public, and third sectors, as well as in any combination of them)
• Can assess the need for, initiate and practice innovation inside and outside of academia
• Can manage interdisciplinary projects and develop innovative ideas and projects

Draft agenda
Attendees are split in teams (the most diverse possible in terms of gender, discipline, etc.) and will work on difference exercises throughout the workshop. When they present the results of the teamwork after each breakout, they are asked to comment on other teams’ presentations too. Below, by “venture” we consider both for-profit and not-for-profit organisations.

Day I – 8 hours
• Introduction of facilitator and attendees
• Introduction to innovation and entrepreneurship
• Creativity
• The hypothesis driven entrepreneurship

Day II – 8 hours
• The value chain
• Managerial accounting
• The business model canvas

Day III – 4 hours
• Basics of persuasive communication
• The team
• Pitch your venture

Optional topics
• Understanding financial statements to improve performance
• Strategy and competitive advantage
• Innovation funding: private and public opportunities
• Basics of (digital) marketing
• Basics of IPR