Chapter 16 - Case Study—Network Young Entrepreneurs NJO
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 January 2023
Roots—The Frustrations of a Venturing Student
The Network for Young Entrepreneurs (NJO) had its origins in the frustrations of a student at the Delft University of Technology, who in the early 1990s had invented a new design of a fuel cell. But he had no idea how to bring his invention to market. In the last year of his studies at the University, he had noted that there was very little, if any, education in how ventures were set up and run. For lack of a better option, he then joined a consulting firm, Arthur D. Little. Together with a few colleagues, he suggested that the consulting firm organize a course on how own businesses are started.
The first step of the team was to visit the deans of the different faculties of Delft University to elicit their support. After all, a good connect to the University and its curriculums was an important factor in determining the success of the course. The first signs were not very encouraging. A few faculties and departments were considering their own academic courses in entrepreneurship. Others considered the proposed curriculum to have insufficient theory to be part of a university program. And for some, the proposal simply was not a topic of interest. Fortunately, there was one professor in the faculty of “Science, Technology and Society” (nowadays called Technology Policy and Management) who understood what NJO was about.
The proposed venture had five basic principles:
1. Driving objectives were twofold: to help students who sooner or later wanted to be involved in venturing to understand what it takes to set up a successful business, and where possible to help them actually set up their new firms. In that sense, the course differed fundamentally from the average business course that teaches how to run a business, not how to start it.
2. For entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs: to the extent possible, the participants would work together to explore and develop the different skills needed to start their company. Furthermore, instruction would be given as much as possible by alumni and external experts in the field of areas like accounting, employment law, finance and so on.
- Towards Third Generation Learning and TeachingContours of the New Learning, pp. 235 - 240Publisher: Anthem PressPrint publication year: 2022