Ambition driven entrepreneurship in higher education

Han van der Meer, Erik Wierstra, Janneke Boeije

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

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In this paper the results of a broad survey under all students (response 69%, n=12,481) and management of all faculties of Saxion University will be presented. Saxion is a university of applied sciences located in the East of the Netherlands with 18.000 students divided over 13 faculties and 64 studies. The survey was held in the summer of 2007 and will be repeated for several years. It is shown that the interest of students to start their own company is large (over 55% in the general population) and varies over the several faculties (range 13% - 81%). A total number of 287 student companies is identified for further in depth study. Some of these cases of student companies are included in the paper. The total number of student companies at Saxion University can be estimated at 415. Based on the results of the survey a funnel type of approach is suggested to boost the number and quality of the Saxion University spin off firms to reach a total number to a turnover of 250 companies a year, to double the recent output since this doubling is the ambition of the management of Saxion University. A rather traditional approach of stimulating measures is the backbone of this funnel but the philosophy behind it is going much deeper. The authors suggest to use a model for the development of a spin off company based on three independent sub processes : - development of formula - development of organization - development of ambition The most important sub process here is the development of ambition. One of the basic rules of supporting instruments should be the nurturing of the real and deep ambition of the young entrepreneur. This may seem in contrast with the more traditional supporting instruments like providing shovel money and helping to make a business plan. New instruments should be developed to nurture and stimulate ambition. But first of all : When a university wants to attract ambitious young entrepreneurial students it starts with the ambition of the university itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference 2008
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9789036526685
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2008 - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 21 May 200823 May 2008
Conference number: 16


Conference16th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2008
Abbreviated titleHTSF


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