Pages Navigation Menu

If I was…setting out to be an entrepreneur

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 in Authored, Financial Times

Originally published in Financial Times on January 15, 2014 By Daniel Isenberg Daniel Isenberg has several roles, including professor of management practice at Babson College, founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, and founder and chief executive of Entrepreneurship Policy Advisors. He has just published “Worthless Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value”. Here, he uses his experience to set out what he would do if he planned to be an entrepreneur: If I were setting out as an entrepreneur today, I would buy an existing company to scale up rather than build a start-up from scratch. I would make incremental tweaks of improvement rather than innovate, exercise cool judgment rather than hot passion and build my departure plan from day one. Why would I not launch a startling new start-up from scratch?...

Read More

The Pitfalls (and Upsides) of Partnering with Entrepreneurs

Posted on Oct 18, 2013 in Authored, Harvard Business Review, Print

Originally published in Harvard Business Review on October 18, 2013 To en·gage  ( n-g j ): To pledge or promise, especially to marry; to draw into; to involve; to enter into conflict with Corporate executives are exhorted daily by well-meaning public leaders that they should support their local entrepreneurs in order to be good corporate citizens and to bolster local economies. But engagement with entrepreneurs is not a question of conscience or moral imperative; it is a question of strategic self-interest. As any experienced corporate leader knows, engaging entrepreneurs has potentially the same spectrum of pleasure and pain reflected in the formal definition, from the prospect of inextricable involvement including conflict, to the promise of partnership, to the happy possibility of union in blissful corporate matrimony and acquisition. Let’s start with the pitfalls, because these are often ignored or discounted in...

Read More

Opportunity abounds in Milwaukee

Posted on Sep 27, 2013 in Authored, Miscellaneous blogs, Print

Originally published in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel on September 27, 2013 By Dan Isenberg We all know these past few years have been tough for many American cities, and urban pain has not left Milwaukee unscathed. But since helping launch Scale Up Milwaukee in March with an ever-expanding number of committed partners (Gov. Scott Walker, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, American Express OPEN, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), I keep seeing opportunity. Recently, I interviewed Jerry Jendusa, a Wisconsin native, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee alumnus and the founding executive of EMTEQ — a $100 million venture that has grown at a steady clip even during the recession and becoming a global competitor. Wouldn’t 20 EMTEQs in the Milwaukee region change the equation entirely? I saw opportunity again recently...

Read More

Entrepreneurship is about extraordinary value creation and capture: Daniel Isenberg

Posted on Aug 19, 2013 in Authored, Business Standard, Print

Originally published on Business Standard, August 19 2013 A big challenge is to help entrepreneurs and investors ‘discover’ that it is mutually beneficial to engage, Isenberg tells Ankita Rai You say, ‘Entrepreneurship and the process of betting on it are contrarian in nature’. Does that explain the scarcity of capital for new ventures?  It depends on the environment. In general, however, it does not require much capital to scale in any given market. All the low-income markets that I have seen have sufficient liquidity to support the growth. The bigger challenge is to help entrepreneurs and investors ‘discover’ that it is mutually beneficial to engage. In many cases, the ecosystem (for example, exit or liquidity possibilities for investors) is also limited as to retard the flow of capital to entrepreneurial ventures. The role of the government is to make exits easier. The...

Read More

Fostering Entrepreneurship in Bahrain

Posted on Aug 18, 2013 in Articles, Authored, Print

Printed in Tamkeen Annual Report...

Read More

Dan Isenberg Part 2: Behind Every Great Entrepreneur Is A Great Entrepreneur

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 in Authored, Book Coverage, Forbes, Miscellaneous blogs

Originally published on Forbes July 17, 2013 Forbes: You discuss failure: One, it happens, but two, don’t celebrate it. Isenberg: That’s a complicated topic. And some of what I was writing was in reaction to something that I’ve heard at conferences increasingly over the last four or five years. That is we should celebrate failure. I think entrepreneurs may be getting the wrong idea, because entrepreneurs, they don’t want to fail. They hate failure. They are going to succeed. They may have to change or modify. They have to be very eyes-open in terms of realizing the mistakes they’re making, and correcting them. But they certainly don’t want to give up easily. That’s not entrepreneurship. But on the other hand, in society, it’s really important to make it, what I call, structurally easy to fail in terms of bankruptcy and labor...

Read More