Entrepreneurship and innovation create new value
Entrepreneurship and innovation are very closely related but separate ideas. Entrepreneurship has to do with starting businesses. Innovation is born of entrepreneurial thinking inside an organization, and it is in no sense limited to small or new organizations; older, more established organizations can be innovative, too. Large and small organizations are essential to a healthy economy.
Entrepreneurship is the major source of new jobs in many parts of the world, including the United States, and that is crucial. Innovation, on the other hand, is the source of both economic success and jobs in both large and small organizations. In the United States, a lot of economic value, as measured by the stock market, belongs to organizations that do new things: the Googles, the Apples of the world. Innovation is important for all organizations and for the world.
One of the things we do at Johnson, through our new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, is to provide students an opportunity to look at new scientific ideas coming out of Cornell research and examine whether or not these can be made into businesses. This combines entrepreneurship and innovation.
Cultivating entrepreneurship is valued throughout the world, and many countries seek to create new cultures of entrepreneurship. For example, Professor Wes Sine has seen the rise of a new entrepreneurial spirit in his research in Latin America, where entrepreneurship can create profitable businesses and a new economic base in impoverished communities. And our Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise has been looking at this for a long time: Students conduct projects with companies throughout the world, using entrepreneurship to generate economic and social value. Some students take jobs with their project companies after graduation.
Big companies want people who have an entrepreneurial bent — people who are inventive and can make use of new ideas and new technologies, who can work within large organizations to mobilize resources, and who can move innovation forward within the organization. At Johnson, that is what we prepare our graduates to do: We provide opportunities for students to be innovative, and also to be part of a team — to create teams, lead teams, and gather resources, and move an organization forward, to their benefit and the benefit of the organization and community. Entrepreneurship has to do with starting businesses. Innovation is born of entrepreneurial thinking inside an organization. Both are essential to a healthy economy.
The fact is we have been engaged in entrepreneurial activities and in the teaching and performing of innovation for a long time at Johnson. We have our startup suite of student-run entrepreneurship services: BR Ventures, BR Consulting, BR Legal, and BR MicroCapital. We play an integral role with the university’s Entrepreneurship@Cornell program. We offer new venture education in all of our programs. But the time is ripe to expand on those activities. We see an increasing number of students interested in both entrepreneurship and innovation. Our new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute is both for people who want to start new companies and be their own boss, and for those who aim to innovate within the context of large corporations. It is vital education for all of our students, whether in our residential or Executive MBA programs.
Entrepreneurial activities can create new value; they can energize people in both small and large organizations. Entrepreneurial activities make people feel motivated and can create fabulous results.
Thank you for all that you do for the school and for each other. Please stay in touch with news about yourself and your ideas for us, and best wishes for health and success.
L. Joseph Thomas
Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean