Entrepreneurship Lecture (Monday September 24th, Leuven) – Free

For those who are interested in entrepreneurship, there will be a lecture with entrepreneurs telling their stories … The announcement on LinkedIn was:

Dear Entrepreneurs,

An interesting lecture on Entrepreneurship is planned on Monday September 24th in Leuven. Some young entrepreneurs will talk about their experiences. Furthermore, a representative of “Start-Up Chile”, a Chilean governmental initiative to promote young entrepeneurs to start their business in Santiago. As a result, the event will have both a national and international dimension. Subscriptions are now open!

More information: http://www.startupchile.be/ or the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/events/213777338750363/

Date: Monday September 24th at 19.30
Location: Leuven, Naamsestraat 69 (HOG 00.85)
Language: English
Price: Free

Here is the video from Start-Up Chile:


I also take the opportunity to promote a Belgian startup: 8th Color. If you deal with (IT) developers and want to manage their talents and skills, they have the tool you need! If you are lazy to click and read what they are doing, just click and listen to their interview on TechBrew!

Eleventh set of results in!

Well, enumerating these results is becoming a bit boring … Yesterday was the closing seminar. Today we received our results for Entrepreneurship (Prof. Bart Clarysse). Here they are:

Everyone passed, worst scores are “B”. Congratulations to everyone!

Ok, next year I really have to find something else for these results. Any suggestion?

Simon Stockley and rocket science

For those who were intrigued by the fact Simon Stockley‘s hobby was rockets and rocket science, there is a “proof” on Youtube:

Yes, that’s him launching the rocket!

Now more seriously I quite liked Simon’s class on entrepreneurship, on Friday. Before the class I was afraid we would have the same frameworks and ideas as the ones developed for HR or OBL. But it was definitely not the case ; not that the two are completely different but because human relations in an entrepreneurial venture are different than in an established company.

At another level, Simon was the only professor so far not to niggle about his wife. Remarkable enough to be mentioned! And when you read some of his experience (ok, I know, everybody went through difficult times but you are not obliged to believe me), you appreciate more the person :-)

Open Source software is not unprotected!

Last Friday, Bart Clarysse gave us an interesting class about entrepreneurship. I was happy to learn about the protectability and complementarity of new ideas. However I was very surprised to hear Prof. Clarysse say things like “With Open Source software, you abandon your copyright” or “When you create Open Source software, it becomes automatically copyleft”.

There are a many reasons why someone would free its code under a free software license or an Open Source license. Fame, time, resources, support, … Although all these licenses and their derivatives do not all fit in it, they can broadly be defined as copyleft licenses that “describe the practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work” [w]. So far, so good.

However, neither free software, neither Open Source software, neither copyleft software are left unprotected, without any copyright and without commercialization.

Copyleft software is still protected by copyright. When you use copyleft software in your enterprise, you don’t acquire the ownership of what was previously written, you cannot make whatever you want with this piece of software. Copyleft software is clearly protected by copyright. But on top of “author’s protection”, it gives 4 levels of freedom to the customer. But author’s rights are still there and they are already many cases of enforcement of this license.

And you can of course commercialize Copyleft software. As Bart mentioned, Redhat is a commercial company giving very good results and however based on Copyleft software (Linux – and Linux in itself is not a commercial project, another error made on Friday). Another well-known, profitable company based (at least in part) on Open Source or free software is Oracle (Java, OpenOffice, MySQL). But IBM also produces free software, as well. Pixar gave back to the Community (of free software developers) some software, as well as Google, etc.

But I agree that by allowing people to build upon your source code, you don’t take the risk of earning more money. I would be happy to further develop these facts and elaborate on ideas.

Note: I expect the same one-sided story against free software in the innovation class, next year … However …

Why choose Vlerick for your MBA?

Like this, the title look like an ad paid by Vlerick but it’s not :-)

When you start considering doing a MBA everyone will start asking you the same 2 questions:

  1. Why a MBA?
  2. Why at [put here the school you have chosen]?

Why are you starting a MBA?

There are thousand good and bad reasons for you to start a MBA. But there are also thousand reasons that you shouldn’t do a MBA. If you don’t know them yet, let me help you find them. Even better: take a pencil and a paper, go outside and write all your ideas, reasons, hopes, fears, … about that MBA.

This will help you think :-)

Why a MBA at Vlerick?

In my opinion, choosing a business school before any classes is very theoretical. The first filter will be the match between your reasons to do a MBA (see above) and the general orientation of the potential business schools. You can then judge by browsing the programme, interviewing alumni, visiting the campus, etc. But you still lack the real experience of living with your courses, classes, other students, etc.

There are things you can’t change. Vlerick is located in Leuven or Ghent, Belgium, Europe (and also in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia). In that sense, it’s not in the USA where most top MBAs come from. It’s not (yet) even listed in the European MBAs in Wikipedia. But, regarding reputation, Vlerick can be proud to be in good positions in the different rankings available. For instance:

Vlerick also has a very good reputation in the multinational company I am currently working at (I acknowledge there might be a bias since its headquarters are in Belgium but it’s still a good indicator when people from abroad did their MBA at Vlerick). If you are currently working in Belgium and planning to follow the part-time (“executive”) MBA, Vlerick is the best choice.

Like most business schools, you have the choice between a full-time MBA and two non-full-time ones: part-time or modular. The table below gives you the main practical differences.

Full-time Part-time Modular
Length 1 year 2 years 18 months
Classes every weekday 2 evenings and 1 afternoon during workweek most week-ends and/or holidays
Int’l study trip yes yes no
In-company project yes yes yes

Personally, I want to work during my studies. It will certainly be more difficult but it will keep me in the loop of what’s happening in the field. YMMV. For people working in Belgium, it’s interesting to know that the programme is recognized for paid educational leave (info in French).

Beside these “technical” details, what I like in the Vlerick programme is their focus on entrepreneurship, operation and management rather than specifically finances/accounting (like some other MBAs in Belgium). Then destinations of the international study trip are Beijing, New York, Mumbai and Cape Town: you may be interested in the focus on two of the BRIC countries too.

Finally, after some interviews with alumni, one thing that recurrently came was that Vlerick is very well organized. This is one thing one could already see: we already received (we are mid-July) the schedule for the next two years as well as a thick student handbook where most practical questions are answered.

Now this is theory (well, a little bit of experience too, in fact). It will be interesting to see if I have still the same reasons to choose Vlerick after 1 year and at the end of the MBA :-)

Photo credit: Corn cob from myself :-) on Flickr

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