Prof. Dr. Aard J. Groen

Dean of Entrepreneurship, University of Groningen centre of entrepreneurship; Professor of Entrepreneurship & Commercialization, University of Groningen; Professor of Innovation Entrepreneurship, NIKOS, University of Twente

The Netherlands

Developing Competences for high tech high growth: the Venturelab International Method


Many entrepreneurs in high tech start ups can be characterized by being unaware incompetent in business. This leads to smaller growth than the original goals the entrepreneurs were aiming for. This leads to losing opportunities to create wealth for the entrepreneur and society. As far as the startups commercialize university based knowledge such as microsystems or material sciences this also means a loss of potential societal use of the research outcomes of the university.

To work on this issue we developed a method to support highly ambitious entrepreneurs in very early stage. The first goal is to make them aware incompentent and consequently competent. One of the lessons often seen in this first phase, we see based on about 350 cases, is the awareness of developing a multidisciplinary team and to think much more market oriented.

In this presentation we discuss the main dimensions of entrepreneurial competencies and show on the basis of examples from the University of Twente and the University of Groningen some results and will end up with a list of to do’s and not to do’s for such support system.


Prof. Dr. Aard Groen holds a double position on entrepreneurship at the University of Groningen and University of Twente. Groen is Dean entrepreneurship in Groningen, co-founder of both NIKOS and UGCE both centres of entrepreneurship at University of Twente, respectively University of Groningen. Groen is a leader in designing successful entrepreneurship accelerators and university entrepreneurship education programs. His research focuses on knowledge intensive entrepreneurship in start ups and existing ventures across a range of advanced technology sectors. His keynotes on university-industry collaboration, technology commercialization, key competencies for innovation, and leveraging networks for business development are featured at international conferences and symposia. Professor Groen teaches on innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing and business development.
Dr. Groen has written extensively on developing start-up and enterprise-scale businesses by leveraging industrial and international networks. His papers have been published in the Journal of Management, International Journal of Small Business, Creativity and Innovation Management, Technovation and elsewhere (For his publications, please refer to Google Scholar: http://bit.ly/1jhj5Iq).

Dr. Groen has led multiple EU projects and is presently an advisor to the board of Eurodev, which facilitates international business development and M&A activity. He was an advisor to the European Institute of Technology’s Information and Communications Technology Labs (EIT-Digital) network serving companies including Siemens, Deutsche Telekom, Philips, Nokia, Ericsson and others from 2010 till 2014, and is now involved in EIT-innoenergy, and EIT-Health.

www.utwente.nl/nikos and www.venturelabtwente.com.nl/nikos