The new Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School was officially launched on 2 December at a ceremony attended by its patron, HRH The Duke of York, KG.
“Cambridge is renowned for its ability to spin out companies that become recognised globally,” The Duke of York told a gathering in the foyer of Cambridge Judge, adding that the new Centre will “enhance not only Cambridge, not only the Cambridge University system, but also the United Kingdom.”
The Duke of York spoke during his visit with several start-up companies with ties to Cambridge Judge that had set up stands in the foyer of the business school. He said that in the past decade there has been a change in the younger generation, in that many “are now immediately thinking about becoming entrepreneurs or being entrepreneurial in what they do at school, university or afterwards.”
The Entrepreneurship Centre opened this summer, bringing together various aspects of enterprise education and research at Cambridge Judge in order to reflect the full journey of entrepreneurship, and has now been officially launched.
“Our Centre is built on three pillars” – unlocking individual entrepreneurial potential, supporting early-stage ventures and delivering growth programmes – all underpinned by a foundation of “world-class research,” said Professor Stelios Kavadias, who heads up the Entrepreneurship Centre and is also Director of Research at Cambridge Judge.
“This is enhanced by our partnership built with large companies,” he added, including a collaboration with AstraZeneca to deliver a new programme at Cambridge Judge to identify, train and mentor life sciences start-ups.
The Centre includes such successful Cambridge Judge programmes as the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship; Enterprise Tuesday, a series of lectures and networking events; and Accelerate Cambridge, which in just three years has “nurtured 81 ventures with over £10 million raised and combined valuation that exceeds £150 million,” said Professor Kavadias.
The official launch event for the Entrepreneurship Centre included a lecture entitled “Mission: How The Best Entrepreneurs Break Through” by Michael Hayman, MBE, co-founder of Seven Hills consultancy and a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge.
He told the audience that we are living in an era of “dog years” in which the speed of change has accelerated so that what may have once taken seven years to achieve now often takes just one.
He emphasised the sense of purpose of successful entrepreneurs, saying that the founders of companies such as Amazon, Uber and Airbnb set a defining and distinct mission that set them apart and created a different relationship with customers. “In an information-rich, attention-poor world, the customer is no longer a prisoner,” so companies need to project themselves, he said.