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Think different


Director of Cambridge Judge’s Entrepreneurship Centre features in the IQ magazine and in the latest podcast from the Bradfield Centre at Cambridge Science Park.

An essay on “Exploring the Entrepreneurial Mind” by Bruno Cotta, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, is the cover story in the latest issue of IQ business magazine published by Illife Media.

Deep thinking concept. Woman's face with closed eyes.
Bruno Cotta.
Bruno Cotta

The two-page article (pages 24-5) introduces the new role of Richard Watson, the first “futurist-in-residence” commissioned by the Entrepreneurship Centre, and includes an arresting graphic that brings together observations from research to date to illustrate the broad mix of positive and negative attributes that have been recognised in innovators and entrepreneurs over the last 30 years.

The cover story is entitled “Exploring the Entrepreneurial Mind with Cambridge Judge Business School” and considers how these enterprising behaviours might evolve in the next generation.

“Much of our understanding today about the psychology (and now physiology) of entrepreneurs has been informed by research conducted by academics intrigued by the relationships between achievement motivated thoughts, risk taking behaviours and the hope for success (and fear of failure) in starting and scaling new ventures,” Bruno writes.

“What we know much less about the entrepreneurial mind is what happens when one mind meets another. Do great minds really think alike and what about those that don’t? What happens when co-founders then try to build teams? How do teams combine effectively (or better still exceptionally) to create high performing entrepreneurial organisations? What happens when these small, medium or larger organisations themselves interact in the context of the wider ecosystem in any one region? How do those from different ecosystems engage? And what role does culture play in all of this?”

Richard Watson will “help us identify, interpret and visualise what we’ve seen before, what we see now, and what we might see next for those inspiring and enterprising individuals, teams and organisations that we have the privilege to work with in this very special place,” says Bruno.

Separately, Bruno is the guest in the latest podcast from the Bradfield Centre, a co-working facility serving the Cambridge technology cluster and wider East of England, in which he shares his personal journey, the role of the Business School in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and how the two organisations are collaborating, including the Entrepreneurship Centre’s role in helping more established management teams scale up for growth.

“There are certain things in the mind-set of the entrepreneur that have to change during their journey, from being let’s say, a founder and trying to find a co-founder at the very early stages, through to becoming a CEO for the first time, despite the fact that the company might have three to 30 people let’s say, and then when you go beyond that, from the 30 to 300 scale, all of that changes again,” Bruno said. “So from that individual’s point of view as the CEO, they then have a very different role to play and maybe they’re not even the right person for that role and other people have to play that role and they take a different role.”

Bruno also discussed the Entrepreneurship Centre’s focus on talent development and skills. “It’s not just the technical skills that are commonplace in Cambridge – it’s actually the managerial skills that are on top of that, that allow you to go from your engineering degree as I did, or science activity that somebody else might be doing, and extend your reach and capability by having a set of management skills that maybe you don’t have – but you definitely need, to be able to turn something from an idea and get it into market.”