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Member News: C.C. Eship / NACCE Journal Fall/Winter 2009

Teaching Innovation – A Prerequisite for Successful Entrepreneurship

Thursday, November 05, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
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By Praveen Gupta

President

Accelper Consulting Company

When I was seeking funding for my dotcom venture I learned that investors expect a success rate of 1 in 10 projects, and that is why each project must show them return of multipliers to cover for the losses in the rest of the portfolio. I also noticed successful products like iPod, iPhone, or Google have many innovations rather than just one or two ideas.

Being an entrepreneur I wondered how to become successful. I don’t believe that one becomes successful just by a flash of genius. There must be some process to be a successful innovator. Instead of thinking of innovative solutions in the middle of the night randomly, I did my research on great innovators and was able to put together a teachable breakthrough innovation framework - BrinnovationTM. The BrinnovationTM framework is based on the work of Einstein, Edison, Galileo, Newton, and Ford.

It addresses these issues:

• Innovation opportunities

• Extent of innovation

• Speed of innovation

• The creativity process

• Innovative thinking

• Scoping out the innovations

• Being a perpetual innovator

• Improving the success rate

• Innovating on demand

• Economizing innovations

• Monetizing innovations

I am sure educators have a dilemma about how to teach people to think creatively and about the innovation process. They also probably struggle with how to guide entrepreneurs to think ‘BIG’ to launch new businesses or industries and create jobs in their communities. Based upon the current business trends I have come to the conclusion that going forward large corporations are not going to create jobs; instead the innovative people will be creating a new generation of large corporations. It is imperative that we empower our communities for innovation and create the next generation of Henry Fords and Bill Gates. All revolutions start with people, and so will the innovation revolution be.

I have been teaching the Business Innovation class at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago for over three years with great feedback from students. The Brinnovation™ framework has been packaged in teaching products through IIT Chicago. Business Innovator Train-the-Trainer and Certification programs are available to Community College Entrepreneurship Centers, enabling them to train large numbers of people in their community with or without government funding.

Using the Brinnovation™ framework a recent IIT student joined a large corporation where he was able to develop a new technology platform in three days that his new employer had been trying for over a year. Similarly, another engineer at a large corporation said he was able to develop an innovative solution over the weekend that would have taken him six months otherwise.

These are great success stories. I hope to see real businesses launched from trained innovators. My objective is to create a large pool of innovators, about 5,000 in each county or so, then enable them to dream, and provide support to become successful entrepreneurs. We must accept the challenge to create a large number of new businesses in our communities. Together, universities, community colleges, civic leaders, entrepreneurship centers, and people must come together to re-energize our communities. If we want to survive and thrive, we do not seem to have much choice.

Praveen Gupta, the architect of Breakthrough Innovation framework, teaches business innovation at Illinois Institute of Technology. He is the founding president of Accelper Consulting Company that is engaged in helping businesses sustain profitable growth through excellence and innovation. He can be reached at gupta@iit.edu, or Praveen@accelper.com


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