UCC Hosts Innovation Master Classes – September 17th – 18th 2014


intertradeireland all island

I’m pleased to say that this year’s All Island Innovation Programme Series of Master Classes, hosted by UCC’s School of Management & Marketing, will feature Prof. Erik Vermeulen, Professor of Business and Financial Law at Tilburg University

Prof. Vermeulen will deliver three Master Classes and a keynote evening lecture over two days – 17th and 18th Sept.

Workshop 1 Weds 17th Sept 9.00am – The Organization and Funding of Early-Stage Businesses
Workshop 2 Weds 17th Sept 2.00pm – New Trends in Early-Stage Business Financing
Public Lecture Weds 17th Sept 7.00pm – The Globalization of Innovation and Business Creation
Workshop 3 Thurs 18th sept 9.00am – The Truth about IPOs (and Acquisitions) of High Tech Companies

Previous speakers in the All Island Innovation Programme Series have included Prof. Oliver Gassmann of the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and Ms. Hanadi Jabado, Entrepreneur in Residence at Judge Business School, Cambridge University (UK)

These events have been very popular. Advanced booking for Prof. Erik Vermeulen is essential at http://www.eventzilla.net/web/event?eventid=2139038901.

All four events are free to attend.

The events have been organised by Dr Lawrence Dooley at UCC’s Department of Management & Marketing.

Further details of the events is detailed below.

Public Lecture Weds 17th Sept 7.00pm – The Globalization of Innovation and Business Creation
With entrepreneurship and innovation on the decline, governments are increasingly turning to companies, universities as well as knowledge and research institutions to jumpstart the start-up community. These collaborations, conveniently dubbed “triple helixes”, are dedicated to the establishment of knowledge-intensive service clusters in which the structure and dynamics of interactions among the different actors drive innovation and value creation. However, the simple notion of triple helix collaborations does not succeed nearly as often as expected. Sufficient access to capital is paramount to support start-ups through the valley of death (which can be defined as the period between the initial capital contribution and the time the company starts generating a steady stream of revenue). The Lecture discusses the emergence of collaborative funding models and platforms, which ensure integrated and sustainable investment approaches. Such collaborative funding models encompass not only institutional investors and venture capitalists, but also universities, multinationals, family offices, and other investors interested in innovation and growth, giving a global perspective to innovation and business creation.

Workshop 1 Weds 17th Sept 9.00am – The Organization and Funding of Early-Stage Businesses
Investors typically use four criteria when evaluating an investment opportunity: (1) the attractiveness of the project analyzed in terms of market size and growth, product attractiveness, the business strategy, the likelihood of customer adoption, and the competitive position of the venture; (2) the quality of the management team and the organization of the venture; (3) deal terms; and (4) exit opportunities (the topic of Workshop 3). This Workshop delves into the organization and governance of early-stage businesses. Recent developments on this topic reveal that there have been major changes in how early-stage businesses are organizing themselves nowadays. How did this come to be? There is an increasing shift towards more entrepreneur favorable deal terms, investors are ditching the legalese and are instead opting for more user friendly term sheets, and the reputable and well-established investors are orchestrating a code of conduct to restore trust and confidence in the start-up ecosystem. Each of these developments begins to confirm the changing landscape within the industry. One thing is clear: early-stage businesses better take notice.

Workshop 2 Weds 17th Sept 2.00pm – New Trends in Early-Stage Business Financing
Access to finance is a major challenge for early-stage businesses. As discussed in Workshop 1, there are many strings attached to traditional financing whether it be through equity or debt, which explains the increasing interest in alternative investment options, including new types of investors such as micro-venture capital funds, crowdfunding platforms and corporate venture capital. Many of these financing options offer unique propositions beyond what is offered by the more traditional avenues of funding. For instance, crowdfunding (as a new type of entrepreneurial finance) enables early-stage start-up companies to raise ‘venture capital’ from a large group of individuals, sidestepping the traditional fundraising process that includes lengthy due diligence periods and tough negotiations over the valuation and contractual terms. This Workshop has been designed to better understand the new trends in early-stage business financing and to create awareness of the difficulties and challenges associated with these alternative financing options.

Workshop 3 Thurs 18th Sept 9.00am – The Truth about IPOs (and Acquisitions) of High Tech Companies
Liquidity issues disrupt the venture capital model and make venture capital investments less attractive. How should this problem be addressed? The solution is clear: We need more liquidity options (e.g., a structured pre-IPO segment in stock markets) that can effectively bridge these gaps. The Workshop starts with a bird’s eye view of legal and institutional measures that are currently being unveiled by policymakers, regulators, and exchange operators in their attempts to revitalize the IPO model. We later zoom in to examine the determinants that make an IPO successful. A particular focus is on the interactions among managers, board members, and investors. These interactions can have a positive impact on the inner workings of the newly listed company. We also explore the dynamics of the IPO market, and in particular show how interactions with intermediaries and advisors affect the further development of companies beyond the IPO. Finally, the Workshop looks at the costs and benefits of IPOs (compared to acquisitions).


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