Jeff Engel, alumni student discusses the value of ecosystems
Jeff Engell, one of our alumni students from the ‘new venture creation’ track at Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship visited Lund yesterday to discuss ecosystems and how to make best use of the supportive system.
During Jeff’s time at Lund’s University, the students worked at their own companies while pursuing their degree. Jeff especially worked on two projects concerning new ventures in IT solutions. This is where he got in touch with the different ecosystems in Sweden that supports entrepreneurship in various ways and in that sense, helps bring ideas to market. He also learnt that Sweden is very proactive when it comes to focusing on what research leads to. Learning a lot about Sweden’s system and how it interacts, Jeff became interested in finding out how he could take some of these core pieces and work with them in other countries.
He identified Turkey as a country that has good quality research but no commercialization happening. There was no technology transfer from the university to the market. With a technology transfer center it would actually be possible to commercialize the ideas. Today, Jeff has his own business called Blue Ocean Group, a consultancy firm helping developing countries – in emerging entrepreneurships. “We also work with governmental agencies and universities in trying to establish an ecosystem for entrepreneurship” says Jeff. Today, Blue Ocean Group is extended beyond Turkey and includes Jordan and Morocco. The second part of Jeff’s business is working with companies to help them raise capital, by providing them with market research.
“Lund changed the course of my life” says Jeff. Meeting people from various cultures and backgrounds is something he considers truly enriching and an aspect he’d like to point out to students at the university. He also believes that SKJCE holds a lot of opportunities for students in the sense that they are given the best time to become an entrepreneur. More time and money has been spent in the field of entrepreneurship than ever before.
“Studying at the entrepreneurship program is also a great time to launch a new venture and gain experience from working with new venture creation” says Jeff. He also points out the fact that companies are no longer looking for the traditional person to hire, they are looking for people with innovative mindsets, people how can think “outside the box”. Combining technical skills with an innovative mindset is a real winning concept according to Jeff.