New GWU Course Focuses on Helping Entrepreneurial Companies Grow

We know the skills required to launch a business, what I call SYOB skills (‘start your own business’),  are very different from skills needed to grow and create a scalable, sustainable business.

I am pleased to advise George Washington University Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (“CFEE”) in the School of Business will now offer a new 1 1/2 credit seven week undergraduate course, Entrepreneurial Management I, MGT 4900,  starting January 7th and meeting Thursday 3:30 to 6:00 PM.I serve as an Adjunct Professor in the GWU School of Business and will be teaching the new course.

I developed the new undergraduate course to address the skills I believe are  needed to help  early stage companies grow- I find these are not well understood by entrepreneurial management teams I work with and are  missed in most traditional entrepreneurship programs.

The new course will use textbook and HBS cases – this will be a highly interactive, fast paced course. I am expecting  strong response to this new course and if you want to attend, early registration is recommended. For more information, check the GWU registrar website or contact me.

Here is an excerpt from the course syllabus- as you can see this is not a traditional “SYOB” course, and I believe will be well received by students based on my experience both teaching and working with many early stage ventures:

Course Description

Structured as a fast paced, dynamic, “learn by doing” integrated program, Entrepreneurial Management 1 (“EM 1”) introduces students to the skills needed to address critical entrepreneurial company issues and opportunities, develop winning strategies, understand how to address today’s entrepreneurial age challenges, and grow entrepreneurial ventures.

Entrepreneurial Management takes an integrative, multi-functional approach to the entrepreneurial business management issues facing managers of both emerging entrepreneurial firms, as well as traditional major firms seeking to address today’s entrepreurial age challenges and opportunities impacting their business.

Today’s traditional companies must “think entrepreneurially” to survive and grow, addressing today’s market challenges and opportunities. But to survive and grow, entrepreneurial companies must also adapt; moving from start-up to a sustainable business demands moving beyond “start your own business” skills and learning to think like “traditional” management. EM 1 addresses the core issues faced by all firms seeking to both understand today’s entrepreneurial age challenges, and develop new strategies, skills and perspectives to create defensible and sustainable businesses.

Within the EM1 course, we will examine critical strategic entrepreneurial management issues focusing on six core study areas:

  1. Innovation Management: New Directions in Developing, Leveraging and Managing Innovation
  2. New Technology: Driving Creative Business Models
  3. New Product Development: Creating Sustainable, Defensible Businesses
  4. Transitioning Challenges: Moving from Emerging Entrepreneurial to Professionally Managed Firm
  5. Globalization: Reshaping Markets, Products, Processes, Strategies
  6. Strategy Management: Challenges, Best Practices and Strategies

Through lectures, case studies, assigned readings, class assignments, and students’ active classroom participation, Entrepeneurial Management 1 provides students with a strong foundation of key entrepreneurial management a dynamic, challenging, fast-paced, learning environment.

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New Vision Needed: Creative Entrepreneurially Driven Technologies Can Improve Health Care

Clearly our health care sector has lagged behind all others in using leading edge technologies to improve operations- vested interests have really not worried too much about costs; these were just passed on to consumers, directly and indirectly. But new tools and technologies are rapidly emerging in the health care sector and these are driven by emerging entrepreneurial firms rather than the traditional major players. No surprise here- statistics show more than 95 percent of all radical technology innovation in the past 60 years has been developed by SMEs (small medium enterprises) not major corporations as you might expect. 
Bolder options are needed now to address today’s health care problems – the prescription: deploying new technology and capital on global best practices.

Let me share a vision on the possibilities. Suppose we create a new national eHealth program. Program objectives are to commit to use leading edge information and communications technology to improve patient safety, accessibility and quality of care; enable patient mobility nationally and internationally; meet the increasing demands from our citizens and healthcare professionals; and use eHealth as the main tool for renewal and improvement of our nation’s health care services. We will use telemedicine and other technologies to support creative, cost effective new solutions to improve our health care system. Consider some possibilities: 

Your patient records are stored as secure Electronic Health Records or ‘EHRs’. Just like your secure on-line bank account transaction records, you can access this information, identify issues, alert your practitioners, and if needed, request your EHR be sent to another physician or laboratory. No more going to a physician’s office to pick up copies of imaging data and records, paying extra costs and using ‘sneaker net’ to move this data between offices.

Patients with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and chronic illnesses, are monitored using at home telemedicine devices including ‘smart beds’ which automatically monitor and transmit diagnostics and vital signs to remote telemedicine centers.

Patient monitoring services are enhanced with predictive analytics and decision support systems that monitor all patient diagnostics, including ECG sensors transmitting data via mobile phones. Using intelligent, real time, secure predictive analytics technology, the diagnostic system helps assess patient status, identify any deviations and alerts the appropriate medical resources, including emergency services.

Telemedicine systems will provide rural, remote regions with access to practitioners, including specialists. The same infrastructure will be used to support ‘mobile’ health care clinics to treat some of the 42 million people in the United States who have no health insurance.
Remote consultations among practitioners and patients can be easily accomplished using secure, on-demand multimedia eHealth communications channels.

You have a wide range of online eHealth physical and wellness program alternatives available offered within the national eHealth program.

The above sounds impossible or ‘decades away’ to many. Not really. The eHealth vision above is widely promoted within EU countries now making excellent progress in deploying these new capabilities throughout Europe. And the specific program objectives above were cited in a speech by the Swedish Minister of Health in December 2007, less than four years ago. One EU study reported that about 70 percent of European physicians now use the internet and 66 percent use computers for consultations. Administrative patient data are electronically stored in 80 percent of general practices which is impressive. European physicians transfer about 40 percent of their data to laboratories electronically and about 10 percent to other health centers. Electronic prescriptions (‘e-prescribing’) is widely used in only three member states: Denmark (97 percent), Sweden (81 percent and the Netherlands (71 percent). Sweden has an impressive track record in deploying new national technology solutions such as ‘Sjunet’, their secure national information and communications technology or ‘ICT’ infrastructure supporting eHealth applications in Sweden.

‘Intelligent’ remote telemedicine technology may sound far off, but these services using predictive analytics are now offered. One example is the Kiwok BodyKom Series™ technology which offers patients in Sweden capabilities going well beyond traditional patient monitoring, such as ability to detect early disease symptoms; to follow up treatment processes for patients out-of-hospital; to follow and predict care demands in pre-hospital services; to directly transfer the information to a patient’s individual Electronic Health Record; among other features.

Summarizing, all would agree our health care system is broken. We can argue about policies, but we need to fix the systemit. The prescription: establish national level priorities to develop and deploy creative new technology solutions. Recognize that entrepreneurial firms will be a key driver in our progress and we reap significant benefits by more effectively leveraging our nation’s entrepreneurial assets. And we should learn lessons looking at global best practices of others are well ahead of the United States in developing an effective health care solutions. That is the recommended prescription to fix our ailing health care system. No need to call me in the morning.

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