coneeect program presentation by gedeon coaching high impact ents 17_jul13

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I delivered this presentation to a group of 50+ entrepreneurship professors for the Coneeect program in Munich at the Strascheg Center for Entrerpeneuership. It was a good group of motivated and interested professors.


  • 1. Educating Entrepreneurship Educators Coneeect is an international network of universities that offers training courses for academic entrepreneurship teachers to improve the Entrepreneurship Education across Europe.

2. Coaching High Impact Entrepreneurs (How to Deal with Failure) Steven A. Gedeon, BSc, PEng, PE, MS, MBA, PhD Director of Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute Professor of Entrepreneurship & Strategy Ted Rogers School of Management Ryerson University, Toronto Canada 3. Engineering Career PhD MIT, Licensed Professional Engineer Advanced Materials, Industrial Automation, Robotics, Systems Entrepreneur & Venture Capitalist 12 companies: public, private, non-profits and VC firms Professor of Entrepreneurship Largest ENT Program in Canada Founded REI, DMZ, CUE, FZ, RAN, EPR, Venture Fund My Background 4. In-Class Univeristy Coaching-Teaching Students have created $20M in new revenues in class (INT) Started around 20 companies in class (ENT) Extra-Curricular University Coaching Over 100 companies in DMZ - university incubator Over $5M invested in 10 companies in RAN 25 Regional & National Championships for SIFE Team Professional Coaching CEO Fusion has over 5,000 members Academy for Tech CEOs has 8 Roundtables (60 members) My Coaching Experience 5. 1. Companies Come and Go But People Live On! CEO Fusion Story of how Quickly the Best CEOs Leave CEO Turnover is HIGH (1/3 per year) Very Few ENTs stay with company over 5 years The Rise of the Serial Entrepreneur Coach the PERSON not the Company! Leaving the company you founded is part of the average portfolio of experiences. It is part of the Journey! Observations 6. 2. Major Trend to Grow Company to $5-20M Exit as Quickly as Possible and Get Acquired Companies like Google do 100s of these deals a year (mostly for talent acquisition) The Rise of the Quick Flip Grow or Fail Quickly and MOVE ON! A quick decision to wind up the company is a GOOD THING. It leaves you free to Move On to Next Venture! Observations 7. 3. Product and Company Lifecycles are Compressed Must Adapt and Learn Quickly! Observations $ Revenue Time 8. 1. Most Founders are Forced to Leave their Company 2. Most Companies Fail 3. This is Happening Faster and Faster Observations 9. I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas A. Edison Failure is Normal and Expected! Dont Take Too Long to Fail. Dont let it Destroy Your Reputation or Lose Your House or Spouse Failure is a Learning Opportunity 10. Cognitive Understanding of the Benefits of Failure vs the Emotional Resiliency Required in Real Life Need to Recast Failure as 3 Key ENT Skills: Adaptive Experimentation and Learning Focus on Reality Emotional Resiliency Teaching/Coaching ENTs 11. The Lie Spot Opportunity Business Plan Marshall Resources & Launch Grow Adapt Change SUCCEED FAIL 12. The Reality Spot Opportunity Design Business Model Business Plan MVP & Market Test Talk to Customers STOP! GO Assemble Team Sell to Real Customers GO Re-Write Business Plan Re-Design & Market Test Fire and Hire New Staff Sell to Real Customers 13. Homesteaders in California Window 3.1 Steve Jobs Taylor Guitars Stories of Third Attempt 14. Adaptive Experimentation & Learning = Core ENT Skill Define go no go points and emphasize that a no go decision is a successful experient Learn how to minimize risk and maximize learning (e.g. MVP, multiple marketing tests, multiple landing pages) Focus on Reality = Core ENT Skill It does not matter what you Want or Believe > Reality is the Final Arbitor Differentiate what you want from what do you KNOW to be True E.g. price points, employee quality, customer satisfaction Professional ENTs use Hard Data and Validated Customers! Teaching/Coaching ENTs 15. Focus on Reality = Core ENT Skill Get Students Out There! Talk to Real Customers (not Google) Break Students of the Habit of Relying on Prof Student must become the expert at his/her subject! E.g. womens clothing line, helping Afgan Women, new Router Core Teaching/Coaching ENTs 16. Emotional Resiliency = Core ENT Skill Separate the Person from the Company Need to Manage Dialectic Behaviors & Emotions Passionate Involvement vs. Dispassionate Analysis Persistence vs. Fail Quickly and Move On Skin in the Game vs. Need to have Thick Skin! Teaching/Coaching ENTs 17. Include Case Studies and Stories of ENTs who leave their jobs, wind up their companies, or Fail then go on to later success Include Assigments related to NO GO decisions (define Failure in advance and the experimentation required to prove Failure) Dissociate Personal Grades from Company Outcomes Use Analogies (e.g. ENT is like Playing the Guitar) Reinforce and Repeat Key Principles (e.g. Gedeonisms) As a Prof I care about you as a person, not about your company. Most companies fail, so your company will probably fail. Get over it. Dont believe your own BS. All business plans are wrong (and most are just marketing documents). Any bozo can start a company. I want you to learn how to be a professional entrepreneur. Never fall in love with your baby. You cant tell if your own baby is ugly. Teaching/Coaching ENTs 18. Try Not! DO or DO NOT, There Is NO TRY! 19. Steve Gedeon