Monday, November 12, 2007

ATEC 2007 in Aachen

Last Wednesday I attended the "Aachen Technology Entrepreneurship Conference" ATEC 2007 held in Schloss Rahe, Aachen and hosted by the RWTH chair for Business Administration and Sciences for Engineers and Scientists (WIN) and the RWTH Centre for Entrepreneurship.
The main goal of the conference was to bridge the gap between research and business by discussing how new trends in technology can be applied in both ressearch and specific industries.
The ATEC program included a full day of interesting entrepreneurial speeches. I much enjoyed the speech by Dr. Bert Twaalfhoven on "Lessons from failures". In his speech, Dr. Twaalfhoven who started over 54 companies in 11 countries was mainly talking about learning from failures. Many of his companies were successful, however, 17 ventures failed. It was very interesting to listen to him talking about what he has learned over 40 years as a serial entrepreneur from his failures rather than successes. According to him, the main reasons for failure come from the different cultures.
Another very interesting speech was given by Dr. Cornelius Boersch. Dr. Boersch who was elected entrepreneur of the year in Germany in 2000 and is currently the main shareholder of Mountain Partners AG talked about his experiences as an entrepreneur and business angel. According to him, to be a successful entrepreneur, just apply the KISS principle "Keep it simple, stupid, and short". He has also given critical success factors for young entrepreneurs.
In late afternoon, I attended a workshop on "Pricing" where basic theoretical methods for price building have been introduced and different examples from practice have been presented.

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