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01 February 2019

Interview with Katherine Gundolf, new director of the MBS Entrepreneurship Center

Interview with Katherine Gundolf, new director of the MBS Entrepreneurship Center

Dedicated to entrepreneurship coaching, training and research, the MBS Entrepreneurship Center (EC) aims to contribute to the development of entrepreneurship in all its diversity. Thus, its services are aimed at MBS students and graduates carrying a project, but also at companies, researchers, experts and institutions. Dr. Katherine Gundolf, a professor and researcher specialising in entrepreneurship and Director of the MBS EC, answered our questions!

Among the 3 hubs of the MBS Entrepreneurship Center, the incubator is undoubtedly the best known. How does it work today?

Indeed, the MBS Entrepreneurship Center now consists of 3 hubs and the first is of course the incubator, which is also EC’s legacy hub. The incubator supports students and graduates, whether they are entrepreneurs or future entrepreneurs. We get involved at any stage of the project, starting from the simple idea to the creation. This is done through a pre-incubation stage, which aims at refining ideas to integrate the incubation phase itself. We have more than a hundred projects incubated each year in a wide variety of sectors.

As part of this long-term support, we can count on coaches who advise and support our project leaders through hours of individual coaching. In addition to our coaches, specialists lead specific training sessions whose themes often arise from the needs of incubatees.

The other two hubs, which are less well known, are in full development. What can you tell us about them?

Actually, the 2nd hub is oriented towards initial and continuous training at MBS with, for example, the Start-Up specialisation in the last year of the Grande Ecole Program. As for the 3rd hub, it is focused on entrepreneurship research. At MBS, we have excellent teacher-researchers specialszed in this field and high quality partners such as Montpellier Research in Management (MRM) and LabEx Entreprendre. Thanks to MBS EC, we ensure that the field and research are “self-fertilising” to be as close as possible to the current problems of the entrepreneurial world.

These three hubs make it possible to generate a high degree of cross-functionality within MBS itself, in particular by linking the development hubs with companies, initial and executive education and research. Our objective is to put this to the benefit of society, and particularly of the local economy in which MBS operates. Indeed, I think that entrepreneurship is a strength for society and that MBS has a full role to play within the local ecosystem.

What is the overall objective of the MBS EC?

The objective is to make the MBS Entrepreneurship Center an essential partner that will facilitate the entrepreneurial action in the region by providing MBS students and graduates with a network, support and even a physical space on campus. This is already promising because we sense a general trend among students who feel the need to create. This happens every year because we have more and more interested students, which is very encouraging!

You have been the director of the MBS EC for only a few months, but you are not a newcomer to the campus….

Indeed, I have been a teacher-researcher at MBS since 2006. My speciality is entrepreneurship, and more particularly micro-businesses. This experience has notably enabled the restructuring of the training and research hubs of the MBS Entrepreneurship Center. It is therefore no longer just an incubator; it is a global and integrated system. The aim is to adapt the training in real time to always be at the service of entrepreneurship and the needs of future entrepreneurs and companies. To summarise, the most important thing is to be as relevant as possible to the current entrepreneurial world.

To contact the MBS Entrepreneurship Center:

 

 

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