Entrepreneurship 2.0 pinpoints three main challenges for young ventures

How do young ventures tackle their compensation policy? How can they find adequate sources of financing? And how do they set up strategic partnerships that help them grow into a sustainable, profitable business? That is what we want to find out together with our Prime Foundation Partner Deloitte Belgium during the Entrepreneurship 2.0 round tables and subsequent research.

What keeps them awake?

The Entrepreneurship 2.0 project was launched in the autumn of 2014. Veroniek Collewaert, Professor of Entrepreneurship, is the driving force behind it: “Our first concern was to find out what the main challenges are for these ventures. What keeps them awake at night? What do they struggle with? We selected 17 participants from different industries and at different stages of development, including founders and non-founders from ventures such as Neoscores, Restore, Domobios and The Beer Project.”

Three key challenges

“Initial talks with these 17 participants allowed us to map three key challenges: the first one was to determine founder and executive compensation: what compensation package do they offer new hires and what about themselves (and their co-founders)? The second challenge was to find successful sources of financing, and the third was how to set up strategic partnerships.”

Three round tables

Accordingly, the 17 participants were invited to three round tables, each one led by an expert on one of the three challenges identified. Veroniek: “In the first round table, Xavier Baeten, Professor of Reward Management, talked about compensation packages and how to optimise these to help attract key employees. In the second, Sophie Manigart, Professor of Corporate Finance, discussed different sources of financing and the key success factors of a financing strategy. The new generation of entrepreneurs was particularly interested in crowdfunding as an alternative source of financing and learned tips and tricks from those who had already launched successful crowdfunding campaigns.” The last round table of this year, scheduled in November, will address the topic of strategic partnerships under the lead of Yves Doz, Professor of Strategic Management at INSEAD.”

Broader scope

The next step will be to broaden the scope of Entrepreneurship 2.0. “We’ve compiled a sample of 9,000 companies that fit the venture profile. They will be sent a questionnaire focusing on compensation in young ventures, as this is an area in which very little research has been done so far. Participating ventures will receive a report, so they can benchmark their decisions against those of their peers.”

Want to join the Entrepreneurship 2.0 round tables next year?

Entrepreneurship 2.0 seeks to promote knowledge exchange and community-building opportunities, so the round tables will continue in 2016. If you have or know of a young venture (less than seven years old) with growth potential that would be interested in being part of our initiative, please contact veroniek.collewaert@vlerick.com.