Programme Content

MIE programme  

Fundaments of Running an Innovative Company Electives Boot Camps Silicon Valley Tour Innovation Project Startup Internship Start-up Internship Action Learning Personal Development Start-up accelerator Idea Generation Idea Conversion Idea Diffusion Innovation Challenge

The figure above the journey you'll go through from September until June.

Detailed Curriculum
Masters in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The Fundamentals of Running an Innovative Company

Strategic Management of Technology


Why you need this course:


Innovators and entrepreneurs alike must have a deep understanding of the intricacies of managing science- and technology-based businesses. Following a techno-economic paradigm, the results of creativity and innovation can often be protected by intellectual property (IP). The protection offered by copyright, patents, trade secrets, etc. therefore incentivises investment in creative and innovative processes. IP-based business models such as technology licensing, patent pools, value- and performance-based negotiations and game dynamics of IP-based R&D and standard wars must be understood.

The aim of this course is to provide you with an understanding of how IP is obtained and what its boundaries are. You will analyse the pros and cons of licensing versus monopoly models, as well as discuss the role IP can play in a start-up setting. IP can at times also stifle innovation which will be touched upon in a critical reflection on the downside of IP. You will learn to design and negotiate IP-based business models in advanced technology contexts like AI/ML, robotics or gene & cell therapies.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the interaction between technological revolutions and financial capital
  • Distinguish between the different types of IP
  • Weigh in on the decision to keep R&D results confidential (trade secret) or to file for patent protection
  • Identify elements to strengthen an IP portfolio
  • Avoid IP pitfalls
  • Design IP-based business models for techno-ventures

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By running a technology foresight exercise
  • By following a real invention from conception to patent grant
  • By discussing whether copyright rules are adapted for the digital age;
  • By zooming in on case studies prepared by the European Patent Office;
  • By identifying non-traditional trademarks that target us as consumers
  • By designing and negotiating technology licensing contracts

Course holders:
- Prof Dr Walter Van Dyck
- Geert Glas for 3 sessions on IP as-is

Entrepreneurship


Why you need this course:


Start-ups are everywhere and have a profound impact on our daily lives. Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking, reasoning and acting that is opportunity-obsessed and holistic in approach. It has become a fundamental part of all Vlerick degree programs, and many Vlerick graduates eventually find themselves occupying a position as entrepreneur, or are associated with one as their financier, partner, supplier or customer.

You will learn about the growing recognition of the critical importance of entrepreneurial activities in the economy and the society at large. The course will also offer you an insight in the specific challenges and solutions that characterize entrepreneurship and that have broad implications for any 21st century graduate. In addition, given the specific challenges entrepreneurs often face in terms of uncertainty and resource scarcity, you will explore solutions applied by expert entrepreneurs and come to understand how these can be of value to any professional finding him/herself in similar situations in organizations seeking growth, renewal or even survival.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the essence of entrepreneurship;
  • Explore and identify new venture opportunities in a more systematic way;
  • Understand the importance of a business model for new venture creation;
  • Evaluate the viability of a new venture idea and understand how to finance it;
  • Develop and pitch a business case for a new venture.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By developing and pitching a business plan in front of potential investors;
  • By receiving hands-on coaching in New Venture Labs to improve your business case;
  • Through testimonials of successful entrepreneurs and their lessons learned;
  • By analysing in detail different aspects of the new venture creation process using real cases from across the globe.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Miguel Meuleman
Prof Dr Fredrik Hacklin
Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert
Prof Dr Hans Crijns
Dr Yannick Dillen

Accounting for Innovation & Entrepreneurs


Why you need this course:


Accounting is “the” language of business. Accounting provides managers, decision-makers and various other stakeholders with structured financial and non-financial information that allows them to make informed decisions. Accounting for innovation and entrepreneurial purposes though poses specific challenges. For example, as a start-up, it will be difficult to immediately rely on financial measures such as return on investments and profit since these measures are typically lagging indicators, i.e., they are the outcome of running the business over time. As such, in a start-up environment you will need different accounting measures, i.e., leading indicators, that will help you to judge whether you are on track to create a sustainable competitive advantage with a new product or service. Designing accounting measures for entrepreneurial and innovation purposes are here the key to success.

After completing this course...

This course will exist out of two parts. After completing the first part, you’ll be able to understand the basics of financial accounting and the necessary compliance requirements for a start-up to prepare its’ financial statements. We will spend considerably more time on relevant start-up and accounting for innovation challenges, such as accounting for inventories, the valuation of intangibles such as patents and goodwill, understanding cash-flow streams for start-ups and the impact of finance decisions on equity and debt reporting. After completing the first part, we focus more on the use of management accounting information that helps entrepreneurs and innovation managers to make better decisions and realize financial and societal value over time. In particular, we will focus on break-even analysis, the design of costing systems, the use of budgeting and planning for scale-ups and finally the development of strategy maps and performance scorecards. When discussing these strategy maps and performance scorecards, for example, we will specifically focus on the measurement and value of leading indicators such as company culture, knowledge and innovation management systems, firms’ informational capital, and employees' skills that are typically leading indicators for start-ups growth and success over time.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By applying the theory and frameworks learned to a bunch of exercises, case studies and simulations that focus on the management of start-up companies or other entrepreneurial challenges

Course holder:
Prof. Dr. Kristof Stouthuysen

Entrepreneurial Finance


Why you need this course:


The course is designed to enable students to understand and apply in practice the necessary tools required to develop a financing strategy for entrepreneurial companies. Given the uncertainty, large information asymmetries and different goals and objectives, the potential for agency problems between entrepreneurs and investors is high. Therefore, traditional financing methods (such as bank debt) are largely inappropriate. We will take the point of view of the entrepreneur dealing with his/her search for appropriate sources of funding, including crowdfunding, business angels and venture capital. This course provides you with an insight into how these alternative investors work, what drives the valuation of an entrepreneurial venture, how investors balance their risk through tailor-made contracts, and how they exit their investments.

The course will examine financial planning in a startup, which is essential to understand financing needs and valuations. We will focus on the equity financing process, as this is highly specific for this type of ventures. Throughout the course, guest speakers (experts from the industry) will share their insights and provide their view on the particularities of valuing and financing a start-up company.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Calculate the financing needs of a start-up;
  • Apply appropriate valuation techniques for valuing entrepreneurial ventures;
  • Analyse liquidation and anti-dilution preferences in investor term sheets;
  • Develop a financing strategy for an entrepreneurial company.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By analysing and discussing real cases;
  • Through the development of a financing strategy for your own start-up;
  • By interviewing and attending entrepreneurs’ guest lectures on their financing strategy.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Natalia Matanova

Scaling your Venture


Why you need this course:


Entrepreneurship is core to the DNA and mission of our School. Throughout the core Entrepreneurship course, the focus is on helping you get all the skills and knowledge needed to start a venture of your own. Yet, getting started is really the easy part – it is what comes next that is substantially harder. Moving from one happy bunch of 5 friends around a pizza (or whatever other food of your liking) to a size of 50 employees, 150 employees and beyond is not an easy feat. High and rapid growth tends to take a toll on an organization and its people. Along the same lines, getting your first customers in is one thing, but scaling your sales to ensure massive market adoption is another. As ventures grow, they will face many growing pains. This course will take you through some of those key scaling pains and show you how to tackle them.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the key growing pains of a venture,
  • Determine the right pace of growth;
  • Navigate the trade-off between structure and chaos;
  • Develop an organizational structure for a growing venture;
  • Optimize the hiring strategy for a scale-up;
  • Build and maintain a culture when scaling;
  • Develop a plan to scale your sales;
  • Evaluate and support your growth financially and systematically.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through tackling cases illustrating key growing pains and putting you in the shoes of the entrepreneur in charge;
  • Through sessions by guest speakers, e.g. by co-founders of Showpad;

Course holder:
Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert


Idea Generation

Creative Thinking


Why you need this course:


One of the first key skills any innovator needs, whether for a start-up or a more mature corporate, is being able to generate new ideas. As part of the creative thinking workshop, you will learn about and apply several ideation tools to enable you to come up with more and better ideas.
For more information on this course, kindly refer to the Start-up Accelerator course description.

Teaching Faculty:
Yves De Smet

Course Holder:
Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert

Design Thinking


Why you need this course:


Every created innovative solution is meant for an end user. Design thinking is a methodology that uses elements from the designer's toolkit such as empathy and experimentation to arrive at innovative solutions with that end user in mind. By using design thinking, you will make decisions based on what future customers really want instead of relying only on instinct or historical data. For this 2.5-day course, we invite prof. Sebastian Fixson from Babson College (USA) to take you through the ins and outs of this methodology, going from how to do user research, to ideation and prototyping, to implementing design thinking on your own start-up projects.
For more information on this course, kindly refer to the Start-up Accelerator course description.

Teaching Faculty:
Prof Dr Sebastian Fixson

Course Holder:

Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert


Idea Conversion

Innovation Process Management


Why you need this course:


Innovation plays an important role in an organization’s success. Market leaders derive a significant proportion of their income from new products, whether it is a major breakthrough or incremental improvements to existing products. In a fast-paced environment, companies need to rethink and redesign their current practices in order to grow and stay competitive in the future. Management of innovations helps organizations encourage and support innovation and realize the commercial benefits from it.

You will be equipped with state-of-the-art knowledge and best practices needed to successfully develop innovation-based growth and renewal strategies. You will explore the innovation process, from idea generation over idea development to implementation and commercialization. In addition, you will discuss why the ecosystem in which an organization operates is crucial for its innovation strategy. Finally, you will develop a framework to analyse a firm´s innovation portfolio.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Discuss how to create a corporate environment that fosters creativity;
  • Analyse a firm´s innovation process;
  • Assess the (innovation) ecosystem of a company and derive implications for its innovation strategy;
  • Evaluate trade-offs when choosing innovation projects to build a balanced R&D portfolio.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing many practical examples;
  • Through simulations that highlight the trade-offs when choosing between different innovation projects;
  • Through guest lectures on innovation management of large companies (such as Solvay) or innovative start-ups (such as Wireflies);
  • By assessing a company´s innovation strategy and providing recommendation for their innovation portfolio.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Robin Kleer

Technology Foresight


Why you need this course:


Innovators and entrepreneurs alike must have a good knowledge of currently available technologies and technologies that are likely to shape the future.

Technology foresight is regarded as the most upstream element of the technology development process. It provides inputs for the formulation of technology policies and strategies that guide the development of the technological infrastructure. In addition, technology foresight provides support to innovation, and incentives and assistance to enterprises in the domain of technology management and technology transfer, leading to enhanced competitiveness and growth.

The aim of this course is to give you a glimpse of the future by showing you future technologies in various fields. These technologies will impact the way we produce, the way we consume or the way we interact with one another. In that sense, this course will inspire you to think about these (and other technologies) and what potential you see in them for future business.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Assess the importance of technology foresight for a company;
  • Evaluate the importance of new technologies for a company;
  • Discuss the impact of future technologies on society and business.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing many practical examples;
  • Through guest lectures on usage of innovative technologies in companies and start-ups;
  • By discussing interactions of new technologies and their impact.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Robin Kleer

Growing from Venture to Corporation: a Strategic Perspective


Why you need this course:


Entrepreneurs—whether they are managing a start-up or working in a larger corporation—need to understand how to move from a venture to a corporation. Firms like Amazon, Google, and Alibaba have all started as small ventures into successful conglomerates. Strategic management helps entrepreneurs and managers to set the right direction for their venture and to turn it into a successful business organization. When new ventures grow successfully, they face increasing competition and they need to build sound strategic answers to this challenge. Building a successful strategy is therefore an important task for every manager of a fast-growing (small) firm.

This course provides you with the tools and frameworks to see the big picture when you embark on your growth path. It starts with how strategists look at building new ventures. Then we will explore how strategy can help to turn an entrepreneurial venture into a successful established business. We will discuss frameworks for these strategies and how they can be applied to SMEs and larger organizations).

We will also discuss about growth. Many successful ventures grow in new directions and become corporations with several business units. Strategic management helps you to find out which business opportunities are best and how to manage a multi-business firm. We conclude the course by looking at corporate renewal. Every disruptor gets disrupted. How to deal with this challenge?

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • See how strategy can help entrepreneurs/managers grow their venture into a successful company;
  • Understand the different strategy concepts that are used in the different phases of a company;
  • Assess the quality of the strategy and the implementation skills;
  • Make recommendations on how to adapt and improve the strategy and implementation;
  • Build change journeys to realize the strategic targets.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By working on case studies;
  • By discussing real-life and actual examples.

Course holders:
- Prof Dr Kurt Verweire


Idea Diffusion

Marketing of new Products


Why you need this course:


The essence of marketing is about understanding and addressing customer needs in a differentiating way. As every company needs to offer its products or services to a target audience, marketing is considered as a core management discipline. The marketing task can be especially challenging for start-ups as customers often need to be “educated” about a new solution or novel approaches to existing solutions on the one hand, and (marketing) budgets are often limited on the other hand. Once the start-up phase is finished, and still relatively young companies enter a scale-up phase, new challenges present itself, as often a more structured, planned, organized, and possibly automated marketing approach might be needed.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Be familiar with, and able to apply, a selection of frameworks and concepts related to strategic marketing and customer-innovation-driven approaches
  • Understand and apply a selection of frameworks and concepts related to operational marketing approaches – including creative ways to manage marketing mix elements.
  • Have analysed best-practice examples of strong marketing approaches by companies active in various industries.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through the inclusion of a real-life case challenge co-facilitated by business representatives of a company in a start-up or scale-up phase
  • Via business guest lectures, an experience visit (TBC) and active coaching/realistic personalised feedback related to the deliverables required in the context of this course

Course holder:
Prof Dr Frank Goedertier

Digital Marketing Skills


Why you need this course:


Digital marketing is the most important marketing channel for start-up and scale-ups. Even with a limited budget you can already set up a digital marketing campaign. This course will introduce you to the most popular digital marketing platform: Google Ads. In two sessions, you will learn the fundamentals of this digital marketing platform: How to select the best keywords, how to write appropriate ads, how to structure them and how to evaluate the results. This course will not turn you into digital marketing experts, but these basic skills will give you a running start to apply digital marketing tools for your own business.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the digital marketing landscape;
  • Design a Google Ads campaign;
  • Evaluate a Google Ads campaign.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By creating a first Google Ads campaign with a very limited budget for your own business

Course Holder:
Prof Eamonn O’Raghallaigh

Professional Management Skills

Negotiating to Create Value

 
Why you need this course:


We negotiate all the time, both in a professional and a personal capacity. Negotiation lies at the heart of doing business, selling, leading teams, managing and influencing people and resolving differences. Yet few people are able to negotiate effectively. In this course we situate negotiation as essentially a decision-making process in which we engage other people to meet our key interests through give and take. We further explore its three core dimensions, i.e., people, content and process as well as different negotiation strategies for different situations. Overall, the focus is on two key competencies in negotiation, i.e., to create and claim value.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Distinguish between the taking of positions and the exploration of interests in negotiation
  • Apply creativity to find integrative solutions to difficult negotiation situations
  • Communicate more effectively in negotiation
  • Prepare better for future negotiations
  • Manage the three dimensions of negotiation more consciously

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a series of simulations, exercises and cases that increase in complexity over the course

Course holder: Prof Dr Barney Jordaan

Management Skills Seminar

 
Why you need this course:


For this course we’ll take you off campus for 3 days and focus on leadership development and the people skills needed in the digital age. Central to the approach is the concept of ‘learning by doing’. You’ll get an in-depth opportunity to assess your own skills profile in an active environment, rather than just thinking and talking about your skills. You’ll receive some inspiring frameworks to guide and develop your competencies. You’ll also learn how to optimize your teamwork.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Enhance your personal and professional growth by developing a number of important competencies, both on the individual level (eg knowledge of your own cognitive and interaction style) and the professional level (eg presentation skills, brainstorming skills, communication skills, giving and receiving feedback, intercultural awareness)
  • Use some basic theoretical frameworks, practical information and hands-on experiences to reflect on and manage group dynamics and interaction between people

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By experiencing the theory through working on a real business case and pitching your solution as consultants to the client company
  • By reflecting on the team processes while working on the problem, with the help of coaches and the theoretical frames provided

Course holder: Prof Dr Karlien Vanderheyden

Career Skills

 
Why you need this course:


During your Masters at Vlerick you’ll be confronted with a wide range of career opportunities. To help you make the right career choices, we’ll work on a set of competencies that are critical for career success in today’s work environment. Specifically, we’ll start from 3 crucial questions:

  • What is my ambition? What are my basic values and energy drivers?
  • What are my abilities? What am I good at?
  • How do I land a job in line with my personal aspirations and needs?

In this course you’ll gain a better understanding of the labour market, experience the importance of networking, and get inspired by career experiences of alumni. We’ll discuss and help you prepare for the different phases in the job search process. You’ll learn how to make your application stand out, practise online ability assessments, and get personal feedback based on assessment centre simulations and mock interviews with professional recruiters.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Pitch your strengths and talents, clarify your career values and energy drivers, and match them with specific jobs and company cultures
  • Effectively prepare for the different stages of the job search process in order to successfully land a job that will give you career satisfaction

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a mixture of in-class sessions, coaching in small groups, and many practical exercises
  • Through exchanges with practitioners and a diverse group of young and senior Vlerick alumni
  • By using the Career Focus Tool, a practical tool that will facilitate your job search

Course holder: Ms Veroniek De Schamphelaere

Presentation Skills

 
Why you need this course:


Communication is an essential component in the business world. Communicating with customers, discussing within teams, presenting business ideas to potential investors, or motivating one’s own workforce – the communication moments are vast. Also, during your Master journey at Vlerick, you will extensively engage in communication. You will constantly work in teams, preparing presentations of case solutions and of class assignments. Soon, you will also present to representatives from companies in various occasions.

Consequently, it is important to better understand the underlying mechanism of good communication. In this course, you will focus on the communicative elements of presentations: from clearly developing messages, embedding them in a stringent and compelling flow, using aids such as slides, as well as successfully delivering them.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Develop a presentation flow, with an awareness-creating introduction, a main body with clear messages, and an ending that secures the outcomes;
  • Use slides and other aids as a means of transmitting their messages;
  • Deliver presentations, aware of their individual appearance and connecting with the audience.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By trying out your communication and presentation skills in various short exercises;
  • By developing and performing presentations;
  • Through direct feedback on the spot to improve your performance.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Frank Goedertier

My Vlerick Development Portfolio (MyVDP)

 
Why you need this course:


Knowing who you are and how this can impact others - one of the key competencies to succeed as a professional today is to be self-aware of your strengths, your points of improvement, and your proficiency in a set of generic competencies that are crucial in today’s business world. Other indispensable generic business skills are to have an open attitude, and the ability to embrace feedback as well as give feedback in a constructive way. In My Vlerick Development Portfolio (MyVDP) we’ll combine both.

Throughout your MyVDP learning journey you’ll not only gain insight into your own strengths and weaknesses, we’ll also challenge you to reflect and act on improvement actions. We’ll do this by means of a 360° assessment, peer feedback, and individual as well as group coaching.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Compile a portfolio that will enable you to reflect and be critical of yourself, and help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, not only as you define them but also through the eyes of others
  • Give constructive feedback to peers and receive feedback from peers
  • Take the necessary actions to develop and optimise your potential during your Masters at Vlerick and get support from your peers
  • Describe your learning process, demonstrate the progress you made, and make it visible by taking charge of your own learning

Course holder: Ms Veroniek De Schamphelaere

Diversity & Inclusion Track


Why you need this course:


Managing people is primarily based on building a sense of community, creating a group identity and giving direction through a final goal to be reached. People who work together as a community will be there for each other and will go all the way for the common goal. They will be more prone to giving each other honest, direct and timely feedback without escalating into interpersonal conflict. But how to best create this community spirit in a global workplace? How to build enduring trust in teamwork that works across cultures? And when it comes to it, how to resolve the inherent conflicts that emerge? Each outer journey starts with an inner exploration.

Understanding your own assumptions, biases and preconceived ideas about how the world works (or should work), how individuals behave (or should behave), and which behavior is acceptable or unacceptable is the first step towards a broader world view and becoming open-minded.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognise the challenges and grasp the unique opportunities of managing yourself and others in diverse settings;
  • Understand and articulate the pervasive but often hidden influence of culture on behaviour, particularly with respect to management philosophies and practices;
  • Heighten your understanding and appreciation of differences between people and also how to manage diversity in order to achieve better results.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through experiential exercises, discussion and self-reflection on the many facets of diversity and how we relate to them;
  • By preparing the theoretical part for this course in advance, through online resources, leaving more room during the encounter itself to experience.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Smaranda Boros


Action Learning

Silicon Valley Disruption Tour

Discover what made Silicon Valley and the broader San Francisco Bay Area so productive in creating new technologies and world leading companies during this one week study trip.


Why you need this course:


Today, Silicon Valley is still home to the most innovative companies worldwide. With this trip, we first and foremost want to inspire you. You will be exposed to the entrepreneurial ecosystem there by visiting start-ups, mature innovative corporations, incubators, accelerators and investors. By means of this combination, we hope to inspire you and let you experience that having a global mindset is a necessity to compete in the business world today.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain what makes Silicon Valley thrive as an entrepreneurial ecosystem;
  • Assess the pros and cons of living and working in Silicon Valley;
  • Apply some of the lessons learned (e.g. concepts, trends, experiences from guest speakers) to your future work environments, whether start-ups or larger corporations.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through company visits to start-ups, innovative corporates, accelerators, incubators and investors (e.g. Netflix, Facebook, Legal.io, Plug and Play);
  • Through hearing some of the leading experts on topical trends and/or living and working in Silicon Valley (e.g. AI).

Course holder:
Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert

Deep Dive Challenge


Why you need this course:


You will be introduced to several major strategic questions senior managers have to deal with. The challenge highlights the holistic nature of managerial thinking by requiring you to think about different functional domains of management in an integrated way. The Deep Dive Challenge offers you a starting point to link management theory to practice by working on managerial questions that will be covered in the different management courses throughout the year. Specifically, you will work on an action plan outlining the prioritized initiatives that you, as a management team, will undertake to improve the growth prospects and the performance of the company. In addition, you will outline implications of your action plan for the different functional domains (finance, human resources, operations and supply chain, innovation and marketing), including the possible risks when implementing it.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize the holistic nature of managerial thinking;
  • Prioritize strategic actions;
  • Present action plans in a convincing way.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through the exploration of strategic questions which the management of Smartphoto is dealing with;
  • By presenting recommendations and their implications to the Board of Directors on how to tackle the different managerial questions in the form of an action plan;

Course holder:
Prof Dr Philippe Baecke
Prof Dr Robin Kleer
Prof Dr Kerstin Fehre
Prof Dr Zeynep Erden

Start-up Accelerator


Why you need this course:


The goal of the start-up accelerator is to help you build your own start-up. In line with the lean start-up approach, you will use the time of the accelerator to get out of the building and test all assumptions underlying your envisioned business model. You will be doing all of this with the help of an experienced entrepreneur or investor as a mentor. Moreover, to deepen your knowledge on crucial elements of how to build a start-up, you will also take part in practice-oriented workshops on topics such as creative thinking, getting your first customers and visualizing your idea. The lessons learned as part of making progress through the accelerator not only apply to those wanting to start their own ventures, but also to those seeking to develop new business ideas within the context of more mature corporates.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

The end goal of this accelerator is to help those who want to get their start-up off the ground and who want to get first-hand advice from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors. Remember, progress is the key objective - this may mean figuring out your venture is worthwhile pursuing, or worth pursuing but in a different form, or not worth pursuing. It's the journey that counts!

  • Formulate key assumptions underlying any new business idea;
  • (In)validate those key assumptions through engaging in extensive in-the-field research with key stakeholders (e.g., through interviews and MVP testing);
  • Adapt business ideas based on feedback received from key stakeholders;
  • Express new business ideas clearly to others and design different ways in which to do so (e.g., in wording/messaging, visually, through different channels);
  • Make a go- or no go-decision on whether to proceed with their new business idea.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By designing experiments and tests to figure out whether your envisioned customers really are your customers, whether the problem you think you’re solving is really what you should be solving, whether the way you think you should be targeting customers is truly the most efficient and effective way of acquiring your customers, etc.
  • By receiving feedback and advice of experienced investors and entrepreneurs as mentors;
  • By creating a new idea, designing visual aids to support that idea and getting advice on legal and funding questions related to your idea from people in the field.

Course Holder:
Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert

Innovation Challenge


Why you need this course:


Assessment of new technologies is a crucial task within the innovation process. You will be introduced to new promising technologies that actual companies are currently working on / working with. The challenge for you is to (i) assess the technology (what is the current state, what are alternatives, what are pitfalls in further development), then (ii) evaluate the possibilities the technology provides for this company and (iii) develop a plan for the implementation of this technology. The Innovation Challenge offers you a chance to link technology with business in a very applied setting.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Perform a technology readiness assessment;
  • Assess the business potential of a technology;
  • Develop a technology roadmap for implementation.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By working in a team on an actual technology;
  • By getting coached in your process by technology experts and faculty;
  • By presenting your results to the companies’ innovation department.

Course Holders:
- Robin Kleer

- Geert Willems

Finance and Accounting Simulation Tool (FAST)


Why you need this course:


FAST is a simulation game which will help you understand the language of accountants, controllers and financial managers. You will recognise why issues like inventory policy or development times are financially important, and why all managerial decisions, in whatever department, affect an organisation’s financial health. You will learn more about the financial dynamics of a commercial business, from firm foundation, investments in machinery and buildings, hiring staff, purchasing raw materials and services, to a first production cycle. After having worked through this simulation, you should be able to understand how your decisions affect your organisation’s financial risk and value creation.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Interpret an organisation’s financial statements: balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement and how they fit together;
  • Understand how operational decisions impact an organisation’s financial statements;
  • Analyse an organisation’s short-term and long-term financial risk, based upon its financial statements;
  • Evaluate a firm’s profitability and understand its different components.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a simulation of the activities of a fictitious company (Aquajet, a speed boat manufacturer) with gradually increasing complexity, focusing on its operational processes (e.g. buying raw materials, attracting labour, producing and selling boats, inventory build-up) as well as on the related financial transactions;
  • By visualizing all operational and financial flows by means of tokens during a physical board game;
  • Through analyzing all recorded changes in operating activities and financing via financial statements (on liquidity, profitability and solvency).
  • By proposing actions that will improve Aquajet’s performance.

Course holder:
Prof Natalia Matanova


Electives

The electives can take place in Ghent (G), Leuven (L) or Brussels (B).
Specialize in the fields of your choice (you can choose 3 electives), e.g.:

Advanced Strategy (B)


Why you need this course:


In the basic strategy courses, you got exposed to traditional understandings of strategy and strategic management. However, since we are facing more and more dynamic and complex environments as well as more behavioural elements in the processes of developing strategies, the applicability of those traditional concepts might be challenged. For example, companies might find it hard to forecast the future when facing frequent or disruptive market changes, and therefore, to define their strategies.

In this course, you will get a deeper understanding of how strategies can be developed to shape a company’s path to success, given the presence of dynamic, complex or uncertain environments. You will also be exposed to the development and use of tools to overcome such obstacles. The course’s approach is balancing findings from theoretical and practical insights to provide you with state-of-the-art knowledge and a sense for practical challenges and pitfalls when dealing with strategic issues.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain the limitations of traditional strategy concepts;
  • Relate the different environmental conditions to the (strategic) decision-making of executives;
  • Deal with dynamic and complex situations when it comes to giving strategic recommendations.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a case which simulates the decision-making processes on a strategic level;
  • By assuming the role of decision-maker and by coming up with several options, given a limited and inconclusive amount of information;
  • By exploring decision-making in which you accept the uncertain and ambiguous nature of the environment, as opposed to more rational decision-making which is based on more objective data, such as financial evaluations.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Martin Weiss

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (G)


Why you need this course:


Recent technologies have enabled organisations to collect, store and process multiple sources of high volume and/or unstructured data. By combining this data with advanced analytical models, new business opportunities can be realised which improve process efficiencies, increase risk management, allow better targeting and personalisation, improve customer experience, etc. Today, a good understanding of these artificial intelligence solutions is important for a manager to detect these opportunities and recognize its limitations. This course will demystify Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. You will receive an overview of big data technology that is required to store and process new high volume and/or unstructured data sources. You will also learn advanced analytical techniques in a hands-on way, such as neural networks, deep learning and natural language processing, which enable the development of artificial intelligence business solutions.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify artificial intelligence opportunities for a business;
  • Develop a basic artificial intelligence solution;
  • Collaborate better with data scientists in their organisation.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By developing a small AI solution using recent technology available on the market.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Philippe Baecke

Business Development & Sales (G)


Why you need this course:


Creating sustainable competitive advantage can only be achieved by having a business development perspective, mapping out the strategic path and sales delivering the results. However, due to globalization, it is not easy to identify how and where to grow business. Customers are also becoming more experience-oriented, looking for more than products or services. This shift is noticeable in B2C and B2B marketplaces, making them increasingly complex and multi-facetted.

This course covers professional selling from a business development perspective in major accounts under hypercompetitive business conditions. You will work on a real-life challenge in a business development and sales setting, and learn several competencies to help you come across as a value creator and problem solver. Speaking to professional buyers is key to your sales-driven business development activities. Thus, systematic planning will be the driving force guiding your new sales venture. You will focus on professional business-to-business settings, but examples will also come from B2C.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Combine the growth options with specific seller types;
  • Evaluate customer experience creation in the sales context;
  • Critically appraise communication and sales interaction skills;
  • Create a solution in the sales process.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By building on the negotiation skills that you already acquired, which you will harness and apply into the sales situation;
  • Through the combination of lectures, case studies, group and class discussions;
  • Through role-play activities, and teamwork.

Course holder:
Prof Adam Rapp

Data-driven Project Management (L)


Why you need this course:


Managing projects is key to the success of many businesses. Good project management practice requires careful analysis of all potential risks to the project, quantifying these, developing a mitigation plan against them as well as a contingency plan should any of the risks materialize. When proper oversight and project control is in place, it helps project managers to make better decisions when solving problems. The earlier one can spot project deviations, the easier it is to bring the project back on track.

You will gain an understanding of key issues in data-driven project management. This highly interactive elective provides the essentials you should have as a project manager when faced with preparations to manage and control projects in progress. The module is organized in 5 case study sessions in which both you as well as the teacher will go in dialogue to solve challenging project problems with data.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Comprehend the features of data-driven planning and control techniques;
  • Understand the relation between planning and project control;
  • Formulate a critical view on current data-driven project management methods, and suggest improvements;
  • Recognise the impact of changes in activity time/cost estimates on the project objectives, and apply risk analyses to predict the project outcome.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By solving different integrative case studies in small groups;
  • By comparing alternative project management methods for different projects;
  • Through data analysis and discussions with team members;
  • Through the analysis of real projects (e.g. tennis stadium construction, redesign of IT platform, city-wide internet of things, automated drone development).

Course holder:
Prof Dr Mario Vanhoucke

Digital Innovation & Entrepreneurship (L)


Why you need this course:


The prevalence of information technology and the central position it has taken in our business models is obvious. The most innovative companies of the world today are the ones that have managed to use IT to their competitive advantage. Yet, the number of business professionals who understand the building blocks of these technologies and how they work is not proportionate to the speed IT is still developing.

During this elective, you will learn the what, why and how of the critical technologies that form the building blocks of the most successful business models today, namely Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Analytics, Internet of Things, Mobile Devices and Applications, as well as Cloud Computing. You will also cover cyber security and data privacy issues surrounding the application of such technologies.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize and differentiate emerging vs disruptive information technologies;
  • Illustrate how emerging and/or disruptive technologies can provide a competitive advantage;
  • Discuss the benefits and challenges associated with using emerging and/or disruptive technologies as a critical element in your business model;
  • Design the main IT functionalities and basic requirements of a new venture proposal.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through working with entrepreneurs who have created a business model with technologies discussed in class, such as Sensolus (IoT), Data Minded (analytics) or Ontoforce (big data and cloud);
  • Through working with consultants who interact with multiple companies, large and small, and struggle with these technologies, such as the internationally renowned IT research and consulting company Gartner and the cybersecurity advisor NViso;
  • By exposure to critical decisions regarding the use of IT for your new venture ideas, through defending your functional requirements and infrastructural choices that will enable the business idea to come to life.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Arne Buchwald

Financing your Start-up (L)


Why you need this course:


Uber went public at a valuation of around $90 billion dollar, after $25 billion dollar had been invested since it was founded 10 years earlier. This is the exponential case of an entrepreneurial company with growth ambitions that typically need a lot of money to grow, but for whom traditional bank funding is not an option. Alternative sources of funding are more relevant for these companies, such as crowdfunding, business angel funding, venture capital or corporate investors.

This course provides you with an insight into how these alternative investors work, what drives the valuation of an entrepreneurial venture, how investors balance their risk through tailor-made contracts, and how they exit their investments.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Calculate the financing needs of a start-up;
  • Apply appropriate valuation techniques for valuing entrepreneurial ventures;
  • Analyse liquidation and anti-dilution preferences in investor term sheets;
  • Develop a financing strategy for an entrepreneurial company.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By analysing and discussing real cases;
  • Developing a full financing strategy for a start-up, either your own or one of your classmates.;

Course holder:
Prof Dr Sophie Manigart

Leadership Skills in an Agile World (G)


Why you need this course:


The more disruptive the modern business world becomes, the less plannable and controllable organizational operation becomes. Leadership, the skill to connect employees for rapid adaptation and exploitation of the unexpected, becomes paramount. This elective prepares you to connect with employees and managers in the most impactful way and to connect others from reaching a common goal. You will collect hands-on experience on how you are as both, a leader and a follower, and how to respond properly to disruption, surprise and ambiguity. Core element of this elective will be an organizational simulation. You’ll become part of a company that undergoes structural change, requiring you to apply appropriate behaviour. Based on that, essential skills in connectivity, agility, safety provision and goal orientation are trained in a playful, experience-based way.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Assess your leadership and followership skills realistically;
  • Recognize dysfunctional organizational dynamics and how to turn them around;
  • Implement effective behavioural strategies to exploit surprise and discontinuity as a source of business and individual growth.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through the skill and mindset of Applied Business Improvisation, the highly powerful core skill set for agile leaders;
  • Through striking insights by agile leaders, who practise the course content successfully, and who will not only come and speak, but also work with you during the course.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Ralf Wetzel

Mergers and Acquisitions (G)


Why you need this course:


Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) play a strong role in today’s global and competitive economic environment. M&A transactions are among the biggest investments a company can make, and hence, have a crucial impact on value creation for various stakeholders. It is however not an easy task and raises a lot of questions: how to identify the right company, how to determine the right offer price, how to financially structure a deal once a price has been agreed upon, how to successfully integrate two cultures, etc. This five-day elective provides you with a comprehensive overview and in-depth analysis of the topic of mergers and acquisitions. It also offers you an opportunity for integration, an occasion to break out of disciplinary silos and apply various managerial skills.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify various drivers behind M&A transactions;
  • Classify different types of integration methods;
  • Execute a valuation exercise of takeover targets;
  • Implement and critically assess payment and financing structures;
  • Identify value creation potential in buyout transactions.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through interactive lectures that will combine a discussion of theory with the use of problems and real-life examples;
  • Through a business simulation during which you will work on the different steps in an M&A process.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Mathieu Luypaert

Organisational Design: Turning Strategy into Organisational Structuring (B)

Why you need this course:

In todays’ world people can enter and leave organisations in a much more flexible way than ever before. That being said, large organisations have never been that ‘big’ before, and striving for goal alignment in non-hierarchical organisational contexts and complex environments has become a major challenge for many large international companies.
Following the motto “Structure follows Strategy” this course starts where a strategy implementation course would end, meaning: how do you translate changes in the strategy into adjustments and adaptations to the organisational structure and the organisational design?
The purpose of this course is to enable you to understand the dynamics of organisational structuring, getting an insight in which choices one can make when tailoring or designing organisations, and, ultimately, what the effect is on human behaviour.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the relationship and interlinkages between strategy and organisational structure
  • Critically evaluate current organisational structures and practices
  • Make propositions on how to adapt or change the organisation of firms from a strategic management perspective
  • Discuss and manage power and politics in organisations

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By working on current real-life cases;
  • Through action research techniques;
  • Through discussions with testimonials;
  • Through quizzes
  • Through group works and presentations

Course holder:
Prof Dr Dirk Buyens
Prof Dr Kerstin Fehre

Social Entrepreneurship (L)


Why you need this course:


Social entrepreneurs aim to create social value and stimulate social change by solving persistent social problems, such as the illiteracy of adults, the chronic undernutrition of children under five and not having access to safe water or improved sanitation. It is becoming clear that social ventures can not only be financially sustainable, they can also be profitable. Doing well by doing good. During this elective, you will explore some of the special features and challenges of social entrepreneurship. You will focus on what sets it apart from more traditional forms of entrepreneurship, and pay specific attention to critical success factors for social entrepreneurs, such as how to mobilize resources and how to measure the performance of a social venture. Finally, you will explore some tools that will help you assess and increase a social venture’s growth potential.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the concepts, challenges and opportunities of social entrepreneurship;
  • Describe the different kinds of funding models social entrepreneurs can rely on, as well as their advantages and disadvantages;
  • Design a funding strategy for social entrepreneurs, and develop an impact measurement strategy for social ventures;
  • Assess to what extent a social venture is ready to scale and, if so, how to identify the key drivers for its scaling success.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing real-life examples and cases;
  • Through a brainstorming challenge helping real social entrepreneurs;
  • Through in-class stories of actual social entrepreneurs (e.g. Mobile Schools, ArmenTekort).

Course holder:
Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert

Strategy Beyond Markets (L)


Why you need this course:


CEOs consistently rank reputation and regulatory issues in their top 3 of business risks. However, these are often pushed to corporate communications, public relations, public affairs, and regulatory affairs teams, so that the rest of the organization can focus on the core business. Companies often learn the hard way that proactively engaging with government, activists, and other actors in their environment is as strategic and core business as their positioning in the market.

During this elective, you will use cases and frameworks to discuss the following key questions: How to anticipate and prioritize issues? How to map the environment for an issue? How to come up with an innovative strategic response? How to mobilize other actors on your side? In which government or media arenas should you make your move? How to communicate effectively? How to manage a public relations crisis? How to become more proactive in shaping your environment?

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Map and prioritize regulatory and reputation issues;
  • Analyse the environment for an issue;
  • Design an innovative strategy to respond to an issue;
  • Spot opportunities and shape your environment.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By using cases from different industries;
  • By using a strategy tool, turned into a professional game;
  • Through interaction with professionals via testimonials or a company visit.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Leonardo Meeus

Strategic Information Management

 
Why you need this course:

More info will follow soon

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:
More info will follow soon

Course holder:
Prof Dr Arne Buchwald

Sustainable Growth Strategies - The European Green Deal


Why you need this course:


Welcome to the future. Businesses, economies and societies at large are going through a major transformation. Led by Europe, the world is heading towards carbon neutrality and preservation of biodiversity. This transformation brings enormous opportunities. While some companies and sectors will struggle and eventually become stranded and disappear, others will thrive, become champions, and create jobs and wealth.

In Europe, the Green Deal is at the core of this transformation. The Green Deal is “a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.” (European Commission communication 640, 2019). This course aims to equip you with the knowledge to become a responsible and sustainable leader of the future. The course will cover the topics of the Green Deal from a business perspective, providing both the necessary background and the potential for successful and sustainable enterprises. Next to lectures by Vlerick professors, this elective will benefit from the variety of experts that will enrich your learning journey with their knowledge and insights.

Because sustainability is no longer a nice to have but a fundamental part of the management of an organization, this course will be useful to future business leaders and managers, as well as consultants and entrepreneurs who need to design systems to support sustainable and carbon neutral value creation.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the reason d'être of the Green Deal and why it matters;
  • Explain the main components of the European Green Deal;
  • Judge the potential for development of the Green Deal's dimensions;
  • Articulate a strategy for the implementation of the Deal.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through course leaders who combine practical and research experience in sustainability, EGS and strategy;
  • Through sessions by expert guest speakers from EU commission, Politics, Industry and Banking;
  • By solving daily assignments and receiving detailed feedback on a daily basis.

Course holders:
-Professor David Veredas (lead)
-Professor Filip Abraham
-Professor Xavier Baeten
-Professor Robert Boute
-Professor Kerstin Fehre
-Professor Leonardo Meeus

Technology Disruption and Strategy (L)


Why you need this course:


The elective explores the unique strategic aspects of fast-moving technology-intensive industries. Many industries are approaching, or find themselves in the midst of, dramatic structural changes. While corporate strategy teams and innovation departments work hard to find responses to technological shifts, focus is oftentimes laid on developing responses, while falling short in understanding the underlying dynamics of technological change. At the same time, technology-driven change in industries follows well-established patterns, which can offer a more productive source for strategic insight and guidance.

In order to be more agile in managing organizations through times of dramatic change, this elective aims to equip future leaders with strategies, frameworks and tools for understanding, anticipating and managing through technological shifts, specifically through developing technology strategy. In so doing, this course lays particular emphasis on two core and timely concepts of technological change: disruption and convergence.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the nature of technology-driven change, analyze and categorize technological trends;
  • Detect drivers and assess implications of disruption;
  • Evaluate cases of success and failure in technology-intensive businesses;
  • Design technology strategies in a corporate environment.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing real-life examples and preparing a selection of case studies;
  • Through interacting with distinguished guest speakers;
  • By developing and defending your own technology strategy assignment.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Fredrik Hacklin

The Leader as Negotiator (G)


Why you need this course:


According to conventional wisdom, leading people requires vision, charisma and palpable self-confidence, while negotiation skills are for use outside the organisation when cutting deals with partners, customers and suppliers. However, this is simply wrong. Leadership frequently does require negotiation as authority has its limits. Good leaders are invariably effective negotiators. Some of the people you will one day lead will be smarter, more talented or more powerful, while you will also often be called to lead people over whom you have no authority, such as your peers. When persuading people to follow your lead, you will need to appeal to their interests, communicate with them effectively and sell your vision.

This elective builds on the Negotiation Skills course and focuses primarily on managing more complex internal negotiations, dealing with conflict and acting as a mediator in disputes between colleagues. The skills learnt will be equally applicable outside your professional life.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Plan, prepare and execute a complex internal negotiation;
  • Apply key mediation techniques to help others resolve their conflicts;
  • Acquire greater confidence to manage conflict.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through planning, preparing and executing a complex negotiation;
  • By acting as an intermediary in an internal dispute;
  • By determing your own conflict style through a questionnaire and receiving feedback about it;
  • Listening to an experienced business leader talk about their hard negotiation lessons.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Barney Jordaan

Turning Supply Chain Management into a Competitive Advantage (B)


Why you need this course:


Globalization has made supply chain decisions a part of every manager’s strategic, tactical and operational challenges. On this elective, you will be offered the language, concepts, insights, and tools needed to gain competitive advantage through better understanding of supply chains. This course is for those who seek careers outside the supply chain domain yet want a working knowledge of supply chain management and its role in gaining a competitive advantage. There will be four general modules in this course discussing supply chains strategy, structure, collaboration and resilience. Note: There is no content overlap with the supply chain management boot camp, which is desirable for participants who seek a deep knowledge of supply chain fundamentals.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify appropriate supply chain strategies for various types of products or services;
  • Know about the strategic supply chain network design decision process framework;
  • Understand how collaborative actions can increase profit in the entire chain;
  • Evaluate supply chain risks and devise policies to make supply chains resilient;
  • Familiarize with Gartner Top25 supply chains.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing and presenting over 12 teaching cases about leading supply chains;
  • Through a simulation-based group work examining the simultaneous impact of various supply chain decisions on risk and profit in the entire network;
  • By analysing the supply chain strategy, structure, collaboration and resilience of your company of choice from the Gartner Top25 Supply Chains.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Behzad Samii


Boot camps

Our boot camps are designed to immerse you in the specifics of a well-defined domain. For three weeks, you'll attend advanced classes, take part in in-depth exercises and apply your knowledge to real-life challenges.

Our boot camp offer is renewed every year based on student and employer demand. Gain hands-on experience in one chosen domain.:

Code Camp: Programming for Business


Why you need this course:


Today, more and more major industries are being run on software and delivered as online services. At the same time, more and more Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurs are overturning established industries with their technology-centered solutions. And so far, things are only accelerating. Organizations are busy digitizing their internal processes, their products and services, or their channels to reach out to customers. These transformation initiatives are in fact a combination of several, small and large scale, software development projects.

You will use Python as the programming language to teach the fundamentals of algorithm development. After you learn the basic syntax and programming skills, you will focus on web development. In addition, you will learn how to code with HTML and CSS, as well as focus on one of the most widely used Python frameworks for web development.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Think algorithmically and solve programming problems efficiently;
  • Develop your own dynamic webpage with data collection and storage capabilities, and without being limited by the mainstream website creation tools like WordPress;
  • Develop software with basic functionality to improve their productivity using the very popular and easy-to-learn programming language Python;
  • Appreciate what it really takes to turn an idea into a digital business;
  • Learn how to choose the best approach for a software development initiative.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through exposure to software developers who understand business requirements and business professionals who can code;
  • Through a company’s real-life challenge;
  • Through coaching sessions by the company during the deep-dive challenge, such as Mobile Vikings and In The Pocket;
  • By creating small yet functional programs in Python that you can leverage.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Arne Buchwald

Data Science for Finance and Strategy


Why you need this course:


The amount of data available to organizations and individuals is unprecedented, while research predicts a significant shortage of advanced analytics talent, and an even larger shortage of managers and leaders who can make decisions based on data. Companies seeking to maximize use of the available data require finance and strategy professionals who understand data science and know how to use it to solve business challenges.

During this boot camp, you will learn current data and technology challenges of managers and decision-makers, as well as the language, concepts, insights and analytical tools required to deal with them. You will apply the Python programming language and essential machine learning techniques (including data visualization and exploration, predictive analytics, network analysis, natural language processing) to practical exercises and cases. You will also put your coding and analytics knowledge to use through the deep dive challenge at an international strategy consulting or financial services company.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the advantages of data science and machine learning methods;
  • Apply the Python programming language for general-purpose programming and solving business cases (no prior programming knowledge required);
  • Comment and contribute more effectively to financial and strategic business challenges in an increasing complex organizational context.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing many practical examples and real-life coding exercises;
  • Through guest speakers who are data scientists in the finance and consulting industries;
  • Through a deep dive challenge (organized in the format of a Hackaton) in which you and your team members will collaborate intensively on a real big data challenge a financial service company is facing (e.g. Allianz, a leading insurance company in the world);
  • Through presenting your solutions to the board of directors of the case company (as winners).

Course holder:
Prof Dr Kristof Stouthuysen

Digital Transformation


Why you need this course:


In times where digitisation is radically transforming many industries, incumbent organisations are trying to grasp what the digital age means for their current business model. In sharp contrast with digital natives such as Google, Facebook or Snapchat, many existing enterprises have not been built to compete in this new environment where the digital and physical world are blended seamlessly. But how to survive – and win – in the digital age?

This boot camp focuses on digital transformation, a form of end-to-end, integrated business transformation where digital technologies play a dominant role. You will be addressing questions like: What are the new realities of the digital economy? What does digital innovation and transformation mean for existing companies? How to start a digital transformation and grow digital capabilities over time? How to apply digital technologies and innovation to business models, product attributes and company ecosystem combinations?

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand what digital transformation means for an organization;
  • Recognize different leadership types for digital transformation;
  • Discuss how established companies can respond to digital disruption.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By playing the digital transformation leadership game;
  • Through sessions by guest speakers, e.g. from Volvo Group;
  • Through company visits during the Amsterdam trip, e.g. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines;
  • Through a one-week deep dive in real-life transformation challenges at several Belgian companies, e.g. Fednot, Renson, TVH.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Stijn Viaene

Global Supply Chain Strategy


Why you need this course:


Supply chain activities – inventory management, warehousing, sourcing, and transportation – have been performed since the start of commercial activity. It is difficult to visualize any product that could reach a customer without logistical support. Yet it is only since the last few years that firms have started focusing on supply chain management as a source of competitive advantage. There is a realization that no company can do any better than its supply chain. This becomes even more important given that product life cycles are shrinking, and competition is intense. Supply chain management today represents a great challenge as well as a tremendous opportunity.

Your goal on this course will be to improve supply chain design and planning decisions to benefit the performance of the firm as well as the entire supply chain. You will develop an understanding of the complex interactions between supply chain and other functional areas, particularly marketing and finance.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Improve a firms’ strategic and financial performance by effectively managing its supply chain;
  • Make complex supply decisions such as distribution network design, sales & operations planning, or offshoring versus onshoring location decisions;
  • Apply state-of-the-art practices in digital and smart supply chains.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through experiential learning, supply chain simulations, case-based teaching, industry guest speakers, a field trip and a deep dive challenge to advise a real company in their current supply chain challenges.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Robert Boute

Other Teaching Faculty:
Prof Dr Behzad Samii
Prof Dr Ann Vereecke

Strategic Innovation: FinTech


Why you need this course:


What do Alipay, Bitcoin, Klarna, Facebook, Qover and Revolut have in common? They all want a piece of the financial services sector pie, which is facing a fundamental transformation. Not only is digital technology the driver of this change, but the digital transformation also brings in a new attitude regarding user experience and an intense revision of global regulation.

In this industry-focused boot camp, you will zoom in on the emerging ecosystem of collaborative competitors. Digital technology is a major disruptive force in the financial services sector: Incumbent companies such as major banks and insurance companies have woken up to the digital revolution and are experimenting with mobile banking, AI, Bots, Blockchain, Tokens and digital platforms. The goal of this boot camp is for you to build an in-depth understanding of the main FinTech drivers, forces and dynamics in the financial services sector.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Interpret the major trends that are shaping today’s financial services landscape;
  • Understand the interplay between incumbents (banks & insurance companies), start-ups/scale-ups, big techs and regulators, and how they engage each other (partner – compete);
  • Master the basics of how technologies like blockchain, AI, digital platforms, mobile apps, etc. work and impact organizational business models;
  • Recognize how the ‘FIN’ part is changing due to ‘TECH’ influences, e.g. the trends in payments, lending, daily banking, insurance, …

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing and learning from real-life FinTech cases and news articles;
  • By interacting with industry professionals through testimonials and company visits;
  • Through working in teams on a FinTech focused deep-dive case assignment provided by a company.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Bjorn Cumps

Strategic Innovation: Healthcare


Why you need this course:


Healthcare is an important industry and public sector in society requiring specific management methods that fit regulated markets too. Involved industry sectors include biomedical technology, such as medicines, medical devices and diagnostics, as well as enabling technology, such as mobile health (m-health). On the healthcare delivery side, it includes hospitals and health management organisations.

During the boot camp, you will learn how to manage practical clinical and health problems, making use of technological or operational innovation. You will investigate how big data analytic sciences and digitally enabled care delivery processes will alter the way healthcare is delivered, such as the use of advanced biomedical products, hospital procedures and practice styles. In short, you will focus on how to create, implement, embed and sustain innovations in healthcare systems, while always taking a patient perspective and health system view, as opposed to a silo view, as a guide to manage and innovate.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the biggest trends, developments and complexities impacting the sector and the key success factors to be active in the health and life sciences field;
  • Design and critically evaluate the innovation and operational strategies pursued by the healthcare ecosystem players, i.e. physicians and hospitals, biopharmaceutical and medical technology producers, and health payers and regulators;
  • Apply fundamental concepts of health economics and value-based thinking (ICER, QALY, etc.) to make business cases and obtain market access for innovative health technologies;
  • Formulate answers to real-world health system problems, currently faced by healthcare ecosystem players, and put them into practice right away.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a visit to a hospital you will experience the impact of technology in a life sciences lab;
  • By receiving testimonials by health entrepreneurs, public and corporate medical leaders;
  • Through a real management problem to be solved in a hospital or medical industry setting, taking a deep dive to present a solution at the end of the bootcamp to a jury of professors and corporate execs.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Walter Van Dyck
Prof Dr Brecht Cardoen

Strategic Innovation: Renewable Energy


Why you need this course:


To limit global warming, we need to decarbonize our society, starting with a zero-carbon energy system. Part of the solution are renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, wind energy, biomass, and ocean energy. The renewable energy business is fast-growing and becoming mainstream. Corporates increasingly have green energy procurement targets, while citizens organize the supply of their energy consumption individually or collectively.

This boot camp is organized around the real-life challenges that the actors in this energy transition are facing. You will use the management frameworks from other courses, such as strategy, entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing, and apply them to these real-life challenges. We will divide you in multi-disciplinary groups and expose you to the main actors and concepts you need to know to be able to function in this sector.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify innovative renewable energy solutions;
  • Apply management frameworks to the renewable energy businesses;
  • Develop and present a renewable energy business model;
  • Use renewable energy business jargon.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By creating solutions for real-life challenges;
  • Through interaction with guest speakers from different parts of the value chain;
  • Through company visits or a conference visit

Course holder:
Prof Dr Leonardo Meeus

Strategic Innovation: Retail & Marketing of FMCG


Why you need this course:


How can you deliver value to your customers and how can customers deliver value to you in the current FMCG context? You will be introduced to new trends, challenges, and the different stakeholders that are involved in the marketing and retail of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). You will improve the effectiveness of your marketing management strategy in creating value for and from their customers, ranging from the market analysis and the formulation of the strategy to the implementation.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Apply new trends and technologies in marketing research on FMCG (multi-sensorial research, online communities, social scraping…);
  • Apply strategies & frameworks in FMCG innovation and marketing (customer journeys, omni-channel, e-commerce, mindless consumption, nudging, assortment architecture…);
  • Realize business objectives, keeping in mind a context with an increasing focus on sustainability of all stakeholders involved.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a deep-dive real-life case and assignments (Delhaize);
  • By visiting companies in Belgium and the Netherlands, e.g. Delhaize, Haystack, Tony Chocolonely, Unilever;
  • Through ‘Academia meets business’ material by Vlerick professors, e.g. customer journeys, customer centricity, omni-channel, e-commerce, mindless consumption, nudging, assortment architecture, multi-sensorial marketing, food marketing, implicit measures, etc.;
  • Through ‘Business meets academia’ sessions by business managers, e.g. innovative marketing measurement techniques, retail dynamics in a food context, retail dynamics in a non-food context, sustainable retail, new product development, etc.;
  • Through small group coaching sessions;
  • Through action-learning workshops at the sites of companies;
  • By delivering presentations for business juries.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Barbara Briers

Strategy Consulting


Why you need this course:


This boot camp aims to equip you with the essential skills as a (junior) consultant in a professional services firm active in strategy consulting. While being trained on these skills, you will have the opportunity to apply them in a real-life case. You will solve a client case together with your project team, following the generic problem-solving method typically used by strategy consulting firms.

You will kick off by being introduced to the consulting industry and the problem-solving method, covering problem identification, problem structuring, problem analysis, and the communication of solutions. You will be exposed in detail to every phase and have the opportunity to practise a series of small exercises and cases.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize the problem-solving methodology commonly used in consulting;
  • Structure a problem in order to solve complex problems;
  • Illustrate the (rational) elements of selecting solutions;
  • Compose a sound communication structure.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a real-life project which presents a problem that may develop into a typical consulting project, e.g. a growth strategy for a roof tile manufacturer, a market entry strategy for a professional service company or the development of a digital strategy for a fast-fashion company;
  • By presenting the solution to the client at the end of the boot camp.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Martin Weiss

Sports Business & Digital Innovation


Why you need this course:


The global sports industry is estimated to be a 1.3 trillion US dollar business*. This business consists of an elite group of professional athletes and organisation with a huge fan-base and media companies broadcasting the athletes activities. Besides this, also a group of mass participants sports can be identified that includes all amateur athletes, organisations and retailers supplying product to them. The sports business is characterised by industryspecific elements such as a very passionate and highly involved consumer base, big investments in human resources and a high level of uncertainty. There is a need for people who understand the do’s and don’ts in this business, and simultaneously, have the management skills to help sports athletes, organisations and other stakeholders to generate business value from athletic performances.

This bootcamp will focus on the business part of the sports industry. It will first introduce the participants to the specific industry. Next, digital technologies have changed the game of the sports business significantly. Hence, a second part of this bootcamp will discuss how digital technologies such as social media, sensors, virtual and augmented reality push this industry further into “over-the-top” customer experiences. In this context, also data, analytics and artificial intelligence is taking an increasingly important role in this business.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the industry-specific dynamics and ecosystems in the sports industry
  • Develop and present on-field and off-field innovation in the sports industry based on digital technologies
  • Identify new opportunities for fan engagement using data, analytics and AI

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through several company visits, the students will get a practical experience of
    the sports business & digital innovation.
  • By applying their knowledge in two business challenges.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Philippe Baecke


Innovation or start-up project

As a final stage of your Masters in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, during 2 months you will either work on an innovation consultancy project or your own start-up project.

Consultancy Project

Take the opportunity to apply all of your knowledge and skills to analyse and solve a specific business issue for an innovation company or a start-up. You’ll be responsible for managing an innovation project by turning theory into concrete and actionable results. It’s also the perfect opportunity to enlarge your network with seasoned entrepreneurs and innovation professionals. According to your effort and motivation, this project can take place in Belgium or abroad. Find out more here.

Start-up Project

Entrepreneurial students with a new business idea will get the chance to work on their own start-up idea for two months fulltime. This dedicated period should allow you to launch your venture, along with the help of Vlerick coaches and partners. Find out more here.



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Sara Teuwen
Tel +32 9 210 92 35
[email protected]
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