Mission to prepare college students for startups-Sứ mệnh chuẩn bị cho sinh viên đại học khởi nghiệp.

Ủng hộ quỹ Cải cách học thuật của Nghiệp đoàn sinh viên Việt Nam.

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Photo: INC.com
Photo: INC.com

Bernard Nguyên-Đăng, J.D.


“Entrepreneurs are anomalies; they don’t fit in, they may not be ‘book smart’,

but thrive if given an opportunity to utilize their people smart and risk-taking skills.”

Julian Young, Founder/Executive Director

The Start Center for Entrepreneurship [1]


In our time, infants in the cradles are already furnished with electronic devices, and children are learning about the world beyond their reaches before they can even express themselves with words. Children today are being taught to be visionary, creative, productive, independent, and become leaders. It’s imperative to teach entrepreneurship as early as elementary school. Entrepreneurship teaches learners to have more grit, imagine the things that don’t exist, apply imagination into creative and identified challenges, and to generate unique solutions that lead to desirable products. To design an effective teaching method, entrepreneurship programs must be assessed and appraised accordingly in order for the needed system to be in place, e.g. the art and science of teaching entrepreneurship, empirical practicum programs, mentorship, incubator/accelerator, supportive financial sources, and ultimately collaboration with the ecosystem. To achieve the set goals, the faculty for the entrepreneurship program must be taught, not by a body of pure degreed and academic scholars, but rather must only be taught by successful entrepreneurs, who either created, bought, sold, or managed successful businesses with proven track records–teaching by doing, teaching by example.

Key words:  Entrepreneurship Program; Incubator/Accelerator; Venture Capital; Successful Entrepreneurs.

Tóm tắt

Trong thời đại của chúng ta, trẻ sơ sinh trong nôi đã được trang bị với nhiều máy móc, phương tiện điện tử, khoa học, và trẻ em đang khám phá về thế giới vượt ngoài tầm với của chúng trước khi chúng có thể nói, trước khi chúng có thể diễn đạt bằng lời. Trẻ em ngày nay đang được dạy để có viễn kiến, sáng tạo, năng suất, độc lập và là những người lãnh đạo.

Giáo dục, đào tạo dạy khái niệm, ý thức kinh doanh ngay từ cấp tiểu học là điều tiên quyết. Tinh thần kinh doanh dạy cho người học có nhiều can đảm, gan dạ, quyết tâm hơn, tưởng tượng ra những thứ chưa hề hiện hữu, chưa hề có, áp dụng trí tưởng tượng vào những sáng tạo và thử thách xác định, để tạo ra các giải pháp độc đáo dẫn đến các sản phẩm mong muốn.

Để thiết kế một phương pháp giảng dạy hiệu quả, chương trình khởi nghiệp phải được đánh giá, thẩm định cho phù hợp, vì vậy phải có hệ thống thiết yếu, chẳng hạn như. . .nghệ thuật và khoa học giảng dạy kinh doanh, chương trình tập nghiệm, cố vấn, môi trường ươm tạo/tăng tốc, nguồn tài chính hỗ trợ, hợp tác với hệ kinh tế xã hội chung quanh.

Để đạt được các mục tiêu đã đề ra, giảng viên cho chương trình khởi nghiệp phải được dạy, không phải bằng một cơ chế thuần túy bằng cấp, học vì, hàn lâm, nhưng thực sự, chỉ phải được dạy bởi những doanh nhân thành đạt, người đã tạo ra, mua, bán và/hoặc đã quản lý doanh nghiệp thành công với chứng cứ hiển nhiên–dạy học bằng cách làm-thực dụng-thực tiễn–giảng dạy bằng gương thành công.

Từ khóa: Chương trình khởi nghiệp; vườn ươm/tăng tốc; đầu tư mạo hiểm, doanh nghiệp thành công



If colleges and universities, even Harvard, are not the most fit to educate and prepare students for startups such as Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Ma (Alibaba), Pony Ma (Tencent), Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Richard Branson (Virgin Group), etc., educational institutions must bear the burden to prepare aspiring learners to be entrepreneurs, startups, inventors, visionary leaders, skilled managers, and productive workers.

Are startups a necessary, approachable, implementable, and urgently needed utility for Vietnamese aspiring learners and the current socioeconomic system of Vietnam?

Yes, it’s an urgent need, implementable roadmap, and conceivable fruitful approach.

  1. Recent Political and Economic Situation

The current fierce trade war between the U.S./Trump administration and China/Xi has created an unpredictable economic future not only for both United State and China, but the entire global economic climate. Many major American companies are, or planned, in whole or in part, moving their operations out of China.

On December 4, 2018, Sharp (Japan) cut 3,000 foreign staff, shifting work to a Chinese plant. United States has continuously outsourced to India or China most of its consumer products, including high tech manufacturing and call centers, while reciprocally imported skilled medical and IT workers from the region.

There is no doubt that Vietnamese labor force has proven to be industrious and hard-working, earning high respect for possessing reliable working attitudes along with many traits needed to be entrepreneurs.

Is Vietnam able to attract more contracts from foreign companies and be competitive against the Chinese labor market? There are six-prong challenges that Vietnam must face: 1) improving the quality of skilled laborers, 2) meeting specified deadlines, 3) regulatory compliance, 4) modernizing infrastructure, 5) fundraising, and 6) addressing the political climate. Even if Vietnam is able to meet these essential challenges, other questions may arise: Whether Vietnam can stand alone and directly contract with major international manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Toyota, etc., without going through third parties while competing with major international entities and conglomerates with humongous financial strength and international branding. These aspects force Vietnam to re-evaluate its economical ecosystem, its entrepreneurship, and startups from within.

To prepare a workforce and mass startups to attract more direct investments from foreign entities, Vietnam must first re-evaluate its education system and labor force training structure.

  1. What is Entrepreneurship?

By definition, “entrepreneur” is generally known as a person who is capable and willing to create, develop, organize, and manage any business venture or enterprise, characterized by innovation with considerable initiative and risk-taking. [2].

Concisely, entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.” Professor Howard Stevenson, the professor emeritus of entrepreneurship studies at Harvard Business School [3].

There is no definite answer to be able to truly define what is entrepreneurship or who is an entrepreneur or otherwise. Therefore, to broadly understand the true meaning of “entrepreneurship”, twenty (20) company founders and business leaders have defined what attribute to being successful entrepreneurs: [4]

  1. “Entrepreneurship is at the core of the American dream. It’s about blazing new trails, about believing in yourself, your mission and inspiring others to join you in the journey. What sets [entrepreneurs] apart is the will, courage and sometimes recklessness to actually do it.” – Derek Hutson, CEO ofDatical.
  2. “Entrepreneurship is the persistent progression towards an innovative solution to a key problem. It’s theconstant hunger for making things betterand the idea that you are never satisfied with how things are.” – Debbie Roxarzade, founder and CEO of Rachel’s Kitchen.
  3. “At its core, [entrepreneurship] is a mindset – a way of thinking and acting. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value. Fundamentally, entrepreneurship is about … the ability to recognize [and] methodically analyze [an] opportunity, and ultimately, to capture [its] value.” – Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and executive director of theEntrepreneurship Labat Pace University.
  4. “It is important to balance strong vision with a willingness to embrace change. The ability to listen, whether it be to the opinions of customers or employees, is also integral to success. While … you must have the confidence to make your own choices, it is still incredibly important not to become detached from the people whose needs you are trying to meet. – Tirath Kamdar, founder and CEO of TrueFacet.
  5. “Being an entrepreneur is like heading out into uncharted territory. It’s rarely obvious what to do next, and you have to rely on yourself a lot when you run into problems. There are many days when you feel like things will never work out and you’re operating at a loss for endless months. You have to be able to stomach the roller coaster of emotions that comes with striking out on your own.” – Amanda Austin, founder and president ofLittle Shop of Miniatures.
  6. “To be a successful entrepreneur you must have a passion for learning– from customers, employees and even competitors.” – James Bedal, CEO ofBare Metal Standard.
  7. “To me, entrepreneurship means being able to take action and having the courage to commit and persevere through all of the challenges and failures. It is a struggle that an entrepreneur is willing to battle. It is using past experiences and intelligence to make smart decisions. Entrepreneurs are able to transform their vision into a business. I believe this process is at the core of any true entrepreneur.” – MJ Pedone, founder and CEO of Indra Public Relations.
  8. “Being a successful entrepreneur requires a great deal of resourcefulness, because as an entrepreneur, you often run into dead ends throughout the course of your career. You need to be able to bounce back from losses if you want to be successful. There will be much more disappointment than progress when you first start off, and you need to have a short memory in order to put the past behind you quickly. It’s imperative to stay optimistic when bad things happen.” – Vip Sandhir, founder and CEO of HighGround.
  9. “Entrepreneurship is the ability to recognize the bigger picture, find where there’s an opportunity to make someone’s life better, design hypotheses around these opportunities, and continually test your assumptions. It’s experimentation: Some experiments will work; many others will fail. It is not big exits, huge net worth or living a life of glamour. It’s hard work and persistence to leave the world a better place once your time here is done.” – Konrad Billetz, co-founder and co-CEO ofOffset Solar.
  10. “[Entrepreneurs] have to be people-oriented. Your business will die without a good team to back you up. Study management techniques, learn from great leaders, review where you’re succeeding and failing so you can help others improve. An entrepreneur has to be able to build a team that cares about their work, and to do that you have to care about how you create your team.” – Jonathan Barnett, founder and CEO ofOxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning.
  11. “To be a successful entrepreneur you need perseverance. Most successful business people or entrepreneurs have never given up on their idea. When challenges arise, they have found innovative ways of overcoming them. You must be able to adapt to changing economic conditions, and innovate and embrace technological advances to keep your customers engaged. These things take determination and a strong focus on the end goal.” – Stacey Kehoe, founder ofBrandlective Communications.
  12. “Entrepreneurship is the mindset that allows you to see opportunity everywhere. It could be a business idea, but it could also be seeing the possibilities in the people that can help you grow that business. This ability to see many options in every situation is critically important; there will be unending challenges that will test your hustle.” – Preeti Sriratana, co-founder and COO of Sweeten.
  13. “Successful entrepreneurs… have the guts to take a calculated riskand the tenacity and persistence to keep going even when there are bumps in the road.”  – Eileen Huntington, co-founder and CEO ofHuntington Learning Center.
  14. “Successful entrepreneurs look past [the] ‘quick buck’ and instead look at the bigger pictureto ensure that each action made is going toward the overall goal of the business or concept, whether or not that means getting something in return at that moment.” – Allen Dikker, founder and CEO of Potatopia.
  15. “Being an entrepreneur is ingrained in one’s identity. [It] is the culmination of a certain set of characteristics: determination, creativity, the capacity to risk, leadership and enthusiasm.” – Eric Lupton, president of Life Saver Pool Fence Systems.
  16. “Entrepreneurship is an unavoidable life calling pursued by those who are fortunate enough to take chances. [They are] optimistic enough to believe in themselves, aware enough to see problems around them, stubborn enough to keep going, and bold enough to act again and again. Entrepreneurship is not something you do because you have an idea. It’s about having the creativity to question, the strength to believe and the courage to move.” – Jordan Fliegel, co-CEO of DRAFT.
  17. “An entrepreneur must be able to accept failure. Everyone thinks they can accept failure until they come face to face with failing at a major thing that they have put their everything into. To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be someone who is able to risk failure at the deepest personal levels.” – Steven Benson, founder and CEO ofBadger Maps.
  18. “The journey of entrepreneurship is a lifestyle for many of us; we are wired this way and have no choice. We are driven by an innate need to create, build and grow. You must have an underlying positivity that enables you to see beyond the day-to-day challenges and roadblocks, always moving forward. You must also be a master plate juggler, able to switch between thinking, genres and activities moment to moment.” – Justine Smith, founder and CEO of Kids Go Co.
  19. “Entrepreneurship is seeing an opportunity and gathering the resources to turn a possibility into a reality. It represents the freedom to envision something new and to make it happen. It includes risk, but it also includes the reward of creating a legacy.” – Maia Haag, co-founder and president of I See Me!Personalized Books and Gifts.
  20. “One must possess grit. The stakes tend to be high, the bumps in the road frequent. Remaining focused, regardless of the obstacles, is paramount. That said, being an entrepreneur means being in full control of your destiny. If that’s important to you, then all of the challenges associated with striking out on one’s own are but a small price to pay.” – Mike Malone, founder of Livestock Framing.

3. Ten (10) Traits of Entrepreneurs Who Built Billion-Dollar Companies

Traits are components of a person’s behavior which are presumed to serve as justifications of individual’s lasting personal characteristics. Entrepreneurs exhibit distinct traits which stand out amongst peers in a set of social norms, environments, and circumstances.

“There are people who love to sail the ocean or climb mountains, and more power to them—but it’s nowhere near as interesting as taking a technology nobody has heard of, finding a market for it and launching it to your customers. That’s satisfying [entrepreneur].” Stephen Spoonamore, founder of ABS Materials [5].

No single successful entrepreneur would innately possess all the traits which attribute to his/her success. However, in various levels, most thriving entrepreneurs would exhibit the quality of standards above others.

The most successful entrepreneurs are those who held themselves to the highest standards [5].

  1. Creative problem solvers.
  2. Being true to yourself.
  3. Well-defined vision.
  4. An eye for talent and team building.
  5. Determination to the point of stubbornness.
  6. Adaptable to change.
  7. Fearlessness.
  8. Learning from and owning up to mistakes.
  9. Driven to pursue dreams.
  10. Never stop learning and growing


“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

Albert Einstein

Stephen Spoonamore, further said, “The U.S. economy needs all kinds of entrepreneurs–from coders to clockmakers–in order to close its widening fiscal hole. But the relentless, seek-and-solve breed is our salvation. They are the ones forever craning their necks, addicted to “looking around corners” and “changing the world.” They–not lenders–are the real money multipliers: the ones who turn $1 of capital into $2, then $2 into $10, and $10 into $100. This is the true essence of entrepreneurship: Define, invest, build, repeat. “It’s just balls-out fun.”

  1. Education and Training

Even prodigies still need to be coached, trained, and tutored to make their creations, performances, and intellectual/creative commodities marketable. Gifted entrepreneurs need various supports to make their ventures become reality. In academic settings, young students from first grade can be taught entrepreneurship. Many students from middle schools already exhibited significant entrepreneurial traits. Countless college students have already proven their entrepreneurial genius, e.g., Bill Gates, Steve Job, Mark Zuckerberg, etc.

About fifty years ago (1969), Babson college was the pioneer in the field of entrepreneurship where learners were not trained to be workers or employees, but instead they were trained to be entrepreneurs, leaders, and decision makers–from the way they dress to the design of a business. Learners are taught indispensable entrepreneurial principles needed to run a successful business [6].

Faculty members should be ready to commit to the challenges required by the well-known entrepreneurship program from Babson. Every entrepreneurship course at Babson is taught by professors who have either started, sold, bought, managed, or ran successful businesses. Which means the terminal degrees earned, volumes of books written, nor prestigious professorship status acquired, would not sufficient to qualify you to teach entrepreneurship courses, unless one met the set criteria [6].

Entrepreneurship programs are not of a pure academic or theory field, but rather they develop from a down-to-earth, practical, and a realistic business sense. It’s a S.M.A.R.T. goals/objectives/concept, i.e., (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) [7].

  1. “Think Globally – Act Locally”: Glocalization

The term “glocal” is also used to express by congregating, joining the words “global” and “local” into the single word “glocal”.  Glocalization is an emerging concept throughout the business world, first developed by the Japanese and now emerging throughout Western society. Glocalization refers to the practice of conducting business, according to global and local considerations and actualization [8].

The world market today has been known as flat and borderless – not limited by regional or nation territories where everyone has the same opportunity. Ideas can transmit from one continent to another within a fraction of a second. Billions of products have been ordered through Alibaba’s website every second, the merchandise being shipped around the world unceasingly. Entrepreneurs may think locally, but must act and work with global effect–among colleagues, partners, affiliates, and many times, challenging and adversarial competitors.

It is not only government and corporations that are acknowledging the importance of environmental issues, but also the education system. Government officials and school boards across the world are beginning to develop a new way of teaching. Globalization is now thought of as an important concept to understanding the world. “Certain schools believe it is important to discuss global issues as young as 5 years old. It is students who are our future, therefore understanding the concept of “think globally, act locally” is fundamental to our future” [9].

Think and act are the two essential equations of any strategic business plan. The lesson learned, China would not be able to be named and known as “manufacturer of the world” if its entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy makers had not thought globally. What they think are the consumption power, the consumers, the market, which ultimately become the target and end-users of their products. Think globally is to aim high; as W. Clement Stone said, “Aim to the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star”. To be a thriving entrepreneur, one must have a dream, not any dream, but a big, greatest dream; aiming to the unknown-not just taking the road less travelled, but must create a new path, new direction leading to a certain destination, the world no one ever lands on.

Thinking globally without a solid, realistic base has been just a wild dream; that’s the true meaning of act locally. That means, one must engage in tangible action plan, acquiring sufficient required elements for an entrepreneurial enterprise-Ideas, various essential resources: labor, facility, equipment/technology, finance, marketing, management, etc.

  1. Entrepreneurship Programs

It’s no doubt that entrepreneurship has become essential to mainstream educational systems in the American higher as well as advanced education systems, particularly the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Among more than 2000 American university surveys showed some universities had already started incorporating entrepreneurship more than a half century ago, such as Babson College (Babson Park, Massachusetts), which began offering its entrepreneurship program in 1967. The survey, conducted by Princeton University using three-prong criteria to rank the entrepreneurship program outlined three points:

  1. Academics and requirements: Total number and type of courses offered, such as social entrepreneurship, new-product development and venture capital. Beyond academic requirements, whether other programs available as internships, externships, experiential learning and consulting opportunities for small-business owners.
  2. Students and faculty: Whether entrepreneurship students graduate had launched a business since graduating, a percentage of those students in entrepreneurship program are still in business. A percentage of faculty had started, bought or run a successful business. Teaching/coaching faculty is themselves entrepreneurs, not purely academics.
  3. Outside the classroom: Whether schools have partnerships with other schools that allow access to their entrepreneurship program, a number of officially recognized clubs, and organizations that school offered for entrepreneurship students and their budgets for such clubs and organizations. Other non-curriculum-based activities and competitions are offered in the area of entrepreneurship. A number of officially sponsored mentorship programs are available to entrepreneurship students as well as entrepreneurial scholarships are offered.
  4. Teaching Philosophy, Method and Model

As Julian Young, Founder/Executive Director of “The Start Center for Entrepreneurship”, stated: “Entrepreneurs are anomalies; they don’t fit in; they may not be ‘book smart’”, educators for entrepreneurial programs, courses, workshops, and practicum should possess certain criteria to fit the entrepreneurial teaching philosophy, method, and model. They should have an attitude and mindset to approach entrepreneurial learners as critical thinkers, serious explorers, calculated risk-takers, and highly ambitious individuals rather than a cohort of conventional students. The most important criteria of entrepreneurial educators are observing and listening until educators themselves become learners, then the mission of teaching the entrepreneurial learners may yield fruitful results.

The philosophy of teaching entrepreneurship is a unique approach, where learners are actually the main actors (student centered), who demonstrate their imagination, creativity, ambition, and perspective. Teachers and trainers are those who acquired personal experience in their ventures from the real world, market, and consumers. They are there to observe, listen, coach, and actively engage in learners’ projects, rather than purely lecture, critic, or give grades. Above all, teachers at not there to make or break learners’ ambition or educational goals.

The mission and goal of educational institutions is to enrich learners with entrepreneurial skills, business, finance, product marketing, management, networking, and all other necessities support learners to succeed. On the other side, learners should learn to cultivate their creative and critical thinking, teamwork, collaboration, leadership skills, communication, market research and technology.

Entrepreneurial educators should contemplate the ideal mission of their calling to teach in order to cultivate learners’ a prosperous life and a dream come true as one thriving learned person once uttered, “My teacher is an engineer of the soul!” NDV

  1. Elementary Level

The concept, programs, and courses are designed not only for students enrolling in undergraduate and graduate programs, but also the entrepreneurship spirit germinated from the first grade of elementary school. Some parents recognize the value and importance of the entrepreneurship and enroll their children in programs as early as five years old.

“The Elementary Entrepreneur”, a book written by Julian Alfaro, who introduces entrepreneurship to elementary school students and older. This book is about building confidence, listening to parents, persistence, and sales skills in order to make money as a kid.

  • Julian said, “I am an 8-year-old kid who loves to play soccer and loves to read success books about growth mindset and business. I want to impact millions of kids around the world through my book. I believe every kid is a genius and age is just a number. My mission in life is to introduce every kid to entrepreneurship. Please follow my journey and join ‘The Elementary Entrepreneur Movement’ to be savage not average.” [10].
  • Maya Penn, a young entrepreneur said: “I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon, and I’ve been making animated flip books since I was three years old. At that age, I also learned about what an animator was. At four years old, my dad showed me how to take apart a computer and put it back together again. That started my love for technology. I built my first website myself in HTML, and I’m learning JavaScript and Python.

All of my animations start with ideas, but what are the ideas? Ideas can spark a movement. Ideas are opportunities and innovation. Ideas truly are what makes the world go around. If it wasn’t for ideas, we wouldn’t be where we are now with technology, medicine, art, culture, and how we even live our lives.

At eight years old, I took my ideas and started my own business called Maya’s Ideas, and my nonprofit, Maya’s Ideas for the Planet. And I make eco-friendly clothing and accessories. I’m 13 now, and although I started my business in 2008, my artistic journey started way before then… Soon, my items began selling all over the world, and I had customers in Denmark, Italy, Australia, Canada and more… my business really started to take off. Then one day, Forbes magazine contacted me when I was 10 years old.”  [11].

  • A teacher once told sixteen-year-old prodigy Erik Finman to drop out school and work at McDonald’s. Disappointed with conventional schooling, he negotiated with his parents to allow him to drop out school at 15, promising to make a million at 18 otherwise he would take the GED and continue with college. He founded the video-chat tutoring program “Botangle” and the startup “Intern for Day”, which made him a multimillionaire at the age of 18. [12].

“Give the kids all the resources they need, give them a room to work in with their friends – Any kid can and will succeed given enough freedom and resources, then shut up and watch them blossom.” Keith W Henline

  1. The Venture Lab’s Entrepreneurship Program

Beside many summer camp programs gearing toward entrepreneurship, VentureLab, a nonprofit organization that is helping create the next generation of innovators and change makers through entrepreneurial learning, has designed an entrepreneurship program aimed at young students. Their programs don’t just cater to young students, but also adults and facilitators who don’t possess experience in teaching entrepreneurship. They design curriculums, materials, eBooks, and teach entrepreneurship programs online in a non-commercial fashion. Paralleled to the non-commercial service, VentureLab also has curriculum in a commercial track. [13]

The VentureLab’s Model and Curriculum are organized in the following stages:

                                     a.     Play: Encourage students to learn about playing as a tool for creativity, idea generation, and innovation as well as explore a range of methods that will help students generate new ideas.

                                     b.     Observation: Encourage students to learn about observation as a tool for creativity through active observation.

                                     c.     Design, Thinking, and Prototyping: Show students how they can observe a problem, empathize with someone’s needs, and prototype a solution.

                                     d.     Intro to Entrepreneurship: Give students an opportunity to experience what it is like to be an entrepreneur.

                                     e.     Market Research: Students learn how to identify target markets and perform their own market research.

                                      f.     Business Models: Students develop an understanding of business models as well as analyzing and applying those models.

                                     g.     Pitching: Students explore the process of designing a prototype, receiving feedback, and improving their design.

  1. Entrepreneurship Programs at Undergraduate and Graduate Levels

Alongside required liberal art courses, undergraduate entrepreneurship curriculum would comprise of essential topics and courses such as:


  1. Critical thinking & problem solving
  2. Iterating & prototyping an idea
  3. Ethics and the entrepreneur
  4. Business strategy and planning
  5. Market research
  6. The customer journeys
  7. Monetization models & sustainability
  8. Marketing & PR for entrepreneurs
  9. Selling and sales management
  10. Finance and funding
  11. Teamwork
  12. Social entrepreneurship, etc.


  • Audio & Visual Communication Arts
  • Business Plans for non-profits or for-profits
  • Business Networking, Bartering & Collaboration
  • Business Plan Practicum
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Creating a Company
  • Choosing a Co-Founder
  • Entrepreneurs & the Law
  • Intro to Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial Accounting and Finance and
  • Entrepreneurial in Education [Edupreneurship]
  • Entrepreneurial in Healthcare
  • Entrepreneurial Law
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing & Networking
  • Entrepreneurial Operations
  • Entrepreneurial Strategy
  • Environmental Innovation Practicum
  • Family Business
  • Feasibility Analysis
  • Franchising
  • Feasibility Analysis
  • International Entrepreneurship
  • Internet Economic & Digital Media
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • Introduction to New Business Venture
  • New Venture Finance [Venture Capital]
  • Online Contents and Strategy
  • Professional Communication
  • Professional Writing
  • Software Entrepreneurship
  • Startup Operations
  • Time Management & Grit
  • Venture Investing
  • Web Development, etc.
  1. Fierce Competitive Startup Markets

The world market has unceasingly given birth to startups every day, therefore the entrepreneurial competition has become increasingly fierce. The cradles, incubators, and accelerators which geminated startups have faced unlimited challenges due to the constant demands of innovative approaches, greater ideas, better products, much more effective solutions. Financiers also create competitive clients who can substantiate and produce more desirable products, services, and outcomes for their financial funding, investments, and loans.

To be successful startups there must be joint efforts from various aspects, entities, and collaborators such as policy/law makers, educational institutions, established businesses, financial institutions, venture capitals, and market demands.

  1. Incubator
  • Incubator: Mostly public, long term (1-3 years), less strictly, less rigorous
  • Accelerator: Mostly private, short term, strictly monitored, rigorous supported and monitored, financial interest (equity) in the outcome.

The Greatest Incubator – “Institute For Advanced Study”

The very name itself, “Institute For Advanced Study” is not an incubator, nor a conventional one. Its mission states: “The Institute for Advanced Study’s pursuit of knowledge for its own sake is the ultimate raison d’être. Speculative research, the kind that is fundamental to the advancement of human understanding of the world of nature and of humanity. . . like artistic creativity, it benefits from a special environment.”

Abraham Flexner, the founding Director of the Institute, wrote: “While practical benefits… Ventures into unknown territory inevitably involve an element of risk, and scientists and scholars are rarely motivated by the thought of an end product. Rather, they are moved by a creative curiosity that is the hallmark of academic inquiry.”.

Since 1930, this world class institute, “incubator”, one of the world’s leading centers for curiosity-driven basic research, has served as a model for protecting and promoting independent inquiry, underscoring the importance of academic freedom worldwide. It has made a tremendous impact to the world evidenced by their highest numbers of awards and accolades boasting thirty-three Nobel laureates, nine Abel prizes, thirty-nine Cole prizes, twenty Wolf prizes in mathematics and physics, and more than 6,000 former members having held positions of intellectual and scientific leadership throughout the academic world. Albert Einstein was one of its first professors who remained at the Institute until his death in 1955 [14].

The utmost important criteria of the Institute for Advanced Study, “Incubator”, is the freedom to imagine and think critically and creatively. There are no classrooms, no students, no writing assignments, no grades, no predetermined outcome or products, but rather a free-range canvas of open resources ready for the whim of its members. Highly selected members come from all over the world to pursue their ideas, creativities and dreams. They live, research, and associate with seasoned, gifted peers and professionals, who are there to support, observe, and listen. Above all, they are the irreplaceable network of geniuses, gifted scholars, inventors, and pioneering innovators. It’s not just a superior model for incubators, but it furthers the nurturing of others to explore the world in a universe that seemed incomprehensible.

Types of Services Incubators Provide

Many individual inventors, entrepreneurs, and startups may begin with a humble, simple and innovative idea, or ambition and a glimpse of the vision, but lack all essential resources, skills, experience, and networking. Business incubators have become a life saver that provides adequate space, financial resources, legal advice, accounting, technology, equipment, and an assortment of facilities and other resources. Beyond such necessities, incubators regularly organize seminars and professional presentations with governmental agencies and professional organizations. Entrepreneurs would be able to network with tenants at the same incubators for support and professional assistance [15].

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency which aims to promote and support small businesses, from startup to financing, loan, training, counseling and incubation. Small Business Development Centers (SBMCs) and Women’s Business Canters are a network of centers established to promote, enhance and support the growth of the local economies and international trade ventures. Most importantly, the Entrepreneurship Education (OEE) was created to provide information, training and supporting for startups and entrepreneurs.  One of the most valuable services is the “Counselors to American’s Small Business”, known as SCORE (www.SCORE.org) where all seasoned counselors are volunteers, dedicated to provide free and confidential advices to entrepreneurs, small business owners and operators.

In conjunction with the Small Business Administration (SBA), below is a short list of services which a typical incubator would provide [16]:

Business Incubator

The main mission of the business incubator, as its own meaning, is to nurture the innovative ideas, projects, or inventions that would not become a reality without a business incubator. The entrepreneur’s ideas would hopefully survive through the initial and developing phrases in order to become successful entrepreneurs and consequently create new enterprises, generate employment, promote technological progress, intellectual distribution, and contribute to the growth of the local, regional, national and international economies. The success of a local business incubator would be duplicated or expanded to different locality, distant territories and regions.

In the age of the internet, business incubators have connected with each other to simultaneously share their information and lessons learned to maximize the services they provide to other tenants and entrepreneurs by matching each individual entrepreneur’s expertise and needs. Most importantly, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI) have become the trends in the near future to identify the resources of which each entrepreneur possesses, acquires, and is able to reciprocally exchange information to needed entities within the incubators [17].

International Business Innovation Association (InBIA)

For more than 30 years, InBIA, a global nonprofit organization, has supported entrepreneurial organizations. InBIA helps guide, mentor, and develop sustainable entrepreneurial support programs in every industry and demographic around the globe; to enrich the entire ecosystem by providing industry resources, education, events, and global programming to help its members better serve the needs of their unique communities and regions. Its mission further helps communities enable their entrepreneurs to transform their dreams into innovative businesses that make global prosperity a reality [18].

At the national level, the “National Business Incubation Association” (NBIA) is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Each year, it provides thousands of professionals with information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies. www.nbia.org .

  1. Accelerators

Accelerators are comprised mostly of the same characteristics as Incubators except they are created, organized, managed, and funded by private entities such as corporations and individual investors. Secondly, the duration of accelerators is limited to as little as three to six months. To achieve the goal considering the time limitation, startups tend to be established with certain track records and verifiable operation metrics which would lead to desirable outcomes [19].

There are three major accelerators that attract the most competitive startups:

Hardware-Several accelerators focused on hardware innovation have been founded in Silicon Valley and other regions worldwide.

AI-As of 2017, artificial intelligence and machine learning is a growing field, with various investment funds.

Biotech-There are accelerator programs in the field of biotech.

  • Techstars

Techstars is a young American “accelerator”, founded in 2006, having offices around the world with more than 1000 companies in its program, and more than $9.6 billions US dollars in market capitalization. One of the most attractive business elements of Techstars is its written “Code of Conducts”, posted on its website, which comprises 25 articles, proudly telling the world their professional conducts and ethical operation. Entrepreneurs are not only succeeding with their great ideas, marvelous inventions, and wonderful products, but its values, in terms of ethics, compliance with the laws and customer services, are much more important to consumers’ trust and confidence than just tangible commodities bearing the trademarks of an entrepreneurial enterprise. [20]

  • MassChallenge

MassChallenge is a young accelerator, founded in 2009 in Massachusetts by John Harthorne and Akhil Nigam, but operates globally, currently has several offices situated around the US. Mexico and Europe (BostonJerusalemLondonGenevaMexico CityRhode Island). It has supported more than 1500 startups, with 3 billion dollars in funding and more than 80,000 staff/professional counselors/advisers.  Almost all accelerators in the U.S. are for-profit, private companies except MassChallenge, which takes “no equity” from the startups. MassChallenge’s mission is to catalyze a startup renaissance by connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and succeed immediately. It further envisions a creative and inspired society in which everyone recognizes that they can define their future and is empowered to maximize their impact. [21].

“To be a successful entrepreneur, one must not be a jack of all trades, perform all tasks, but rather, to be a business leader, who has mastered the tasks of hiring the right people, train them well, assign them the right job, at the right time, with the right tools, and pay them considerably well, they would run one’s venture wholeheartedly, successfully, and be loyal to one’s entrepreneurial venture without being asked.” Bernard Nguyên-Đăng

  1. Conclusion

Words often become redundant and bright ideas become just wild imaginations without realistic approaches and strategic actionable plans. Therefore, the following are the initial proposed approaches and actions which could be attainable at various times and places with available resources and effective supports.

Proposed Realistic Approaches:

  1. Establish the entrepreneurship programs, courses, practicum, seminars, and continuing education throughout all levels;
  2. Establish a consortium joining educational institutions, established businesses, and governmental entities to create a strategic business plan for both short and long term;
  3. Establish a collegial and collegiate collaboration among local, national and international institutions aiming at joint goals and issues;
  4. Establish grants, scholarships, and other various support for individuals, clubs, organizations, and institutions to foster entrepreneurship.
  5. Establish local, regional, and national contests, conferences, conventions, entrepreneurial events, and shows to generate and incite innovative activities and business approaches to attract more business investments;
  6. Work with the local and national government to create regulations and tax incentives for accelerators and incubators to support entrepreneurs;
  7. Work with the Ministry of Finance and other financial institutions to support entrepreneurial activities;
  8. Work with the media to spread the entrepreneurial concepts and activities;
  9. Work with foreign institutions and private entities to foster reciprocal relationships to mutually support entrepreneurial endeavors;
  10. Work with foreign governments to assist entrepreneurs with Visas and means to attend international events such as conventions, business shows-conference, seminars, networking, and advanced training programs.

The mentioned proposed approaches/solutions are essential elements of changes–from a stagnate realm, languish mindset to a liberated world of entrepreneurial freedom–however, master a foreign language, particularly English, which is the utmost important key for an entrepreneur to explore the world, universe, and above all to discover his/her very own gifted talents.

“It’s not that Vietnamese learners don’t have entrepreneurial genes, they just need the grit to cultivate those genes and imaginary creativities in order to form successful and unrestricted entrepreneurs.”  BND





[1] Julian Young, Start Center


[2] Entrepreneurship Definition


What is Entrepreneurship?


[3] Eisenmann, Thomas R. (2013), “Entrepreneurship: A Working Definition


Guide to Online MBAs In Entrepreneurship

Guide to Online MBAs in Entrepreneurship

[4] Fernandez, Paula (2018), “Entrepreneurship Defined: What It Means to Be an Entrepreneur”, Business News Daily


[5] Patel, Deep (2017), “Ten Traits of Entrepreneurs Who Built Billion-Dollar Companies”


[6] Babson College




S: Specific=Strategic and specific

M: Measurable=Motivating

A: Achievable=Attainable, ambitious, action=oriented

R: Relevant=Resourced, realistic, reasonable, resulted-based

T: Time-bound=Trackable, time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive, timeframe, testable

When creating a S.M.A.R.T Objective, there is specific criteria one should follow.

  • SpecificWhothe participants are, and what the action or activity is.
  • Measurable: Quantity of changethat is to be expected throughout the objective.
  • Achievable: The objective must be attainable with the amount of time and resources available.
  • Realistic: Create an objective that is reasonable to ensure achievement with the available time and resources.
  • Time-bound: Provide a timeline to outline when the objective will be achieved.

[8] Glocalization


[9] Think Globally–Act Locally


What is Think Global, Act Local?


Think Global, Act Local-Julian Amey


[10] Alfaro, Julian (2018), “The Elementary Entrepreneur


[11] Maya Penn-How to start your own business at 13 years old

[12] Wallace, Benjamin (2014), The Bitcoin Boy: 16-Year-Old Erik Finman Is in His Silicon Valley Prime


[13] VentureLab


Youth Entrepreneurship Curriculum

VentureLab – Entrepreneurship Curriculum

[14] Institute For Advanced Study



[15] Incubator


[16] SBA- Office of Entrepreneurial Development


SAB-Office of Entrepreneurial Development-Toolkit


[17] Business Incubator


[18] International Business Innovation Association (InBIA)



From http://www.nbia.org/resource_center/what_is/index.php, retrieved … Tenant firms of the NBIA member incubators exhibit a five-year success rate.

[19] Accelerator


Cremades, Alejandro (2018), 10 Startup Accelerators Based On Successful Exits


[20] Techstars




[21] MassChalleges





Shark Tank

The Biggest Product in Shark Tank history”


Shark Tank – He Declined All Offer $2.5 Millions All Shark Are Angry!!!


Shark Tank Kevin Is Only Shark Willing To Offer 1 Million Dollars! Best Of Shark Tank


Shark Tank Season 6 Episode 14





Further Reading:

Robinson, Ryan (2018), 60 Top Entrepreneurs Share Best Business Advice and Tips for Success


25 Behaviors Of The Most Successful Entrepreneurs






The mission of the Young Entrepreneurs Program is to promote entrepreneurship opportunities for young people, to create small businesses and enhance the local economy, to improve the community by empowering students as they transition into the workforce to achieve their financial and professional goals, and to provide the knowledge, resources and support necessary for their success.


  • Education – teaching the next generation about running a business.
  • Integrity– always acting in the best interest of all parties involved, following the golden rule.
  • Creativity/Ingenuity– thinking outside the box, doing something new, or in a new way.
  • Pride in your Work/Effort– give your best effort, autograph your work with excellence, your hard work pays off.
  • Responsibility/Accountability– developing and maintaining a good reputation, honoring your commitments, doing what you say you are going to do and what you are allowed to do.
  • Having a Sense of Community– valuing family, family, friends, peers, clients, and other professionals.
  • Generosity – working together, giving back, and paying it forward.


Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship


The power of entrepreneurship education can change young people’s in your community. NFTE’s programs activate the entrepreneurial mindset, uniquely preparing students for careers in the innovation economy.

NFTE focuses our resources on serving under-resourced communities, with our programs geared towards middle-school and high-school students. Members of NFTE’s Entrepreneurial Teacher Corps use project-based activities and blended learning to make daily life in the classroom an experience students never forget.

Teaching Entrepreneurship [Stanford MBA program]


Practicing entrepreneurship skills while doing something impactful for others. . .the following skills that are critical elements of entrepreneurship education:

  • develop and evaluate ideas
  • interview customers
  • iteratively prototype under time constraints
  • mobilize and deploy limited resources
  • presentation
  • reflection

7 Important Things About Entrepreneurship They Didn’t Teach You in School


Being an entrepreneur can be tough, but the rewards are tremendous.

McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship


Mission: The Mission of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship is to help students improve their potential and advance society by developing an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset.

Vision: The vision of the Center is to be a global leader in entrepreneurship and innovation education and research.

Core Values: The faculty and staff of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship embrace the following six core values:

  • Collaboration: We can accomplish more through collaboration with others than by ourselves.
  • Curiosity: We have an unquenchable curiosity for knowing how, when, why.
  • Creativity: Creativity allows us to see the world as filled with opportunities.
  • Integrity:  The most important human asset is our integrity; integrity is more important than money.
  • Quality: We strive for high quality in all our endeavors.
  • Respect: We must gain the respect of others and appropriately respect others.

The Fort Hays State University Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship


Our students are thoughtful, entrepreneurial leaders, both professionally and in their communities.

An organization continually innovating to improve the quality and strategic scope of its activities. Its own culture and activities are entrepreneurial. It provides entrepreneurship programming and curricular offerings to supplement both business and non-business degrees.

Academy Of Management


The most pressing entrepreneurship education questions of our time, such as:

  1. What is the role of education in developing an entrepreneurial mind-set?
  2. Is the educational emphasis on business planning appropriate?
  3. How can education make the most of students’ desires “to do good” and help alleviate the suffering of others?
  4. To what extent is there a gap between entrepreneurship education and practice?
  5. How can students learn to identify opportunities?
  6. Are we limiting the potential of entrepreneurship education by making it the exclusive domain of business schools?

Ten years ago, more than 5,000 entrepreneurship courses were being delivered at over 2,600 colleges and universities and more than 250 business plan competitions in the United States alone (Kauffman Foundation, 2006).

How To Become An Education Entrepreneur: The Top 5 Voices You Need To Follow


#5 Rules to Succeed as an Edupreneur


How To Become An Education Entrepreneur: The Top 5 Voices You Need To Follow


If you are interested in the education and entrepreneurship field, want to launch an edtech startup, or would like a better understanding of the niche, you need to know and learn from the movers and shakers in this field.

7 Reasons To Launch An EdTech Startup


The Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative


The Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative brings to life and deepens Duke’s enduring theme of knowledge in the service of society. We seek to make Duke an agent of transformation through an entrepreneurial spirit, generating innovations from the ideas that grow at the university and translating those innovations to positively impact individuals, communities, institutions, and societies. We seek to inspire and prepare all members of the university community for innovative leadership and to actively support and encourage the translation of knowledge in the service of society.



The concept of discovery remains foundational in U.S. higher education. . we seek and instill new knowledge and understanding, and foster creativity and innovation, for society’s benefit. Now more than ever before, universities like Penn State and Stevens must focus intensely on discovery to drive meaningful change, actively encouraging and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, and maximizing the positive effects of leading-edge research and technology.

Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship


NFTE’s mission is to activate the entrepreneurial mindset and build startup skills in youth from under-resourced communities to ensure their success and to create a more vibrant society. Research shows that the entrepreneurial mindset prepares young people for lifelong success. Equipped with the mindset, as well as with the business and academic skills that NFTE teaches, NFTE students are ready to thrive in the innovation economy no matter what path they choose.

In an innovation economy, there are no traditional paths to success. NFTE’s Entrepreneurship Pathway program begins with igniting students’ imagination and leads them through the process of activating their entrepreneurial mindset and creating their own business plan. The Pathway, which includes project-based learning entrepreneurship programs designed to take students through the stages of Awareness, Exposure, Expertise, and Application, is aligned to career academies, industry/academic certification, and transitions to higher education and workforce experiences for students.

Bizworld-Inspiring Children to Become the Architects of Their Futures


BizWorld.org is committed to enriching the quality of education and future prospects for under-served youth, promoting self-sufficiency, and assisting children in achieving their highest potential. According to our rigorous evaluation, over 97% of all classes that participate in our programs showed increased knowledge in business, entrepreneurship, and finance concepts. 98% of teachers surveyed agreed that the programs connect academic content to the real world. Before students reach the well documented “turning point” in middle school, we believe that we can empower them with innovative, real-world experiences. In doing so, we can disrupt the trajectory of the past and send children in a new direction that inspires them to achieve extraordinary things!

Youth Entrepreneurs-Business Brought To Life


Youth Entrepreneurs equips young people with the values and vision to pursue their dreams. We strive to change the mindsets of young people, so they believe in themselves and what they can accomplish. Our experiential education model instills entrepreneurial and economic principles built for prosperity. We inspire students to overcome barriers and seize opportunities for good.

The Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE)


The Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) is an innovation hub where the ideas, people, resources, and technology meet and create the future. . .individuals (learners) become better prepared to identify and act on opportunities to solve problems in any organization, or entrepreneurial endeavor.


Copyright © 2018Bernardanguyen

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

For permission requests, write to the publisher, authors, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

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