Are you interested in starting up your own ICT company? Do you know which steps to take to build a business? With FACE Entrepreneurship and the tips and advice of Frank Janssen, we’re help you on your way to starting your ICT business.
Frank Janssen is the Professor of Entrepeneurhship at the Louvain School of Management at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL); he is also the Academic Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Program of Business Creation (CPME) at UCL and member of the Centre for Research on Entrepreneurial Change and Innovative Strategies (CRECIS).
Janssen is the spokesman for management and entrepreneurship at the Université Catholique de Louvain. He also worked 8 years as a lawyer.
Our protagonist has published numerous articles in international scientific journals about entrepreneurship like Entrepreneruship Theory & Practice, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development and la Revue Internationale PME.
Specialized Education in the Creation of New ICT Businesses
According to Frank Janssen it is of the utmost importance to have an education specific to starting a business, which is the reason he chose his current profession.
Studying a master or an MBA helps, but it’s important to know how to choose the MBA that will be oriented at the creation of business.
In order for a project to work properly complementary skills are required, especially for companies that use new technologies and require new professional profiles.
Characteristics of new entrepreneurs and ICT businesses
As a teacher he deals on a daily basis with many young people who are themselves involved in or thinking about creating their own ICT business, especially startups.
Janssen explains that from his experience there is not one single entrepreneur profile. In fact, he states that during the 70’s and 80’s various psychological studies were carried out to determine precisely that, and none were able to make a definite conclusion.
Entrepreneurship as a cultural concept
For this professor the cultural element in general is very important, but he adds that there are great differences among countries, and even among regions, in the way in which it is perceived by the population and the way it is treated by the press.
Belgium has improved the perception of entrepreneurship but still not as much as experts would like. In certain countries like Belgium and France certain traditional values, like individual initiative, are not always well regarded.
What differentiates the ICT sector?
Janssen explains that although there are many common aspects to starting up any kind of business, ICT startups are the ones which do not need a lot of initial investment, even if it is true that they do require a substantial amount of dedication in the search for clients.
As a general rule, the main mistakes made by ICT entrepreneurs are related to management quality, given that due to their professional origins they are usually more involved in the technical development of their product or service. Even though cases of failure depend on each entrepreneur, there is no single cause of failure.
Janssen describes that in his classes they work on the ability of entrepreneurs to recover from a failure and motivation to start a new venture. He demonstrates that failure often is tied to common social stigmas. In these cases fear is due to the difficulty of convincing clients, winning back the trust of investors and rebuilding a lost reputation.
The judgment of failure as a natural part of the process largely depends on culture; for instance in the United States and England mistakes which are made when building a business are not a determining factor in an entrepreneur’s career. Making mistakes is seen as a learning process.
If you are starting you own ICT company and want to share your concerns with other young European entrepreneurs and get advice from experts in the field, like Frank Janssen, become a FACEr!