Damiano Pietroni




United Kingdom




Sep 2018 - May 2020

By Damiano Pietroni

Entrepreneurship as an Oxford EMBA

As an Oxford EMBA student there are numerous opportunities to learn more about entrepreneurship, get feedback on ideas, and either start or scale entrepreneurial ventures.

First, all EMBA students take the Entrepreneurship Project (EP) module. The course combines theory with application by first providing an overview of entrepreneurship frameworks and literature, and then having students prepare a business plan for a new entrepreneurial venture. One element making the module particularly interesting is the fact that a large part of the cohort has hands on experience in building, managing, and selling entrepreneurial ventures, meaning that students have the opportunity to learn a lot from each other. Another interesting element is that numerous of the ideas architected on the module are implemented as start-up organizations, firmly grounding the course in the real world.

Second, EMBA students have access to the Oxford Saïd Entrepreneurship Centre, which acts as a hub for entrepreneurship focused programmes, as a platform connecting students with potential partners and investors, as a source of thought leadership on the subject, and as host of entrepreneurship focused events and conferences.

Third, all Oxford students can get involved with the Oxford Foundry, which is a student-led community focused on innovation in the entrepreneurship space. The Foundry focuses on engagement, through regular events often featuring inspirational figures, education, through workshops and an online library, and acceleration, through a dedicated programme enabling start-ups to scale up. On top of the great work the Foundry does, there also is the added element of convenience given by its close proximity to the Business School, making it a common stop for after class activities.

Fourth, there are multiple links between the EMBA programme and Oxford University Innovation (OUI). The OUI is a subsidiary of the University of Oxford focused on technology transfer and consulting specific to innovation. On the technology transfer front, the OUI helps Oxford University related start-ups commercialize their intellectual property. On the consulting side, the organization provides both intellectual capital, and facilities for testing technical innovation. OUI is particularly relevant to Oxford EMBA students who enter the programme either already running an intellectual property heavy organization, or wanting to set one up.

Similar to Oxford University Innovation is Oxford Sciences Innovation, which focuses on commercializing cutting-edge science. This is highly relevant to Oxford EMBA students who focus on the hard sciences either in a scientific or in a managerial role, and wish to be supported in producing business plans, raising finance, and forming robust organizations.

Overall, the combination of Saïd Business School, wider University of Oxford resources, and organizations closely tied to the university provides a great platform for any EMBA student who wishes to start and grow a meaningful entrepreneurial organization.

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