The Concept

The design-driven entrepreneurship concept “The Courage to Create a Business” is recognized and featured by

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The Program

The program is based on `The Courage to Create a Business` concept and has been thought in MBA program of Bilgi University, Bogazici University Engineering and Business Administration and Ozyegin University Master of Entrepreneurship programs.

The concept:

The Courage to Create a Business” is an  design-driven entrepreneurship and innovation concept developed by Gulay Ozkan.

Gulay devised this concept based on her 12 years of experience in both emerging and developed market in incubation centers, techno-parks and universities, as well as her own experience mentoring many entrepreneurs. She has a background in both engineering and drama and the concept uses techniques from both disciplines to target technology entrepreneurs.

The program has featured key guest speakers, including US award-winning journalist Simran Sethi, Dick Spring, the former Irish deputy prime minister, Ziya G. Boyacigiller, the founder of Maxim Integrated Products – a NASDAQ 100 semiconductor company, Thomas Crampton, from Ogilvy, Hong Kong, and Farzad Ehsani, the founder of Influential, based in Silicon Valley, California.

Its design is based on three dimensions: entrepreneur, idea and ecosystem

This means:

  • Where you are,
  • Who you are,
  • What you want to do.

In this concept, the ecosystem comes before the entrepreneur and the entrepreneur comes before the idea. In general, instead of what should be, we focus on first discovering what we really have and starting from that point.

Where are you? The ecosystem module

We don’t believe in the “lone hero” entrepreneur. Larry Page and Serge Brin would have not been able to found Google in an emerging economy. Being an entrepreneur in an emerging market and an advanced market are two very different things. Teaching entrepreneurship in an emerging market by its very nature is not the same as teaching it in Silicon Valley. Nor can we keep talking to our students in emerging markets about successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley such as Steve Jobs.

Who you are? The entrepreneur module

Instead of telling who you should be, this concept encourages people to understand who they are and discover  their own entrepreneurial patterns.

Entrepreneurship is defined as a lifestyle in this concept. In this module, we ask students whether this lifestyle is for them. The entrepreneurial lifestyle includes failures, ups and downs, and risks by its very nature. Will you be able to enjoy the unknown and embrace insecurity and learn how to deal with failures?What really is risk or failure as far as you are concerned? Simply reading Steve Jobs’s biography will not mean you really understand what risk is for you. For one person, moving to another country can be a risk, but for someone else not moving at all can be risky. You need to understand your own patterns of risk, failure and the unknown.

We look at creativity in our own problems, pains, conflicts and in our daily lives – not just outside. This concept focuses on encouraging people to have the courage to look at themselves and giving them a chance to create by discovering their innate creativity. This is something that very much requires courage.

Learning what failure, risk or the unknown which are base of entrepreneurial life-style or discovering and uncovering our creative potential cannot be done sitting in a classroom. We also cannot only learn by reading about successful entrepreneurs’ experiences. We must experience things ourselves. Therefore, in this concept, drama exercises are applied where you learn by trying, not with the mind but with your body, emotions and actions.

Idea Development

In the idea development phase, we use design thinking methodologies from Stanford D.School  to develop the projects. The concept is also recognised by openIDEO

The pictures are from a workshop run for start-up companies in Europe Enterprise Network.

Design-driven approach  can bring even more radical innovation than “technology push” and user-centered approaches according to Verganti However, at different stages of market development, entrepreneurs may choose incremental innovation, where user-centered strategies may apply. We decide this critical strategy during our workshops.


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