Recently I’ve written a commentary on a paper about resource combining for JBR. It set me thinking about how we can successfully combine our teaching, research and practice to help students have some experience of ‘the world of work’ in the class room.
We are at the beginning of term and I’m teaching Managing Marketing Innovation. This week I think we really managed to combine teaching, research and practice by welcoming our Guest Speaker, Allan Freinkel, CEO of StarTraq. StarTraq (UK) Ltd. provide software solutions for enforcement agencies. Allan has also been a participant into my research into business models and market making.
Allan has both national and international experience of start-up companies and provided the students with great insights into how to start, develop and run a business in turbulent times. The students gave great feedback on their experience, really picking up on the importance of understanding where the value lies within innovation network, how you can constantly seek to create and sustain value by building platform technologies and how change can suddenly come (though policy, fincnace or technolgoical change) and completely disrupt a market. Allan talked about how he used his network and knowledge to seek new ways of combining and accessing resources and also how he did this in an ethical but determined way.
What I loved about the session was the way an experienced practitioner combined and co-developed ideas and experiential stories with the ideas of great students who also had their own experiences and stories to tell. Many of these students have just returned to university having spent a year working at firms like 3M, Johnson & Johnson, Texaco Mobile and Glaxo SmithKline. One student asked, “What are you most proud of doing in all the work you have done?” Allan identified two things: saving lives (by establishing non-speeding traffic norms through the provision of his speed enforcement technologies) and being able to employ people so that when they go home at night, they have a roof over their heads. What a great session!
Allan also talked about his work with academics to develop his business. Specifically he talked about his work with Dr. Annabelle Gawer at Imperial College, London. Annabelle has a great new book on platform products.