Webinar Report of Entrepreneurship Challenges in the University

 | Post date: 2021/12/2 | 

 Introduction of webinar speakers and experts:

Dr. Ashkan Mozdgir
Faculty Member of Industrial Engineering Department and Panel Manager
Dr. Emmar Jalalimanesh
Founder of the Hamteck Artificial Intelligence Accelerator
Dr. Mehran Sadeghi
Holding Manager of Qom Green Plateau Company and Entrepreneur
Engineer. Morteza Gharaei
New Business Startup Consultant in Canada
Engineer. Seyed Hamidreza Ghasemi
Managing Director of 780 Group

Introduction of panel members:

Dr. Hamidreza Izadbakhsh
Director of Industrial Engineering, Kharazmi University
Dr. Vahid Amiri
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Texas Tech
Dr. Mohammad Vahid Sebt
Director of the New Technologies Department of the Center for European Studies
Dr. Ehsan Malihi
Member of the board of Samiz Smart Solutions Knowledge-Based Company

This webinar was held by the Industrial Engineering Department of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology in cooperation with the Center for European Studies on November 23th, 2021.

What is needed more and more in our society in the current difficult situation is to address the issue of entrepreneurship. Because, of course, given their privileged and outstanding characteristics, entrepreneurs are able to provide resources in such conditions to create growth and development in the fields of production and human resources, and create new jobs and businesses. In the late 1950s, Japan was the first country to work in this very classical field and to promote the culture of entrepreneurship at the high school level. The issue of entrepreneurship in Japan was also extended to universities. Between 1970 and 1992, more than 96% of the industrial innovations that made Japan a world leader in the global economy were done by entrepreneurs. The quality of training and attention to the quality of manpower in an important factor leading to economic growth and development. If we want to take the entrepreneurship debate seriously in the country, our education system must move in a direction that nurtures forces with courage and bravery in decision-making. We must provide the right environment for innovation in organizations. Because in terms of technological and administrative innovation, we are so far behind that we cannot do the simplest kind of entrepreneurship, which is imitation. Entrepreneurship education is a policy that directly affects the quantity and quality of entrepreneurial supply in a society. That is why in many countries, especially in developed countries, where obstacles and problems have been removed as much as possible, governments have begun to flourish the potential of the people.

At the beginning, Mr. Ghasemi explained the challenges of entrepreneurship from the perspective of regulation and control:

Unlike developed countries, the duality of entrepreneurship and regulation has created a challenge in our country instead of facilitating entrepreneurship. Regulation is basically directly related to freedom of trade. However, often, regulation loses its purpose. And inefficient legislation in the form of extravagance and excessive government interference in business activities is replaced by other ones. In many economies, governments adopt or maintain laws that impose a heavy burden on entrepreneurs. These regulations limit the ability of entrepreneurs to run a private business freely. Foreign investors avoid economies that use regulations to interfere in the affairs of the private sector. It is the basis for ranking economies in their business environment. Even the top economies have enough space to improve their business atmosphere. The economies with the highest ease of doing business have several things in common, including the widespread use of electronic systems. Six valuable brands in the world are all active in the field of technology. Unfortunately, in our country, Iran, lack of coordination between stakeholder laws such as the Central Bank, the Ministry of ICT, FATA police, Insurance, etc. hinders the development of Iranian entrepreneurs. "All of these barriers continue to develop. Emerging areas are facing more difficulties, but if they continue to do so despite all the difficulties, they will become valuable brands."

Then, Dr. Jalali Manesh continued about "Success techniques in negotiating with the investor":

"The key for investing is to have a common interest. If a deal is not profitable for both parties, it is unlikely to happen. It should be noted that not every investment is necessarily good. Choosing the wrong investor may cause you to fail. And if you do not know your investor, you are more likely to say something that will discourage you from investing. Today, smart money is far better than money. In addition to the need for startups and teams, smart money will save money for you, it also will shorten your time to success. The capital you attract is not your income. In fact, your fuel is to keep going and reach the goal. Often several investors are better than one investor. This cooperation increases your trust and smart money. Investors will also control and regulate each other. When talking to the investor, you must be fully prepared. Listen well and talk less and instead ask more questions, build trust and find the main decision maker for the final conversation with the investor. There are three techniques for having a good negotiation:
• Mirroring technique
• Labeling technique
• Calibrated questions technique
Choose the right partners when negotiating. It is better for you that your partners to be of different genders and different age groups. Keep your mind open during the negotiation, do not press on words, negotiate flexibly and customize your startup for the investor."

Then, Mr. Qaraei gave an speech regarding the career path:

"Unfortunately, in our universities, students are not well guided for finding a career path. After graduation, students continue their studies in the form of four categories. The first group continue their education and prepare for the exam of higher levels. The second group will be driven to the labor market, the third group will dream of emigrating, and finally the fourth group will pursue entrepreneurship. One of the challenges of the fourth group is that there is no follow-up in their decision and inevitably they cautiously run several branches in parallel. In developed countries, universities allocate large budgets for students' good ideas, and students will enjoy full support until the idea is implemented. Fortunately, our country is also somewhat in the way to go. Many startups are set up in these countries to eventually connect entrepreneurs with industrialists. One of the most important issues in the field of entrepreneurship is investment. Contrary to the traditional view, we do not necessarily have to make a profit in the growth phase, and it is better to focus on development."

Then Dr. Sadeghi explained about entrepreneurship in the field of agriculture:

"The total volume of the Iran market for production is $21 billion. Of this amount, unfortunately $15 billion is spent on imports and only $6 billion is allocated to production. Iran has the necessary potential to produce a variety of agricultural products, but with no technology and international marketing, unfortunately, this area is oppressed. Iran's exclusive goods such as pistachios and silk carpets are produced at an average of only 1 ton, while in other Iranian rival countries such as the United States and Turkey, it is between 3 and 4 tons. "Entrepreneurship in the field of agriculture is an excellent opportunity in Iran. One of the most important points for agricultural development in Iran is to strengthen marketing and modeling from developed countries."


Mr. Dr. Mazdgir, the director of the panel, concluded the webinar by asking questions from each of the professors and speakers:

-----> What facilities does Kharazmi University of Tehran offer for the development of entrepreneurship?

Dr. Sabt: At Kharazmi University, by imitating and modeling the top universities in the world, facilities have been provided in this regard. A strategic plan is provided to provide facilities. One of the biggest challenges in entrepreneurship is the relationship between entrepreneurs and industry, where the university plays an important role in connecting the two groups. There is a high potential to attract foreign investors, but unfortunately it is remained useless."

----->What is the potential of industrial engineering for entrepreneurship cooperating with the university?
Dr. Izadbakhsh: The main role of Industrial Engineering is entrepreneurship. With the birth of industrial engineering, many questions from entrepreneurs and managers in improving production, resource planning, waste reduction, and etc. were answered. In Iran, in these current conditions of industry and Iranian organizations, industrial engineering has various solutions for improvement in various production, service and commercial organizations.

----->Industrial Engineering Opportunities and Challenges in Group 780?

Engineer Ghasemi: Due to the deep connection of the 780 group with the software, the facilities of the university should be well studied and there should be a small distance between the idea and the realization of the idea. Good software projects will be supported.

----->What advice do you have for students as an investor?

 Engineer Qaraei: The investor has 3 scales to measure an idea:
• Market: The attractiveness and extent of the market and ...
• Team: Having strong people in terms of skills and personality
• Traction: How much value has been created in practice to date.
If you combine these three with your idea, the investor will have no good reason to reject your idea.

----->Is it possible to present an entrepreneurial idea in the field of agriculture with low capital and without having a family relationship?

Dr. Sadeghi: One of the new topics in today’s world is urban agriculture, which can be implemented even inside apartments and on rooftops. What is important for small markets is rural entrepreneurship. In agriculture, you can become an entrepreneur at a much lower cost than in industry. Looking at the top entrepreneurs in this field, we can see that family relationship is not a factor of progress at all. Also, by using training classes, the barrier of technology resistance can be removed and new agricultural knowledge can be gained.


Summary and Conclusion:

If we consider the three stages of idea creation, implementation of the idea and its exploitation as the main stages of the entrepreneurial process in Iran, international statistics show the poor performance of Iran in all three stages. Entrepreneurship pathology in Iran indicates a severe weakness of social perception of people towards entrepreneurship. Insufficient understanding of entrepreneurial opportunities is one of the factors that create obstacles in the idea creation stage. In the field of implementing ideas, factors such as insufficient support from investors and lack of cooperation and effective relationship between industry and academia are among the most important obstacles that affect the rate of innovation in Iran. As long as the necessary legal and commercial infrastructure is not in place, entrepreneurs will continue to struggle to exploit and capture ideas. In today's dynamic environment, the survival of organizations requires identifying and exploiting potential opportunities. If entrepreneurial thinking is institutionalized in organizations, the process of discovering opportunities will also be facilitated. In the meantime, there are some environmental variables that, if properly managed, can lead to the spread of entrepreneurial tendencies. Among the most important variables are basic education, government programs and laws and taxes in the country. If the underlying environmental variables are taken into account and the necessary corrections are made, the ground for understanding entrepreneurial opportunities and consequently established entrepreneurship in the country will be provided.

 For view the webinar's video click here.

A word to you:
One of the research areas of the Center for European Studies is the introduction of the 2021-2027 Horizon Europe and its plans.
This webinar will be an introduction and a start for the upcoming webinars. If you are interested in a particular topic, you are invited to submit it through the website so that we can use your comments in the upcoming webinars. We hope that by continuing these series of meetings, we will be able to guide a part of the Iranian community of researchers and students to current and practical issues in Europe.

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