My path in entrepreneurship and innovation ...so far
No one has done it before - should not be an excuse, but motivation. -- Dragos-Cristian
I believe I always had a passion for business. As a child, I couldn't stop coming up with ideas on what products the world could need or want. Reaching the university, I took a lot of management classes (see here), but I realized my passion for business did not falter.
So I applied in 2010 for a double degree program called TIME European Management Programme (TEMP) jointly organized between Vienna University of Technology (Austria), Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) and Universidad de Sevilla (Spain). I was among the lucky few that managed to get in. Over the course of one and a half years, I visited all the locations, learning from top practitioners and companies like ABB or Microsoft, all while working on a business plan. At the end of 2011, after completing the TEMP program
from Universidad de Sevilla.
Around the same time I founded a non-profit organization focused on international trade relations. Because of my passion for innovation, in 2014 I was offered an internship at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) headquarters in Vienna working on National Systems of Innovation. There I learned a lot about what it means to create innovation policies at a high-level. In 2015 I continued my research by co-starting a research project in order to analyze differences and similarities in the innovation processes of different industries in the German-speaking region.
A few years earlier, around 2012, I became an assistant in a very interactive and practical course on Business Development with students from Vienna University of Technology, Vienna University of Economics and Business and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. In time, I started coaching and advising students on how to develop their businesses and starting with 2016 I became the lead coach that prepared and accompanied the local winning team to go to the Global Entrepreneur Challenge at Virginia Tech in the United States. This 10-day competition reunites teams from all over the world to compete for the most scalable and well developed business concepts for either products or services. Starting with 2017, besides lead coach, I took over as trainer of this course and the results showed. Not only that I could coach the team after winning the local competition, but I was able to steer them in the development process.
Going back to Virginia Tech, my team finished second in the Global Entrepreneur Challenge. Each year, the teams I coached performed very well, and in 2019 - the last time the Global Entrepreneur Challenge was held due to Covid-19 - my team won the People's Choice Award.
In 2017, after becoming clear that European students could benefit from a joint program in the field of entrepreneurship, I became one of the initiators of a joint entrepreneurship program across five European universities (UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Austria). Separately, I was invited in 2018 and then again in 2019 to facilitate a workshop at Virginia Tech on Global Opportunities for Collaboration in the field of Entrepreneurship between all their partner institutions in the world.
Things did not slow down for me in Vienna, either. I was a competition judge and coach to many entrepreneurship events (among which hackathons and startup event series) either for the private sector or for university programs. In 2018 I was invited to become a mentor for the university business incubator INiTS, Vienna's high-tech incubator and one of the world's leading incubators. Along the years, I participated in university programs, accelerator programs, startup hubs and many conferences and workshops.
In 2017 and again in 2019 I was invited to lead the BEST Summer School in Vienna where I developed a program focusing on entrepreneurship and emerging markets/ technological assessment.
Back to the innovation side, I became a co-lecturer for Innovation Management and Marketing in 2016, where I was teaching the methods and development of the necessary culture for innovations to emerge (see also my road in organizational management). The same year, I started my doctorate at Vienna University of Technology in the field of computational creativity a branch of artificial intelligence. My main research is related to autonomous systems that can invent by themselves without human interaction. I believe in entrepreneurship so much, that I am on this path once again, this time with vasilescu.pro Solutions.
As you can see, with the experience and know-how that I bring to the table, I am confident that I can provide real value to your start-up or business.
I still keep in touch with many of the businesses that I coached along the years. What is more, I can compound on the experience gathered in the other fields to provide even more value.
I recommend you read also about my other journeys, because no matter how much I try to separate my paths, they are all interconnected. Also have a look at my services or book a free consultation appointment with me to discuss your needs and expectations.