Industry, University & Government Transactions Committee Activities Archives


October 1, 2012
1 hour 27 minutes

Presentation available here to members only.

What will you learn in this webinar?
In this one and half hour webinar you will learn why start-ups and their entrepreneurs are a different species of corporations and managers and why they can innovate in a way that established companies cannot really follow at least if they do not digest the start-up entrepreneurial culture. Start-ups are unique entities created by individuals who are passionate and who have dreams that they are fully dedicated to make real. The webinar will also address the unique features of Silicon Valley, the leading (not to say the only…) start-up technology cluster.

Although start-ups represent a major phenomenon in the USA, they also create skepticism and even suspicion, perhaps because of the excesses of the Internet bubble. Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Yahoo and Google were all start-ups and these success stories show that the phenomenon is not mere speculation. More importantly, start-ups are major drivers of innovation. From Schumpeter and his creative destruction to Christensen and his Innovator's dilemma, there‘ve been passionate debates about why big established companies do not seem to follow the start-up creative rhythm. Even worse, Europe and Asia to a lesser extent have not been able to integrate start-ups in their economic systems.

Main topics covered:

  • Hindsight of famous start-ups and their entrepreneurs. Analysis and discussion of major facts and figures.
  • Key ingredients of the Silicon Valley innovation success. Is it possible to implement it elsewhere in the world?
  • Initiatives implemented in Western Switzerland to promote entrepreneurial culture.
  • What can large companies learn from the start-ups unique way of innovating in light of some recent examples.

Speaker: Hervé Lebret
Hervé Lebret manages at EPFL (Switzerland) the Innogrants, a program supporting startup creation. The program includes grants to entrepreneurs and conferences where role models share their entrepreneurial experience with students and researchers. He is also teaching and doing research on high-tech entrepreneurship. From 1997 to 2004, he was with Index Ventures, a pan-European venture capital firm which invested in Skype, mysql, Virata, Numerical Technologies, Addex, Genmab. He began his career in 1990 as a researcher and teacher in electrical engineering and applied mathematics at ENSTA and ONERA (Paris). Herve Lebret is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) and Stanford University. He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Universite de Rennes. In addition to the publication of the book "Start-Up, what we may still learn from Silicon Valley", he regularly publishes posts through his blog

For more information, please contact:
Sun Kim, Partner, Kims and Lees, Chair of the IUGT committee;

Françoise Chardonnens, Senior Legal Counsel, Technology Transfer Office of EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne, Switzerland); Vice-Chair of the IUGT committee of LESI;

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