Jeremy Wickenheiser, executive director of Watson Institute in Colorado, United States, has encouraged new business incubators to focus on their entrepreneurs instead of the ventures themselves.
He has talked about the importance of investing in individuals over start-ups.
Jeremy said this at a webinar held by the EMK Center on 25 November as part of its campaign for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020.
At the programme, Jeremy and Asif Uddin Ahmed, acting director of the EMK Centre, discussed what facilities and resources it takes to help university students build successful start-ups.
Asif Uddin began the discussion by emphasising the need to develop a system that promotes entrepreneurship among the youth in light of Bangladesh's unsatisfactory performance in the ease of doing business index.
Jeremy suggested fostering a culture of mentorship for students and alumni.
He highlighted his institute's policy of focusing on realistic aspects of entrepreneurship.
The Watson Institute has created successful entrepreneurs, 800 new jobs and raised over $100 million; impacting the lives of over 150,000 people.
Participants at the discussion were given a virtual tour of Watson Institute in Colorado.
The institute has been running the four-month Watson Accelerator Program since 2013.
A total of 22 scholars are currently enrolled in the programme and of them, 20 are attending it virtually from across the world due to the pandemic. They spend 40-50 hours a week on the programme.
Each participant is provided with two mentors who are talented professionals in the students' field of interest.
The students are not just taught about the fundamentals of business but also about transformative entrepreneurship. They learn how to lead, fundraise and structure organisations.
Furthermore, the students are taught the practical applications of the lessons they learn about project management, branding and budgeting in lab classes.
The programme offers open classrooms, lounges, boardrooms, standing desks, and prototyping stations to create a space that facilitates innovation.
Finally, Wahid Hossain, a Watson Institute alumni, shared his experiences of attending the programme. He talked about the opportunities he got to interact with the guest lecturers – i