The primary goal of the Kstart Institute is to help entrepreneurs increase the odds of success. Money is often not the most important ingredient that make the difference between success and failure. Passion, persistence, knowledge, experience and networks play a far bigger role. While the entrepreneurs are responsible for passion and persistence, Kstart can help them access a much wider pool of knowledge, experience and networks than they could on their own.
Anil K. Gupta, Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Smith School of Business at The University of Maryland, has agreed to serve as the Academic Director for Kstart institute. Anil is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Ahmedabad and earned his PhD from the Harvard Business School. He has also served as a Chaired Professor of Strategy at INSEAD and a visiting professor at Stanford University’s Stanford Technology Ventures Program. The Economist has named him as one of the world’s “superstars” for research on innovation in emerging markets.
Using his academic, research, and consulting background, Anil has designed a program that focuses on managing four types of uncertainties that influence start-up success – customer uncertainty, technological uncertainty, execution uncertainty, and competitive uncertainty. The selection of topics are tailored to address the needs of a particular cohort and evolve over time.
For the first program we anticipate focusing on the following topics:
- Principles of lean start-ups
- If and when to pivot
- Early stage customer acquisition
- Why cultural DNA matters
- Building competitive advantage