Saturday, August 25, 2012

An advantage university-based business schools have over standalone business schools

This is something I've realized now at NUS Business School. NUS Business School is based in the heart of NUS. NUS itself is a sprawling university with centers and schools for science, law, arts, social science, computing, engineering, mathematics, design, medicine, dentistry, public policy, music, and others.

NUS also has full-fledged arms that cultivate, facilitate and promote entrepreneurship and technology commercialization - NUS Enterprise, along with NUS Entrepreneurship Centre (NEC) and NUS Industry Liaison Office (ILO) - as well as full-fledged and well-endowed research wings.

One of the electives this semester is Technopreneurship, and an optional add-on to that is the Frugal Innovation Lab. The latter, in particular, is about creating a working prototype of an innovative product or service, along with a comprehensive business plan to commercialize it. The teams in this Lab are all cross-discipline, with individuals from engineering, science, business and entrepreneurship blended together and made to work like a startup, complete with funding. Need information about IP protection or patents? Find someone related to law. Need advice on human anatomy? Head to medicine. Materials? You have it.

That's where I realized the potential and power of a business school that's inside a university. You have experts and students from all disciplines right next to you, and forming cross-faculty teams is effortless. Business schools in universities such as NUS, NTU or IITs have this unique advantage that standalone schools don't necessarily have. It's about fully utilizing these resources.

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