This week in New York City we learned quite a bit about the ways innovation and entrepreneurship can be stimulated through incubators. I was particularly impressed by the activities at WeWorks and General Assembly. WeWork is a start-up incubator and shared office space in Lower Manhattan, and General Assembly is a non-academic educational institution near the Flat Iron Building. We visited both of these this week along with a host of speakers.
I think the site visits were more important for me as a soon to be entrepreneur because it not only, allowed my imagination to run wild, for at least a short time, and gave me a first-hand look at the was innovative and progressive companies value and configure their spaces. WeWorks was most impressive to me because it consisted of warren after warren of densely packed little offices each humming with activity. These areas seemed to get tighter and tighter before spilling out into a large central space where entrepreneurs and innovators from many walks of life comingled and devised new takes on ideas. It was inspiring as one interested in new ventures and generated my own new ideas for a start-up that I plan to sink a little brain power on.
One issue that is considerable disappointing to me as a student is that our speakers continually discredit the value of an MBA. Not only does it seem strange that they would tell this to their audience, a group of MBA students, but it is also strange that they would tell us that entrepreneurship cannot be taught. Well… What the hell are you wasting my time on Mr. Speaker? Do us all a favor, go home… I’m here to learn to be regaled by your charming anecdotes and stories of how you built your business from scratch with little help, and just happened to be bought magically by Hasboro. That tells me nothing of what I need to do, and in fact depresses me because I know that shit doesn’t magically happen. NOW, teach me what you did or contact me to who you know.
Overall, week two continued the tone set by the earlier week, and I think the NYC module will be the highlight of my time with CEU. I am continuously surprised at how looking at the city and the way it functions with a new set of “business eyes” is beneficial.