Another team member ready. Sougand Golsorkhi is our new associate professor in strategy.
With both practical and academic experience in the field of strategy, Sougand will have a lot to contribute when it comes to aiding our students in finding their unique competitive advantage.
Sougand’s research and teaching are rooted in understanding and, analyses of strategy and entrepreneurship. The direction and scope of an enterprise over the long term to achieve unique advantage through its configuration of resources within a changing and highly competitive global environment, are important considerations in survival and sustainability of an enterprise.
«My personal background and academic interests are aligned to explore the notion of competitive strategy, how enterprises manage to be different by deliberately choosing a distinct set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value to meet needs of markets and stakeholders expectations, as their global external environment evolves.»
As a several months long recruitment process comes to an end we are ready to present one of two marketing professors that will be joining the Shift team – Tobias Otterbring.
With his background in both psychology and consumer marketing Tobias will have a lot to contribute when it comes to enabling Shift students to gain customer insight and conduct effective marketing.
Tobias conducts studies that are often based on field data from actual retail and service settings, such as retail banks, grocery stores, petrol stations, telecommunication stores, furniture stores, sporting goods stores or restaurants – he has even done research on beer. His research focuses on the effects that nonverbal cues (e.g., smiling, physical appearance, interpersonal touch) and physical factors (e.g., height, muscularity, digit ratio) have on customers’ emotions, attitudes, and purchase behavior.
Tobias is an excellent researcher and his work has appeared in top journals such as Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Business Research, and Psychology & Marketing. His work has also been featured in outlets including but not restricted to Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and BBC News.
We are beyond excited to welcome Tobias to the Shift faculty team!
Stine has worked with Shift since it was a vague idea three years ago. Her responsibilities include developing the program, teaching several courses, and following the students from application to graduation.
«Making Shift happen has required tireless work, disregarding rules and changing the status quo – much like any entrepreneurial endeavor. I firmly believe that with the right mindset – including the ability to think differently, see solutions where others see problems, and proactively address emerging issues – you can achieve anything. The purpose of Shift is to equip students with this ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ along with valuable experience, network and skills. Those able to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and combine it with good values and hard work are the ones that will be able to change the world for the better.»
Stine has a PhD in international entrepreneurship and years of experience teaching entrepreneurship to students from different backgrounds. She has also lived and worked in several countries – including Israel, USA, and Belgium – been through the Trainee Sør program, had several board positions, and started her own consultancy firm. In addition to her work as head of Shift she teaches entrepreneurship to bachelor students and conducts research on internationalizing startups and entrepreneurship education.
The university has a department that helps employees and students with their ideas. This department is UiA Nyskaping. Students get counseling, get access to the incubator, and becomes part of the community of student entrepreneurs at the university.
What differentiates Nyskaping from other actors in the innovation ecosystem is that we want to make the threshold to entrepreneurship as low as possible. We offer counseling in the early stages and try to cater to your needs when you start your business. You receive counseling from our student mentor, which are students with experience and knowledge from founding their own startup or working with startups. Student mentors can also help with applications to Innovation Norway, registering your company, etc. Student mentoring is thus both a grat service for student entrepreneurs AND a fun part time job. Together with Shift, we also organize mentoring events where mentors from industry give advice to our student entrepreneurs.
As a student entrepreneur you also get access to Nyskaping’s incubator. This can, if you want, be your office when working on your idea. We have two free-seating offices, one at each campus. You also get access to a meeting room with videoconference equipment. But this is just the facilities. The social aspect of the incubator is even more important. You are surround by other student entrepreneurs going through the same challenges that you are, whom you can always turn to for support and ask for advice.
What do I become when I graduate? Is Shift suitable only for those few individuals who would like to become entrepreneurs? Of course not. The competencies and skills you gain as a Shift student is equally valuable in both new and established businesses, and in both the private and public sectors. Today we suggest 3 career paths for you as a Shift graduate:
1) Business Developer
With rapid technological development and an increasing change rate the ability to innovate, develop and change is key for every company. More and more firms are thus bringing in “business developers” – either through hiring business developers or through using consultants with business development competencies. Business developers typically work on developing the firm’s products and services, preparing firms’ for the future by keeping track of trends, develop new solutions, and generally creating value for the firm’s customers – today and tomorrow. A wide range of sectors and industries are hiring business developers, which gives you as a Shift graduate the opportunity to find a job that combines your interests for innovation with the competencies you gained in your bachelor studies, or other possible interests you may have.
2) Startup supporter
Some graduates will work in the various agencies that encourages and enables entrepreneurship (in Norwegian “virkemiddelapparatet”). Examples include the Innovation Norway and local entrepreneurship promoters such as “Innoventus Sør” and “Ungt Entreprenørskap”. Working in these companies involve supporting entrepreneurs on areas such as financing, implementation capacity, value creation, growth potential, sustainability, business model – all of which you will have both practical and theoretical competency on based on your time as a Shift student.
And of course – if you
want to continue developing your Shift start-up, we will continue to provide
you with support also after the program has ended. There are several
opportunities for continued collaboration and continued support with and from
at Shift you will learn how to start and develop your own business. However,
whether you want to use these skills to start your own business, help other
startups, or change existing businesses is totally up to you.
Yesterday we were supposed to hold Shift information meetings on both the Kristiansand and Grimstad campuses. Due to the Corona-situation we had to think differently, and luckily a combination of Facebook livestream and Zoom made it possible to run the meeting straight out of our home offices . We were super sorry to miss out on the opportunity to meet potential applicants face to face, but happy to still be able to get the information out. If you missed out on the information meeting you can see the video here or on Shift’s facebook page.
In order to come up with ideas, we organize a number of “Idea days” throughout the fall semester. On idea day Shift students and faculty meet up with researchers and businesses on alternate sites in the Agder region. The intention of the day is for everyone to work together on real problems in order to generate ideas, which the Shift students follow up with further testing and potential realization.
For fall 2020 we have 5 Idea days planned. These will be focused on different types of innovation such as problem based innovation, user based innovation, and research based innovation. Idea days will also have different foci such as the sustainability development goals, renewable energy, and health. Also, every idea day is organized together with one of our supporters such as UiA CoLAB and UiA Nyskaping.
So far, about 30 businesses have signed up for our idea days, enabling us to connect our students with experts and businesses from a wide range of sectors and industries. Want to join or host the next idea day? Let us know!
We are happy to announce that Sparebanken Sør is officially a Shift partner. Sparebanken Sør is Agder’s largest local bank and an important contributor to innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Sparebanken will support Shift with a yearly amount of 1,250 million NOK over a three-year period.
Included in this amount is a yearly innovation award of 50 000 NOK, given to the Shift student team with the most promising business concept.
We are super excited and honored to be supporting the next generation of responsible entrepreneurs together with Sparebanken Sør!
This week Shift visited CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN is widely known for it’s Hadron collider – the world’s largest and most powerful accelerator – for developing the world wide web, and for the discovery of the higgs-boson. Today, CERN has also established a flourishing environment for entrepreneurship, commercialization, and business development. The people at CERN clearly share our belief in students’ ability to make impact through entrepreneurship and offer a number of opportunities for those interested. Shift returns to UiA with a lot of input to our courses and with plans for how to introduce Shift’s students to the world-class programs at CERN.