UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Shaping Leaders, Driving Results

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Global Entrepreneurship Lab (EMBA)

The Global Entrepreneurship Lab (GEL) is a course and study trip which exposes EMBA students to global venturing as an integral part of an international entrepreneurial venture. GEL is designed to leverage experiential learning techniques which will simulate the start-up process for an early-stage advanced technology venture.

Serving as consultants to a funded high-growth startup venture forming in a non-national market, GEL student teams work directly with the founder and their team in a global context. Students consult with the international venture on a core element of their strategy, providing analysis and clarity on the issues central to the growth and scale of the venture.  Key elements of this custom strategy include:

  • Competitor Benchmarking providing an overview of the market and providing cross-sectional evaluation of competitor firms
  • Custom Breakthrough Project on an issue relating to a core barrier impeding the sustained growth and sustainability of the venture, with a scope defined by the student team and approved by the client and instructor
  • Final Recommendations which summarize findings from the analysis, supporting the long-range expansion and scale of the venture

These three primary deliverables support the long-term sustainability and expansion strategies of a range of promising global ventures. Unlike other immersion experiences, GEL teams work remotely with each venture for several months to via Skype and Adobe Connect prior to meeting in person for an intensive week of engagement with the entrepreneurs and other key business leaders.

This course is designed to expose students to the global differences in entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise development. Students will also explore their own venturing concepts in the course of the lab and test them on a global platform. Specifically, students in GEL experience:

  • Team Development:  Team dynamics of start-up firms in an international setting, serving as an integral member of the team.
  • Global Competition:  Students assess the nature of the competitive environment from a global standpoint for new ventures.
  • Barriers and Breakthroughs:  Students are presented with challenges faced by the startup that represent barriers to their sustained development and growth and will work as a member of the founding team to break through these barriers.
  • Management Consultation:  Students develop a keen sense of how to communicate, support and analyze complex business problems serving as a trusted consultant to promising international start-up firms.
  • Innovative Startups:  Students experience for themselves the opportunities to develop their own concepts by sparring with the founders and their colleagues during the Lab.

The first Global Entrepreneurship Lab (May 2012) was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in cooperation with Copenhagen Business School, Symbion Research Park, and the Accelerace Program.