Building an Entrepreneurial Culture: By Design or By Default?


Please join Silicon Vikings and Babson for a session that will focus on entrepreneurial culture as a critical resource that can enable competitive advantage. It is well recognized that significant and positive organizational implications result when culture is mindfully and intentionally developed, curated, and shaped.  The problem is that few actually practice creating culture.

We will introduce the following topics: 

  • The importance and relevance of culture in emerging organizations.
  • The emergence of culture and the role of the founding team in creating culture.
  • The elements that constitute culture and the notion of an ongoing “entrepreneurial” culture

This will be a very interactive session where you can participate by doing a quick sketch of your company culture.

Please join us at 5:30 for networking with lighter food and drinks.


Panelists (more to be announced):

Risto Lahdesmaki, CEO Idean @huhuu


CEO and founder at Idean, Risto is an entrepreneur-spirited-jack-of-all-trades-creative-director. He has a special talent for identifying business opportunities for his client companies and is somewhat water-resistant to the phrase: "this is not possible".

With over ten years background in User Interface and User Experience design, he has been involved in hundreds of design projects and is shaping the future of branding through UX/UI. Currently, Risto is growing the Idean business in the US at a rapid rate and as Chairman of the company he oversees their global business development. Risto is an entrepreneur and designer at heart and has worked with start-ups as well as big enterprises his entire professional career.


Henrik Bennetsen, Director of Health IT, Innovation Center Denmark @henrikbennetsen


Henrik Bennetsen joined Innovation Centre Denmark, Silicon Valley, in March 2013. Henrik is responsible for bringing talented Health IT start-up’s to ICDK, Silicon Valley, SCALEit accelerator program. Henrik has an entrepreneurial background, and comes with expertise in early stage development, and a unique skill in managing products and teams, customer/business development and event production. Prior to joining ICDK, Silicon Valley, Henrik was associate director at Stanford University leading product teams to develop bleeding edge research technology and building products built on modern web technologies. Recently, he was the co-founder of Katalabs, Inc, located in Palo Alto, launching, an HTML5 marketplace and API for sharing 3D content.

At Innovation Centre Denmark, Henrik is leveraging his entrepreneurial background in his work through participation in existing projects such as SCALEit and in development of Health IT companies.

Henrik has a master in Media Technology from IT University of Copenhagen.


Candida G.Brush, Chair, Entrepreneurship Division, Faculty Research Director, Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship and Franklin W. Olin Distinguished Professor in Entrepreneurship

BrushC_05_5x7.jpg Dr. Candida Brush is a full professor, holder of the Franklin W. Olin Chair in Entrepreneurship and serves as Division Chair for Entrepreneurship. She is also the Research Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. She holds an honorary doctorate in Business and Economics from Jonkoping University, Sweden, and is a visiting adjunct at the Nordlands University Graduate School of Business in Bodo, Norway.
Professor Brush is well known for her pioneering research in women's entrepreneurship. She conducted the first and largest study of women entrepreneurs in the early 1980s, resulting in one of the earliest books on the topic. Her continued research catalyzed studies and dissertations worldwide. With four other researchers she founded the Diana Project, a research consortium investigating women’s access to growth capital internationally. With her four co-researchers, she was named the 2007 recipient of the FSF - Swedish Research Foundation International Award for Outstanding Research Contributions in the Field of Entrepreneurship. Prentice Hall- Financial Times published their book, Clearing the Hurdles: Women Building High Growth Businesses (2004). From this research, she co-edited two other books, Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs and their Businesses: A Global Research Perspective in 2006, and, Women's Entrepreneurship and Growth Influences: An International Perspective, in 2010. Forthcoming is her new book, Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice Based Approach (2014).
Professor Brush's research is often featured in noted popular media including the Wall Street Journal, Business Week on Line, the Boston Globe and Inc.   She is a regular blogger on, and a frequent adviser to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy on women’s entrepreneurship, Professor Brush served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Women’s Business Research, and the Executive Committee of Children Without Borders, a clinic in Costa Rica. She is a member of the Boston Harbor Angels investment group and serves on the board of many start-ups, and has coached and advised numerous start-up ventures.
Prior to joining Babson, Professor Brush was an Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy, Founder of the Council for Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership, and Research Director for the Entrepreneurial Management Institute at Boston University.
Professor Brush had early entrepreneurial experience in the airline industry and small business consulting, and co-founded a land development company. She received her DBA from Boston University, an MBA from Boston College and a BA from the University of Colorado


Heidi Neck, Associate Professor at the Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, Babson College @ProfNeck


Heidi Neck, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, where she currently teaches entrepreneurship at the MBA and executive levels.  Her research interests include innovation & creativity, social entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship education.  She has published 35+ book chapters, research monographs, and refereed articles in such journals as Journal of Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education. She is on the editorial board of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice and Academy of Management Learning & Education.

Neck the Director of the Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab – a national applied research project that seeks to better understand the experience of entrepreneurs of all kinds in order to design and develop better support program for today’s entrepreneur. Research monographs on the experience of startup entrepreneurs and “entrepreneurs inside” (organizations) have been published. The next phase of the research will focus on social innovators.

Neck is Faculty Director of Babson’s Symposia for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE) and Modules for Entrepreneurship Education (MEE)  – programs designed to further develop faculty from around the world in the of art and craft of teaching entrepreneurship and building entrepreneurship programs. An award-winning teacher, Neck has been recognized for teaching excellence at Babson for both undergraduate and executive education. She has also been recognized by international organizations, the Academy of Management and the United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, for excellence in pedagogy and course design.

Neck speaks and teaches internationally on cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset. In addition to her academic work, Neck’s professional experience includes consulting and training with organizations of all sizes on building entrepreneurial capacity within organizations. She currently is a co-owner of FlowDog, a canine aquatic fitness and rehabilitation center located just outside of Boston. Heidi earned her Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Louisiana State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Richard Horning, Counsel at Reed Smith LLP @horningr

Richard.jpg Richard Allan Horning practices law as a member of the Venture Technology Group in the Silicon Valley office of Reed Smith LLP, a global law firm. Honored by his peers as a Northern California "IP Super Lawyer" and recognized in the International Who's Who of Internet and E-Commerce Lawyers 2009 as the "most highly nominated lawyer in the US", Richard has been representing technology companies in Silicon Valley, and globally, since 1970. He works with a wide spectrum of clients, from the classic "garage-based" start-up to Fortune 500 multi-nationals. He specializes in counseling high technology companies in all stages of development on domestic and international issues, including securing, protecting and licensing intellectual property rights, international growth and development, venture capital financing, venture fund formation, supply and distribution relationships including antitrust and unfair competition considerations, and dispute resolution affecting technology driven industries. De Facto, a Finnish publication covering the Nordic legal community, labeled him "Mr. Consigliere" in recognition of his work as a close adviser to venture backed start-ups.



Eilif Trondsen, Ph.D., Strategic Business Insights, and Chair of Silicon Vikings’ Special Interest Group on Entrepreneurship and Learning @EilifT


Eilif has worked at SRI (formerly Stanford Research Institute) and Strategic Business Insights (SBI)—a spin-out from SRI (located on the SRI campus in Menlo Park)—for the last 34 years, doing research and consulting in ecommerce, ebusiness, and elearning. He has led three multi-client research programs, including two focused on education and learning, and in recent years much of his work has been focused on the Nordic region, with projects for Tekes and Nordic Innovation. He has been a Board Member of Silicon Vikings for the last 4 years and over the last two years has been the Chair of the Special Interest Group on Entrepreneurship and Learning.


Event sponsor & host:







SIG Entrepreneurship & Learning


Main sponsors to Silicon Vikings:


SAS-logo_Masterbrand.GIF bank-of-the-west-invitation.jpgBabson_006633.jpg     KLGLogo_Color_ElectronicUse_jpg150.jpg


Creative Partner to Silicon Vikings:





Mon, Feb. 3, 2014
5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
(GMT-0700) US/Pacific

How Much?

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Babson College
135 Main St
San Francisco 94105

3rd Floor