Friday 27 April 2012

Sport Management & Entrepreneurship SM&O Summit ... very inspirational

Wednesday afternoon I had the chance to check out the "Sport Management & Entrepreneurship" SM&O Summit at the HVA [University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam] - what an inspiring afternoon.

Initially I was attracted to the summit by the proposition of seeing Reinout Oerlemans founder of Eyeworks speak - due to my interest in sport, marketing and media. Unfortunately he wasn't able to attend for personal reasons ... but the summit certainly didn't disappoint, in fact it was extreemly inspirational.

There were 30 or so Dutch sport entrepreneurs who's passion and drive was incredibly addictive. The title of the summit was "Show me the money" but the real theme running through the conference was "Don't make money the goal": start with your passion and use your a drive to make things better or solve a problem ... that is a kick in itself ... then the money will follow.

My 5 highlights from the day were:
  1. The enthusiasm and professionalism of the students of SM&O faculty ... just listening to their relevant questions they asked of the experts made me very positive about the quality and professionalism of the students that this HVA faculty is developing and producing.
  2. The wisdom of Durk Jan de Bruin founder of with his very sound advice for entrepreneurs around collaboration and the 2 phases of online businesses. His "pizza" story & 100th marathon says something more profound about the man behind the businesses.
  3. The insight from writer and speaker Susanne Piet, who presented her thoughts from her book De Kick ... she made me really think about link between influence, motivation, energy, experience and learning.
  4. The consultatancy cafe with ... Guus van der Meer [Founder of PowerPlate International] with his passion for helping the untrainables [40% of population] and Eelco Berkhout [Partner of cycling @ Sport Entertainment Group] with his passion for supporting talented cyclists and giving them a second chance in the case of drug offenders.
  5. The entertainment value of my good colleague Henri de Weerd who stole the show before the break with his "moon walk".
What an enjoyable and inspiring afternoon. I makes me even more enthusiastic about helping develop and produce more quality graduates. It also got me thinking about exploring some new business ideas of my own. As my last sporting entrepreneurial venture didn't work out as I had hoped, but the learning and experience was a real kick ... I still have that itch to try again!

The only little downer of the summit was the fact that of the 30 entrepreneurs, there was not one female among them! This got me thinking why is this? Some comments from the entrepreneurs themselves maybe provide some answers to this puzzle - "its all about your network", "its about attitude", "emulate a hero", and "sponsors/money follow the eyeballs". This gap remains a huge opportunity for the sports world and in my role as a teacher I believe I can start to address this.

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