The award winning Norwegian School of Entrepreneurship (Gründerskolen) is a Norwegian academic cooperation program involving all the universities and several university colleges in Norway. The Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Oslo has the overall academic and administrative responsibility for the program.
The Norwegian School of Entrepreneurship was founded in 1999 by professor Nils D. Christophersen at the department of Informatics. The program started up in cooperation with Cornell University and the first year 6 IT students participated in the program in San Francisco. Since then the project has had a rapid growth and in 2008 we had 297 applicants whereof 142 students was given the offer. Our alumni network has more than 1000 alumnus and is by far the biggest network in its kind in Norway.
In 2007 the program received first price for ’Best quality in higher education’ by the Norwegian Ministry of education and research and in 2006 a price for ”best learning environment” at the University of Oslo.
Structure of the Program
The Norwegian School of Entrepreneurship program is divided into three parts, and offers students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of entrepreneurship by working as an intern within a high-tech start-up company overseas.
1. Introductory course
The Introductory course i held in Norway, gives the students a theoretic understanding of the elements of a business plan.
2. Work placement in a start-up company
The students spend 3 months working in a start-up company. The company should have a technological focus. The work placement is non-paid and will give the students understanding of practical entrepreneurship in practice.
3. Academic courses
Beside the work placement, the students follow classes at on of our partner universities. Classes are usually held evenings, but could also be during weekends depending on the destination. The students have several assignments during the period.
Our destinations and partners abroad:
University of California Berkeley
National University of Singapore
Our Educational partners are chosen from a pool of the best universities in the country of origin., where our students spend the months of June, July and August abroad and in addition to the work placement, must undertake approximately 40 hours of evening lectures in entrepreneurship at an acknowledged university.
During the work placement period the students will undertake lectures at a partner University, which normally are held one or twice in the evenings per week. Here the group is trained to write and produce a complete business plan (not related to the companies). The course explores the various options for start-up financing and resource allocation, organizational structures, sales and marketing approaches, and the myriad of other complex decisions and challenges facing hi-tech start-ups. The lecturer(s) mentor and advise the students in the preparation of their plans and monitors their progress and provide critical feedback. At the end of the program the students, who are working in groups, are assessed, both orally and in writing, on their business plans. The partner university issues a certificate of attendance, a critical appraisal of the business plan and a final grade.
Ethnographic research / work placement
The work placement can be within a product or service company, preferably involved in a hi-tech field and not more than three years old. The students are not allowed to receive payment for their work within the work placement company.
All the students are also gathered for a seminar in Oslo upon travelling to the different destinations. The seminar consists of a number of lectures and team building sessions, where they are introduced to creativity, international business culture and a meeting with the a student from last year’s program.
The students participating in the Gründerskolen program are educated to at least Bachelor’s Degree level, and there is a stringent selection process in Norway. Gründerskolen is open to students from all academic disciplines, but the program focuses on high-tech start-ups, and many of the work placements are with companies in the IT, biotech or other technology sectors. However, as the intention is specifically to learn about companies in a start-up situation, it is not necessary that the students have a technical background.
Our domestic partners
The Norwegian Entrepreneurship program involves all the Norwegian universities and several university colleges
|University of Oslo|
|Norwegian University of Science and Tecnological|
|University of Stavanger|
|University of Bergen|
|University of Tromsø|
|University of Life Sciences|
|Norwegian school of Management -BI|
|NHH – Norwegian School of Economics|