Entrepreneurship at MSM: “never look for innovation, look for irritation and solve it”

MSM combines a strong tradition of scholarly research on entrepreneurship with practical instruction in the realities of running an own business.  For example, On April 5, the students of the full-time MBA and Master in Management program attended an exciting and personal guest lecture from entrepreneur Erik Joosten, founder and CEO of Arion Group, an innovative medical device pioneer.  Erik started by explaining the firm’s underlying philosophy, SMILE (Socially Responsible; Market Driven; Innovative; Leading; Energetic), which forms the basis for the firm. Founded in 1994, Arion has seen 20 years of unprecedented growth.

Regarding the topic of Mr. Joosten’s passion, entrepreneurship, he makes it clear that he believes that entrepreneurs are born, not created.  He knew from the age of 11 that he wanted to be an entrepreneur.  That being said, he still gave light-hearted sounding, but important tips for entrepreneurs, such as:

  • Do NOT stick to the rules,
  • Exaggerate
  • Like to be in the spotlight,
  • See it ALL as a game: come up with tricks

The most important take-away from the session was this rule for success as an innovative entrepreneur: “Never look for innovation; look for irritation and solve it.”  This explains why Arion has been such a success in its specialized field in medical assistive devices; Mr. Joosten does not have personal experience or interest in these particular items, but he did identify a specific ‘irritation’ in the industry for which he innovated a way to solve.

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