New board education for entrepreneurial firebrands

A new study programme will equip potential board members to lead and make decisions in start-ups, scale-ups, and SMEs.

Talented boards create successful businesses. This is the conviction of DTU Learn for Life, which on 4 February opens its doors to a brand-new board education programme. The DTU Board Education programme is aimed at experienced business people, owner managers, investors, business developers, and specialists— all entrepreneurial individuals who want to further develop their board competences.

The board education programme gives participants an insight into the boardroom through real business cases from entrepreneurial companies from around the world. On the programme, participants will meet successful contractors, professional board members, investors, experts, and top managers, all of whom are tasked with providing participants with valuable sparring on their board career development. According to Karsten Uldal, Deputy Head of Department at DTU Learn for Life, there are several reasons for establishing the programme.

“We are seeing a high demand in the market for board competences, especially from start-ups and SMEs. At DTU Learn for Life, we are pleased to now be able to offer this programme because we know that boards contribute with experience and competences that greatly determine whether businesses grow. In the past 20 years, DTU has started more than 2,000 companies and it’s clear that the most successful of them are those that have made early use of mentors, advisory boards, and boards,” he says.

According to a study carried out by IRIS Group for DTU, early use of advisory boards and boards has a major impact on the company’s success in terms of parameters such as growth, employment, and attracted capital.

Wide interest for programme

Although teaching has not yet begun, there is already a great deal of interest in the programme. More than 100 interested parties had signed up for the first of a series of info webinars earlier this month when DTU Board Education was presented.

“We’ve been confirmed in our belief that this programme is in demand, so naturally, we’re pleased about that. At DTU Learn For Life, we’re committed to lifelong learning, and we believe it is high time that people have the opportunity to improve their board member competences for this type of company. We see it as our remit to innovate and adapt our programmes so that competences match the market and the requirements for the companies of the future,” says Karsten Uldal.

Lars Kolind, one of Scandinavia’s most successful business leaders who teaches at DTU Board Education, says:

“I have sat on many boards and also chaired a lot of them. It’s striking that very few people have actually been trained to perform the role—myself included. I’ve learned it the hard way and after many mistakes. So I’m pleased that programmes such as DTU Board Education are being created,” he says.

DTU Board Education consists of 18 teaching sessions—both full- and half-day sessions spread over five months. As a result of COVID-19, part of the teaching will take place through online education, but will move to physical education as soon as possible.

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