Shailendra Vyakarnam

Educator | Mentor | Entrepreneur

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Following eight years in business, I moved into an academic career through an MBA and PhD at Cranfield School of Management. In my dissertation of 1987, one of my conclusions on how Management education could be more socially relevant, I concluded that Business Schools should provide entrepreneurship education in more coherent ways. I never imagined that I would take my own recommendation so seriously and dedicate myself to the various forms of enterprise education ever since.


It has been a pioneering journey too at a number of Universities where my courses FOR entrepreneurship rather than ABOUT entrepreneurship have taken root. These include Cambridge, Reading, Cranfield and several other institutions, having established entrepreneurship centres at Nottingham Business School, Cambridge Judge Business School and most recently been Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield.


Happily my work, informed by extensive research and consulting activity has enabled me to provide advice policy makers, heads of institutions and advisory agencies. I have taught and mentored entrepreneurs in science and technology in several countries, delivered keynote speeches and designed new programmes, most recently in Austria.


The focus of my work is to enable managers and owners of science and technology enabled businesses to unlock hidden value in their ideas, turn them into business proposals and have the confidence and self-belief to take their ideas forward, whether this is for start-ups, scale-ups or established businesses.


My curiosity in this field has lead to conducting research, publications and books that are appropriate to a deeper understanding of mindsets, skills and knowledge and personal goals of entrepreneurs.


Happily, I mix my career as educator with being a mentor, making connections and also being an entrepreneur and business angel. In essence being a pracademic!


I have many affiliations which are listed elsewhere, but one which should be mentioned here is that of being a Trustee of The Gen-Initiative which supports income generation and bottom-up community development in India


◈ Fellow of Royal Society of Arts

◈ Member of the European Academy of Arts and Science

◈ Associate Senior Common Room, Kings College Cambridge

◈ Senior Member Wolfson College, Cambridge

◈ Visiting Professor at the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield

◈ Awarded "Best Entrepreneurship Professor" at the 2nd Asian Business Schools Awards in 2011

Few Of My Books

Camels, Tigers & Unicorns:Rethinking Science & Technology-Enabled Innovation

Unlocking The Enterpriser Inside! A Book Of Why, What And How!

Rural Enterprise: Case studies from developing countries

When the Harvest is in: Developing rural entrepreneurship

My recent book for budding entrepreneurs!

The commercialisation of science and technology enabled innovation is a serious topic of interest for a wide range of global audiences who share one common objective: to understand how science and technology based ideas can be turned into commercial value more effectively. Despite the vast number of publications addressing entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy there is relatively little in the literature which systematically addresses the structures, processes and mechanisms involved in turning ideas into commercially valuable propositions: this book is intended to directly address this gap.

Latest News Updates

The Scale-up Manual: Handbook for Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Teams and Firms

Delighted to say that we have launched a programme in support of Scale-Ups together with the Bradfield Centre on the Science Park at Cambridge. The programme is run by Cartezia and uses the tools developed for businesses to cross the triple chasms they face in their innovation journey.


More details here

Mentoring on Cambridge Impulse

Delighted to be mentoring this year on Impulse Programme 2019 at the Maxwell Centre, Cambridge. Being alongside some rock stars of technology and science entrepreneurship, not least Prof Sir Greg Winter Nobel prize winner, whose work on humanising monoclonal antibodies has resulted in several global blockbuster drugs. And my old friend Lord Karan Bilimoria – founder of Cobra Beer. Looking forward to the new businesses and the people.


More details here

Future 20

This programme was launched with 20 business ideas that are set to make a difference and have social impact. I was very pleased to be asked to get things started as we have so much to do with issues of social impact and we are in need of entrepreneurial energy and drive as well as novel solutions. Not just political rhetoric!
If you can be of assistance please take a look at


Start Something: Launchpad

Hosted by the Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre - Bristol

What a thrill for me! It was in 1999 that I helped create an entrepreneurship summer school at Cambridge. This is now in its 20th year as Ignite at the Judge Business School. So here we are, 20 years on, with getting a look-alike underway in Bristol. We had 16 great ideas and aspiring entrepreneurs. As with the Summer School where Alphamosaic grew some legs and exited for $120m, I sense a couple of ideas form Bristol may do the same!!
More Details


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