《华尔街日报》刊登托利山科技有限公司董事长况秀猛先生评论员文章 - “创业教育,教的不只是梦想”

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2015年8月18日,托利山科技有限公司总裁况秀猛在《华尔街日报》发表评论员文章, 对加州大学圣地亚哥分校(UCSD)的Moxie大学生创业中心在六月底终耗尽当地慈善家Irwin Zahn的Moxie基金会百万美元的基金,却没能实现通过学生创业者的业绩维持该中心的发展,提出了自己的见解。中英文全文如下:

创业教育,教的不只是梦想

我虽然很遗憾,但并不感到惊讶加州大学圣地亚哥分校(UCSD)的 Moxie Center for Student Entrepreneurship(Moxie大学生创业 中心)在六月底已经关闭,最终耗尽了别人的钱。由当地慈善家Irwin Zahn的Moxie基金会百万美元的基金支持,该中心的既定目标是通过学生创业者创业公司的业绩提供资金。Moxie大学生创业中心维持了足够长的时间送出去所有的现金,然后就没有然后了。

加州大学圣地亚哥分校也许认为Moxie大学生创业中心两年半的运行是一个巨大的成功:很多的年轻创新者亲眼看到了他们的构想理念得以实现,这要归功于中心稳定资助。但是,作为一个企业家,我认为这是一个失败。Moxie 中心的确在促进创业精神,但运行起来却像一个慈善机构,因为它在投资学生企业的同时没有寻求任何回报率。这真的是对年轻的创业公司一个良好的教训吗?

Moxie中心自身就是一个例子,它没有教萌芽的企业家两个最基本的生存技能:理解“双赢”,以及如何预测利润和亏损。我在美国辅导过很多年轻的雄心勃勃的企业家,我知道这个问题并不局限于加州大学圣地亚哥分校。可悲的是,相同的教育问题在美国各地商学院的孵化器项目中普遍存在。

商业中“双赢”意味着双方从交易中走出来,彼此都感觉到得到了公平待遇。当然,你可以免费赠送你的产品,收集很多良好的赞许,但是你的业务注定不会持续很久,正如Moxie中心!

你也许会认为盈利和亏损的预测是教育学生创办自己的企业的一个基石概念。在美国的商学院中,您错了。我指导的MBA学生中,不乏在美国名牌大学毕业的,他们几乎不知道有各种Payroll Tax 工资税,昂贵的加州工人的劳工保险,工人福利等基本费用。曾经有以为学生,在他的商业计划中慷慨地给自己$12.5万的年薪。当我坐下来和他一起把账算下来,显示他大概只能付自己$5万年薪,他惊呆了。他缺乏最最基本的关于业务运行管理费用的理解与预测。

我遇到的另一位学生,也从一个美国名校MBA出来的,不明白怎么零售定价。他很惊讶地知道,如果能用上沃尔玛规模零售商,他的所得只是沃尔玛销售价格的52%左右。很难想象, 在今天美国的商学院中,没有人来教MBA学生们不得不面对的财务现实。

太多的美国商学院专注于培养并输出商业人才给超大型企业和华尔街领军企业,没有提供足够的教育和引导,鼓励学生走出校园后自己创业。在今天的中国,这个故事却大不一样!如今的中国商业院校能充分提供如何经营中小型企业、以及如何创建一个能够真正盈利的公司的基础知识教育。中国想在尽可能短的时间内让尽可能多的人摆贫困,他们知道水涨船高,帮助小企业,就能帮助大量的社区。为什么这么多美国的高等教育系统无法掌握这个简单的道理?

作为在美国和中国都有成功的企业家,我深信美国商学院需要的是更多创业教育。他们的学生们第一次进军真实的商界之时,这将是更加有用的教育。

为此,我们在圣地亚哥的美国陶瓷学会和国际微电子与封装协会正在发起一个实习生计划,以服务于圣地亚哥周围的大学生。该方案刚刚起步,我们正在与UCSD积极配合确定潜在的候选人。该计划将毕业生与当地公司配对进行为期一个月的带薪实习,公司不需要掏钱。该计划将捐出1000美元给UCSD用于支付实习生的为期一个月的津贴。如果公司决定在一年之内聘请实习生,该公司将为该实习生计划捐出3,000美元,这将大大有助于其他毕业生取得实习机会。

我们的目标是帮助刚走出校门的毕业生,如果没有这些机会,大部分企业可能会不假思索的拒绝雇佣涉世未深的他们。另一个必要的目标是使该计划在资金方面能自行维持经营。最重要的是,我们希望它可以帮助未来的企业家茁壮成长,并在进入商业的现实世界时,对它的基石有着最起码的了解。

Teaching Entrepreneurs to Do More Than Dream

I was saddened but not surprised this summer to learn that the University of California, San Diego’s Moxie Center for Student Entrepreneurship had closed at the end of June, having finally run out of other people’s money. Backed by a million-dollar gift from local philanthropist Irwin Zahn’s Moxie Foundation, the center’s stated aim was to fund startups by student entrepreneurs. It lived long enough to hand out all of that cash, then expired.

UCSD no doubt sees the Moxie Center’s 2 1/2 -year run as a great success: Look at all of the young innovators who had the opportunity to take their concepts to fruition, thanks to their Moxie grants. But as a businessman, I see it as a failure. The Moxie Center, while promoting the entrepreneurial spirit, was run like a charity, in that it didn’t seek any returns on its investments in student enterprise. Is that really a good lesson for young startups?

Through its own example, the Moxie Center failed to teach its budding entrepreneurs the two most basic survival skills for startups: understanding the concept of “win-win” and how to forecast profits and losses. As someone who mentors young entrepreneurs, I know this isn’t specific to UCSD. I see the same failure to teach these basic concepts in business schools and incubators across the country.

Campus of University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
Campus of University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, Calif. Photo: Getty Images

So here goes: Win-win means that both parties in a transaction come out of it feeling satisfied that they got a fair shake. Sure, you can give your products away and collect a lot of good will—but your business won’t last long if you do.

You’d think that a profit-and-loss forecast would be a bedrock concept for a program teaching people to start their own businesses. You’d be wrong. I’ve mentored graduate students at prestigious universities who couldn’t tell me how they were going to cover things like payroll taxes, workers’ compensation and other basic costs. One had generously given himself a salary of $125,000 in his business plan and was astonished when I sat him down with his own projections and showed he’d be lucky to make $50,000 annually. He lacked even the most elementary grasp of the overhead expenses involved in running a business.

Another student I met, also from a major M.B.A. program, didn’t understand how retail pricing worked and couldn’t believe how little his company would clear from a retailer like Wal-Mart. I hate to think of how it would have played out had nobody explained the financial facts of life to him—but, incredibly, none of his professors had done so.

Too many U.S. business schools are focused on producing future leaders for big corporations and Wall Street firms—not equipping people to venture out on their own. The story is very different in China, where I was born and educated before coming to the U.S. in 1994. Business schools there focus on the basics of running a small business and how to create a profitable company. They want to pull as many people out of poverty in as short a time as possible, and they know that the rising tide that will lift the most boats is the small-business community. Why do so many in America’s higher educational system fail to grasp this simple truth?

As an entrepreneur myself, and one whose success has come here in my adopted country, I believe U.S. business schools need programs that are more useful for student entrepreneurs and the businesses that will be their first forays into the working world.

To that end, my peers and I in San Diego’s local American Ceramic Society and the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society are launching a mentorship-internship program to serve recent UCSD graduates and the businesses willing to take a chance on them. The program is just getting under way, and we are working with the UCSD business school to identify potential candidates. The plan is to pair graduates with local companies for a paid one-month internship—at no cost to the company. The program will donate $1,000 to UCSD to pay the intern’s one-month stipend. If the host company decides to hire the intern within a year, the company will donate $3,000 to the program, which will go toward more internships for other graduates.

The goal is to place as many graduates as possible with companies that might otherwise hesitate to hire someone fresh out of school, and to make the program self-sustaining. Most important, we hope it helps future entrepreneurs thrive and enter the real world of business with a better understanding of its basics.

Mr. Kuang is the founder and president of Torrey Hills Technologies LLC in San Diego.