Introducing Markus Wagner - One Who Undertakes an Endeavor

bridges vol. 24, October 2009 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad

By Markus Pichler

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Entrepreneur is the French word for "one who undertakes an endeavor." Having been coined more than a century ago (in 1852), the term entrepreneur saw a steep rise in usage in recent months, often referring to a cure for the current economic malaise. For example, in his first State of the Union speech in February 2009, US President Barack Obama referred to entrepreneurs as a major factor in pulling through this economic downturn, saying that: "The answers to our problems don't lie beyond our reach, they exist in our laboratories and our universities, in our fields and our factories, in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs ..."

But, what exactly is an entrepreneur?

According to the father of modern management, the Austrian Peter Drucker (1909-2005), entrepreneurs create something new, something different - they change or transmute values: "Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth." His fellow Austrian, economist Peter Schumpeter (1883-1950), probably the first scholar who developed entrepreneurial theories, once stated that "entrepreneurs are the ones who contribute to innovation and technological change of a nation." Later on, Schumpeter extended his theories with the hypothesis that "big companies are the ones driving innovation and economy, as they possess both resources and capital to invest in research and development."

i5logo_small.jpgMarkus Wagner, serial entrepreneur and Business Angel who founded the business incubator i5invest in 2007, is per definitionem a synthesis of both of Schumpeter's complementary theories.

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