Dean of Microsoft 4Afrika Academy Lutz Ziob Talks Intrapreneurship

Sylvana Lewin, Tuesday March 27th 2018

Dean of Microsoft 4Afrika Academy, Lutz Ziob, discussed his path to working at Microsoft and lessons learned with the MEST community during March Guest Lecture Weekend, alongside Brightpearl cofounder Andrew Mulvenna, Bestman Games founder Nimi Akinkugbe, and V8 Ventures Managing Partner Tobi Oke. Ziob’s talk focused on creating social impact. We’ve recapped some key highlights from his presentation!

[caption id="attachment_6603" align="alignnone" width="665"] Lutz Ziob at Guest Lecture Weekend.[/caption]

The Importance of Marketability

Ziob began his talk with a discussion of the evolution of technology, commenting on the importance of marketability. He asked audience members if anyone had heard of Next computers. When few people said yes, he explained that this was a company founded by Steve Jobs that only survived two years. Although the technology was extremely innovative, Jobs wasn’t able to figure out how to bring it to market, and ultimately because of this the product failed. Ziob stated, “You can have the most amazing technology, but if you can’t sell it, it isn’t going to happen.”

Creating Profitable Social Impact

After joining Microsoft, Ziob created the IT Academy Program, which helps business professionals hone the skills that they need to remain competitive in dynamic, technology-drive work environments. Ziob convinced Microsoft the idea was worth investingm and when it worked, showed that you can combine profitability with doing the right thing. He explained, “We’re selling skills, career advancement.”

ZIob also believes the work Microsoft is doing to foster new companies and startups is important. Explaining that through job creation, this can have huge social impact. He stated, “The only way to create employment is to have new companies created and grown.”

[caption id="attachment_6602" align="alignnone" width="665"]Lutz Zion Dean Microsoft 4Afrika Academy talks tech, social impact, business Lutz Ziob talks at Guest Lecture Weekend.[/caption]

The Importance of Intrapreneurship

“We need entrepreneurial spirit within companies as well. We need Intrapreneurs.”

Ziob believes that the entrepreneurial spirit should not only be reserved to startups, but carried over into big corporations. He pressed the importance of the drive and innovative spark found in many entrepreneurs.

Wrapping up his talk, Ziob encouraged our entrepreneurs to learn their own personal brand and shape it as they continue to grow.

If you’re interested in learning more from industry experts, follow the MEST blog for recaps on the lectures by Brightpearl cofounder Andrew Mulvenna, Bestman Games founder Nimi Akinkugbe, and V8 Ventures Managing Partner Tobi Oke!