Júlia Prats Takes Over the Bertrán Foundation Chair of Entrepreneurship

Pedro Nueno passes the torch to one of his former students

15/10/2015 Barcelona


Júlia Prats steps into Pedro Nueno’s shoes as holder of the Bertrán Foundation Chair of Entrepreneurship / Photo: Edu Ferrer

Prof. Júlia Prats is now officially the new holder of the Bertrán Foundation Chair of Entrepreneurship. Prats is a professor in the Entrepreneurship Department and holder of a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her predecessor, Prof. Pedro Nueno, was at the helm of the Chair since its inception almost thirty years ago. The ceremony celebrated at IESE to announce the change was attended by José Felipe Bertrán de Caralt, the inspiration behind this Chair.

"It is my duty give back to society everything I have received,” said Bertrán.  The entrepreneur, who also promoted the creation of the José Felipe Bertrán Chair of Governance and Leadership in Public Administration, said that "if you help a worker, the worker will be very grateful to you. But if you help an entrepreneur, all workers benefit. And continue to do so."

A Pioneering Chair

Entrepreneurship was one of the three first chairs created at IESE, along with the chairs on Family Business and Corporate Finance. Back in 1987, "no-one knew what entrepreneurship even meant," reminisced Prof. Nueno. In fact, IESE offered the first course in Europe on the subject. An elective, it was called Nuevas Aventuras Empresariales (New Business Ventures). Students coined the name NAVES for short. Now, not only is entrepreneurship a reference point at IESE, it is a core theme in all courses offered at the school.

The launch of pioneering initiatives such as the Business Angels Network and the creation of a proprietary venture capital firm (FINAVES) are fruit of the Chair members’ teamwork. This goes beyond the academic and teaching material accumulated, explained Prof. Nueno, “we have been very innovative in this area."

Areas of Focus

During her inauguration as holder of the Chair, Prof. Prats reviewed some of the recent highlights and pointed out some focus areas of the future: “We hope to remain a point of reference in these areas of work.” Not only in terms of the entrepreneur role, she said, but also "this entrepreneurship trend that helps large companies reinvent themselves, improve and have teams of people with more developed talent. Because we think that is part of the talent of an executive: to be the promoter that the company needs for its sustenance.”